By Stacey Ings, HR Director, Fasthosts Internet Ltd

As part of Fasthosts’ Inspiring Better Business campaign, www.fasthosts.co.uk/inspire, successful British business owners have been sharing their best business advice. A frequent piece of advice has been that their personnel have been instrumental to success, and for some, their most valued resource.

Howard Durdle, CTO of Fiscal technologies, provider of accounts payable forensics software, recently gave an insight into the secret behind his company’s success. He credits, “hiring people that are smarter than you. Once you have the right staff, let them get on with their jobs and get out of their way.”

Similarly, Daniel Davies, Chief Executive of CPL Training, a bespoke training provider, additionally expresses the importance of securing a smart, ambitious team, stating the importance of building a team of connected people who share the same goals. Having been in business for over 23 years, Davies admits that if it wasn’t for key members of his staff, CPL Training would not be the success it is today.

Finally, Glenn Elliott, CEO and Founder of Asperity, an employee benefit programme provider to leading companies such as SKY and M&S, praised his excellent team, for the growth and expansion of his business into a global provider.
Clearly, finding the right professionals for your business and retaining them through investing and rewarding can be key to taking a business to the next level. It could mean the difference between a good business and a great one.
But how exactly do you establish and nurture a pool of talent?

Here are 5 easy to follow steps…

1) It is important to create the right external perception of your organisation in order to attract talent. Publishing case studies and the use of social media are great ways to showcase jobs and employee progression.

2) Identify the potential in people early and decide how best to manage and progress that within the business. By understanding what people want to do when they join you, you can work out how to help them progress whilst meeting key business objectives. It is not merely about the role you’re recruiting someone into when they join, but rather about investing in the development of their skills in order to fulfil a future business need.

3) Keep investing in your staff. Development plans, e-learning materials and in-house training teams and courses are a great way to develop your internal resources; training plans do not have to be expensive. It is however important to ensure employees are involved and execute a 50/50 employee/manager contribution. Be open and honest with your employees about what you can and can’t deliver.

4) Create a talent pipeline. Essentially, schools hold the talent of the future so by building good relationships with local schools and colleges you build a better name for the business in the local area and appeal to students early on. You can support students part way through university and then bring them back in when they’ve graduated.

5) Recruit talent with the view to developing people internally to take on bigger roles in the future. View each staff member in terms of a talent lifecycle. It is better to develop employees and then perhaps lose them, than never to develop them and have never realised their potential. Bring in senior staff with strong business skills who can act as a mentor to help develop more junior members of staff.

The biggest asset of any type or size of business is its human resource. Business owners and HR personnel would be wise to take steps to invest steadily into their human capital. The success of their staff will directly impact both the bottom line and the long term development of the company. Put simply by Daniel Davies, of CPL Training, “you can live or die by the people in your business”. Wise words indeed.