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Employing Someone "How Do I Get The Right Person?"

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Woodythepecker

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After researching the market and putting together a business plan for my bank manager, i was pretty confident that the market was there and i had the skills to go it alone and start my own business.

As i knew i would have several commissions to start with i set realistic target sales for the first 12 months, and if all went to plan i expected to employ someone to help me within the next 2 years. The thing is i could never of foreseen the real amount of commissions that have come in. It really is a dream and these are all through word of mouth, but the trouble is (if you can call it that) i need to employ someone now.

Do any of you have experience of employing staff? How do i go about finding out how good he or she is?
It is really strange but i am having a bit of a panic over this. I am confident enough to start my own business, but i lose it at the thought of employing someone, go figure. It may just be that i didn't expect to need someone to help me so fast.

At the moment i am in the middle of converting a 30ft room into a oak library which is taking a tad longer than i thought, but i am getting there. I will post a picture when it is finished and i get a camera.

After this i can get back to the workshop to start the commissions that i really want, designing one off pieces of furniture.

Cheers

Woody
 
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Anonymous

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Woody

Best advice I can offer is to be sure EXACTLY what you want the employee to do first.

Do you want a skilled cabinet maker or a guy to knock things together? or a labourer? Will they act as part salesman or part designer or just maker?

I would list questions such as these first of all and then you will have some idea of exactly what ''type' of employee you need and might well recognise the right person

Hope this drivel helps

Good luck
 

bg

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I would suggest you suggest to a potential employee they become self employed and you use them as a sub-contractor. Saves on the paperwork and sick pay
 

johnelliott

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bg":8h2z86re said:
I would suggest you suggest to a potential employee they become self employed and you use them as a sub-contractor. Saves on the paperwork and sick pay
but can lead to problems with the tax and NI authorities
John
 

johnelliott

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The single most important thing about an employee, and one often overlooked during the selection procedure, is them actually turning up for work. It makes no difference how good they are at their job if they aren't there. Ususally the younger the person the more of an issue this is likely to be. Many, most even, youngsters consider their friends and their social interactions to be far more important than boring, mundane stuff such as work.
Learning to get up and go to work every morning can take a quite a few years, it certainly did for me, I went through a good many jobs before I got the message.
Bearing the above in mind, I would recommend choosing an older person with a good employment record, even if in an unrelated field. They can always learn
John
 

DAZB

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I've found when employing Joiners , Decorators , Plasterers , or any trade for that matter , that one of the most important attributes is common sense. I've had Joiners that have gone through college, got all their qualifications , and then being put onto jobs where they have been plasterboarding walls and ceilings for example, and have driven Drywall screws so deep that they have gone half way through the board and well below the paper surface thinking that the deeper the screw went the better hold it had. Obviously if you go below the board surface the grip diminishes and it is common sense to see that but I had an entire living room to refix one time because the Joiner had very little common sense. He said afterwards that it is not something they are taught at college but in my view if he was unsure he should have had the common sense to come and ask my advice. As they say " common sense ain't all that common " .I know it is not all that easy to judge at the interview stage so when taking people on I would advise you starting them on a two week trial period or for one job first to assess if they are suitable and compatable with your methods. Good luck.
 

Taffy Turner

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Having done a fair bit of recruiting in my professional life, I would agree with most of what has been said above.

Sit down and write a list of what their duties will be and any "must have" skills or attributes. This will help you clarify on your own mind what you are looking for, and will make the interview process much easier.

Be wary of employing a youngster, as many of them seem to regard coming to work as something that can be fitted in around their social life. Obviously not all are like this, but it is impossible to tell at interview.

Don't be afraid at the interview stage to get the prospective candidate to actually demonstrate their skills - watch for their method of work - are they methodical, do they treat the tools with care, or just throw them back on the bench etc.

When you do take someone on, make sure that you stipulate that their first three months are a probationary period, only making them permanent subject to satisfactory performance. Also, don't forget that employment rights don't apply for the first 12 months, so even if they make it through probation, but still turn out to less than ideal, you can let them go without any claims for unfair dismissal, redundancy pay etc.

In a situation like yours, where presumably the two of you will be working in close proximity, it is essential that you employ someone who you get on with, and whose company you actually enjoy. This is very important, as it is no good employing the most skilled craftsman on the planet if he (or she) is an annoying twonk to work with, or has bad breath or BO (trust me on this - I speak from personal experience).

I hope that this helps. Good luck.
 
