A business cannot grow without good people. Hiring the best employees is therefore a fundamental task that underpins the future success of any company. This article provides an overview of some of the key points to consider in attracting, securing and retaining the best employees for your business.

1. Attracting the Best Employees

In order to hire the best employees, a business must first ensure that they attract the best applicants for the job. In this instance, knowing what you want is an essential first step to getting it. Writing out a detailed job description helps to define and clarify the job remit and leads naturally onto the person specification, a document highlighting the essential knowledge, skills, and experience required to do the job well.

Together, the job description and person specification guide the overall recruitment process by providing a clear sense of the functional role and ideal person required for the job. This will help you decide how and where to advertise your job to attract the best and most suitable applicants, from a sign stuck up in the window to a full page spread in a national publication.

When writing your job advertisement, be sure to include a brief summary of the job description and person specification along with the job title, salary range, benefits, positive reasons for joining the company and details of how to apply. Use the person specification as a template for evaluating the quality of each application you receive before drawing up a shortlist of applicants for interview.

2. Securing the Best Employees

Once you have your shortlist of applicants, contact them as soon as possible to arrange interviews. If you delay, the best applicants may well be snapped up by the competition! Allow enough time between interviews to ensure that neither you nor your applicants feel rushed.

Be friendly during interviews and put applicants at ease. This will make it more likely for them to be open with you about: their reasons for wanting the job, knowledge or skills deficits and future career plans.

Do not make the mistake of assuming your chosen applicant will automatically accept your offer of employment. Remember, applicants will be evaluating you and your business every bit as much as you will be evaluating them.

Be prepared to answer honestly any questions they may have about the job. Make the terms and conditions of your job attractive. Check out what other employers are offering and bear in mind that, as long as any benefits you offer to employees are properly costed, it is relatively simple to offer alternative equivalent options that can be tailored to suit individual interests and needs. Not all benefits cost money either and certain options, such as flexible hours, can be very appealing to some employees.

3. Retaining the Best Employees

A business is only as good as the staff it employs so make sure you hang on to your best employees by keeping them happy and motivated. Many employees spend the majority of their waking hours in work so try to create an environment that is comfortable and pleasant. Keep the office clean and tidy, paint the walls a fresh neutral shade, buy comfortable chairs and invest in a couple of pot plants. It may seem trivial but small luxuries like good quality coffee and decent toilet paper can also make all the difference!

Avoid disgruntled mutterings in the corridors by encouraging employees to have their say. Try installing a suggestion box or graffiti board and be sure to take note of and respond to any concerns or suggestions that are raised. Be clear with employees about their role and what is expected of them.

All employees should be given a written employment contract and a copy of their job description which a solicitor can draft for you. Regular appraisals also provide a valuable opportunity to review individual performance, encourage and support people to perform better and offer congratulations where people have excelled.

Develop a culture of excellence among your employees by offering rewards and incentives for outstanding work and demonstrate appreciation for the efforts of all your employees by investing in occasional treats and celebrations.