Most Bookkeeping Practices reach a point where you need to think about employing staff. But how do you choose the right person who will be a good fit for your business and clients? What skills do they need? What personal qualities or attributes are important?

Employing staff can be time consuming, and if you get it wrong, can be both expensive and do a lot of damage to your business!

It is just easier to do it myself!

Regardless of their experience and background, when you bring new people on board it also requires an investment of time to get them up to speed and operating effectively.

When confronted with these challenges, the temptation is to think it is easier “to do it myself” and just work longer hours if needed. After all, you know your clients intimately, and can do things both quickly and efficiently!

But the reality is this is not sustainable, and it also places a ceiling on your capacity to generate income, grow your business and effectively service your clients.

Also, it is virtually impossible to scale up, if the business is so dependant on you having your finger in everything!

Employing Staff  Step 1 – Decide the type of person you need to employ

To ensure you employ the right type of person who will add value to your business you need to take a step back and define the qualities you are looking for:

  • Someone who will embody your vision for your business
  • Have the same work ethic and desire to help clients
  • Be able to be productive, capable, efficient, knowledgeable and experienced
  • Be loyal, not take your clients and do the right thing
  • Plus more

Whilst technical skills and experience are important – they are a given – the secret to successfully employing staff is to get clarity around the qualities you are looking for!

Employing Staff  Step 2 – Decide exactly the role the new employee needs to fulfil!

  • The next step is to decide what work should you hand over!
  • As a busy owner we wear many hats, CEO, Marketing. System Development, HR, IT, Financial Controller and of course, Technician.

From the vast array of what you currently do – you need to decide what will you actually delegate.

Before going employing staff and advertising it is critical to get clarity around what the new employee will be doing on a day to day basis and not make it up on the run!

Preparing a Position Description will help you gain clarity around this – will sharpen your advertising and help ensure you end up employing the right person.

To get started download my free Sample List of Tasks by Level of Bookkeeper:

Employing Staff  Step 3 – Build a profile of your ideal new team member

  • Once you have determined what work you can hand over - then you can build a profile of your ideal employee candidate:
  • How many years’ experience in bookkeeping do they need to have
  • What experience with software
  • Skills
  • Qualifications
  • Ability to work independently
  • Communication skills – oral and written
  • Ability to work under pressure and handle multiple demands
  • Hours available and flexibility
  • Personal attributes
  • Culture fit within your business
  • Contractor or employee
  • Etc.

The more intimately you can describe your ideal employee the more likely you will find the right candidate

Employing Staff  Step 4 – Decide how you will use the time the new employee frees up

Work has a way of filling a vacuum. If you don't decide how you will use the time the new employee frees up – you may find you are right back at square one in a short space of time!

Have you considered what income you could be earning and different services you could be providing your clients if you replaced your time from doing some of these low-end tasks with:

  • Providing clients with business advice
  • Consulting
  • Training
  • Getting your hands dirty by finding out what your clients really need and developing a service to give it to them

Imagine how your business could look like if you allowed yourself the time to develop further systems to enhance efficiencies in not only your processing but your internal systems.

It is not enough to think about this – you need to allocate time in your calendar to ensure the time freed up by employing staff is effectively used to move the business forward

  • Or are you afraid to be a better version of yourself?

 Employing Staff  Step 5 – Beware the “opportunity cost” trap!

When working through this process, it is important to be mindful of the “opportunity cost” of continuing to do low end work such as scanning, filing, admin tasks and data processing. 

What is this work really costing you?

Too often we continue to do low value work which impedes our capacity to focus on activities that will actually improve or grow our business!

Summary

  • Having determined that employing staff will be beneficial to your business, what work you can hand over, and what skills and experience you need that person to possess, you can begin the process of finding that ideal person. 
  • I recommend you follow the process I have outlined above – rather than simply jumping in and employing someone who may not be the right fit for your business!
  • It is important you understand there is a process to be successful when employing staff – cut corners and the chances are it will lead to regret – or worse!
  • As with everything in business – if you want to be successful you need a plan!
  • If you would like to learn more about how to go about effectively employing staff or want to learn how to grow your Bookkeeping Practice give Katrina a call today on 0414 823 862.

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