As your business grows there will come a time when you won’t be able to do everything that needs to be done. At that stage it is time to think about hiring the people you need to move on to the next stage. The last in this series of acronyms is STAFF


Staff can really make a difference to how a business is perceived. It’s a matter of making sure that the people you hire fit the image of your business and do your business proud.

It is also very important to remember that they will need to be able to grow as your business grows.

It’s all very well hiring a person who can do what you need them to do now, will they be able to grow with your business or is upskilling them going to be a problem for you, or them?

Some employees are great a doing specific tasks and can be hired for that, while others can be good all-rounders while not being brilliant at any one specific task.

Know in advance what your requirements are likely to be before hiring.


Trial periods are pretty much an essential part of hiring new employees now. I remember when I started working (many years ago) trial periods were not the norm and I was a rather upset the first time I was given a one-month trial period.

People can interview really well and have brilliant references to back them up, however until they are in the position for real, dealing with the issues involved in that position, you and they won’t know for sure if they really are the right person for that job.

Trial periods give both parties the opt-out clause if it isn’t a good fit.


Accountability is a very important aspect of any employment. Conscientious staff are great. They are very much aware that how they behave will have an impact on your business’s image as well as themselves and they do their best to be their best both for you and for themselves turning up on time and completing tasks on time and to a high standard.

The opposite of this is the slovenly presented member of staff who always manages to turn up late with excuses, whinges and whines about any type of deviation from their normal workload, which they do to a very shoddy standard, has an excuse as to why it was not their fault it was completed late.


Fringe benefits, do you offer them or not? I know that with the economic downturn many of the fringe benefits of the Celtic Tiger were bonuses, medical insurance, company cars, a “loose” expense account, company mobile phone.

They were used quite often to sweeten a recruiting deal, in fact some people insisted on having nearly all of the above to come work for some of the businesses looking to hire them.

Now many businesses are watching where every penny goes and many of the extras have been withdrawn or been caught in the taxman’s net.

Some business owners are becoming very inventive with the fringe benefits they offer, others are simply not offering them at all.


Freelancers are an alternative to hiring employees. They have many advantages too as you only hire and pay them for the particular project in question.

There are no issues with holiday/sick pay, staff grumbles or disturbances. They tend to specialise in niches that they become expert at and you can tap into that as required.

The downside to hiring a freelancer is getting a dud one that does not perform to the standard promised and delays a project’s successful completion.

Like with employees checking references is essential prior to hiring along with agreeing all terms and conditions in advance.

There many success stories from business owners who feel like they’ve struck gold with certain employees they’ve hired and employees who feel they’ve got the best boss in the world.

How has having employees impacted on your business?

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