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Taffy Turner":14d5nepd said:
Be wary of employing a youngster, as many of them seem to regard coming to work as something that can be fitted in around their social life. Obviously not all are like this, but it is impossible to tell at interview.
Forgot to mention this. Many of our students seem to think lectures, tutorials and labs get in the way of the social life.
Can't blame them really - would you want to listen to me talk for 2 hours??? :shock: :shock: :roll: :cry:

(don't answer that, I offend easily)
 
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Anonymous

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I've also interviewed and hired a lot of people in my lifetime. The main thing to remember is that you won't find the perfect person who has all the skills and experience you need, but if you do and you hire them they will be bored within a week and start looking around immediately. Look for potential, explore the candidate's mind as well as their practical capabilities. Think about what you really want from them - a jobber or someone who can think for themselves and make you more successful (two extremes).

VERY importantly, look at their personality. Are you a quiet person who likes to get your head down and do the work, or do you need constant chatter, interruptions and noise around you before you feel as though you're doing something? Those two opposite types are the most difficult to work with, especially in a team of only two...

I also think that subcontracting work to someone first is probably the best way of evaluating their skills. If they are interested in working for you they will push for the employment themselves. It's really important to have someone who's committed - but that's been gone into already.

There are lots of good books on hiring people. Check out your local library. And watch out for employment law - it changes regularly, especially with the EU doing its thing rather too frequently...

Good luck!
 

Noel

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Woody,

As with all of the above but personally, trust your instinct, especially if you find you "click" with a particular candidate.

Noel
 

Woodythepecker

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Thank you all for what seems some very good and sound advice.

subcontracting or a probationary period is an excellent idea, as is the advice to check out my local library for books on hiring people.

There is a great deal more to employing someone then you first think and as i have always been an employee there is a lot to learn, such as employment law.

Some of you will know that my sisters hobby is cabinet making and she is very good, so she is going to give me a hand until i can employ someone.

I will keep you up to date.

Once again thank you all for your advice.
 

Midnight

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I can't say I've any experience in the hire em / fire em side of things... but I've had to nursemaid my share of hired help, trying to guide them into "our way of doing things".... some make it... some struggle.... some flame out spectacularly....

Given that hiring someone with a decent skill set is a pre-requisite.. I'd tender another attribute over and above those suggested.. Knowing when to ask...
I've found over the years that the guys who settle into the job best are the ones who aren't afraid to stop and think about the job, figure out how they'd do it.... then grab you for 5 mins to run their ideas past you.. guys who recognize that asking even basic questions ISN'T a sign of stupidity or lack of competence, but a sign of maturity... pretty soon they'll get a feel for the standard you're looking for, the questions start to tail off as they gain their feet, and you can relax, knowing that they know that if there's a prob, they can stop and run something by you...
The other side of the coin are the guys who talk a good job, do things their way without checking, won't listen to advise and end up either causing a hellova mess or get themselves sent down the road simply because they're too inflexible to listen to what's required...

It's been my experience that the "right" qualities aren't confined to one particular age group...nor an particular background...but they're definitely worth holding out for till you find the right guy...
Lets face it... life's too short to accept second best....

Woody.. I wish you all the best with your enterprise....
 

Woodythepecker

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Mike, thankyou for the advice. I agree that i would rather employ someone who had the where with all to run his/her ideas past me, instead of the know all who did it his way, probably ruin a lot of timber, set the contract back, and then say " Oh sh-t how did that happen"

How do i know this know all so well? "Guilty As Charged" When i first started my affair with timber, i thought that i knew it all. One of the cabinet makers Fred (or the nosey old B-------, as i used to call him) tried to show me the ropes, but what did he know, anyone could use a machine and a few poxy tools. I just wanted to earn a few bob so i could hit the clubs at the weekend. Then one day there was an accident in which one of the guys who was working on a spindle moulder lost a finger (he had taken the guard off to make feeding the timber faster), and although this took me back a bit, it was what happened about a week later that made me realise that i wanted to learn all i could about working with wood. Fred came up to me and asked me to sign a get well card. When i gave the card back to him he opened his bag to put it in and i caught sight of what looked like a mahogany frame, i asked him to show me and what he pulled out was not a frame but a wonderful mahogany box (which contained a set of wood turning chisels). To say this box was beautiful is an understatement. All around the edges Fred had carved a number of guitars and on the top was a fantastic picture of Elvis done completely with 40 different vaneers. There is no way i can describe how good this was done, but from that day on i pestered Fred to show me how he did it and i am still completely rubbish.

It's funny how something like this can change your outlook. After this i showed him a lot more respect and i came to enjoy work.

I must say that if it wasn't for this old guy i would not have my own business today, he taught me almost everything i know, and what i already knew he retaught how to do it correctly. He was a genius with wood, and loved to use hand tools. After this i had a lot more respect for him, but this wasn't to say that he didn't get on my nerves. For instance he had a lathe in his workshop at home and i wanted him to show me how to turn wood. He said that he would pleased too but before he would even let me turn it on i had to learn to sharpen turning chisels, every single different one of them. It goes without saying that the air was blue on a few occasions.

Sadly Fred died a few years ago and he is sadly missed.

Cheers Mike

Woody
 
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