By Jon Smith, Author Of Smarter Business Start-Ups

Hire the right person for the job and it can only mean success; get it wrong and it could collapse the business. Naturally, the first people you will turn to in your hour of need are your friends and family. You will no doubt be aware of their present circumstances, salary and job satisfaction – which is an awful lot of information and allows you to offer an alternative package and working conditions to win them over.

Employing friends and family can be the best move you and your business can make. You already know about their reliability, timekeeping and sickness record and there is a good chance that you will get more for your money in terms of number of hours worked and quality of work. On the flip side, there is also a very good chance that it can all backfire spectacularly, and then you are left with the worst of all decisions: how do you get rid of them?

Make sure you are familiar with your rights and responsibilities as an employer before you hire anyone. In particular, write down clear, detailed job descriptions and give them to potential employees along with their contract of employment. The job description helps to focus everyone’s attention on what is required, and can be very useful if there are subsequent disputes.

Recruitment agencies perform a valuable service and expect to be paid accordingly. The charges vary wildly depending on your location, industry and the level at which the job is advertised. Using an agency often does result in your business being staffed by the right person, very quickly, but it comes at a cost. Don’t feel any loyalty, advertise the role with as many agencies as possible, and take the position off their books if an agency continues to send unsuitable applicants.

Placing adverts for positions vacant can be an expensive option, but if you are able to write and place well-written adverts in well-targeted locations, then the savings and quality of applicant can be very good indeed. The level of the position will quickly make it obvious where you really need to be advertising. Local papers do serve a function, but only really up to a certain level. The national newspapers are expensive but their penetration, assuming you research the paper’s readership and themes, can prove to be one single payment resulting in a plethora of interest, all from good candidates.

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