Employing People In Your Veterinary or Animal Care Business
As your business develops you may need or want to start employing people to help meet your business objectives.
But - and this is an important but, there is lots to consider so it's not a decision to take lightly!
Here are five top tips for you to consider before you start employing people.
- Job Descriptions and Person Specifications - What do you want people to do? No matter how small or large your business is, having clear job descriptions and person specifications written down is vital. Why? It'll help you to be clear what you want someone to do, and so can work out how many hours you really need to employ someone for and what you want to pay. Plus it will give your employee certainty over what they will be doing. So basically it will help avoid confusion on both sides. Being clear on job roles will be helpful for when you recruit.
- Remember if you recruit with clarity you're more likely to employ someone who wants to work with you for longer, and so avoid unnecessary repeat recruitment and all the costs that entails (advertising, induction training, etc).
- Employment Contract - Verbal agreements are great until something goes wrong. Remember that if money exchanges hands, then you can effectively create a contract even without paperwork. So avoid lack of clarity for you and your employee(s) by having written employment contracts that both you and the employee(s) sign BEFORE work starts.
- Even if you "appoint" a contractor / freelance person to carry out a specific piece of work for you, agree in writing what you want and what they will do. It will make it clearer, really important in case anything goes wrong.
- Performance Management - This does not have to be complicated. However, if you and your employee both know what is expected it will help you to know if the work needing to be done is completed on time and correctly. Decide what needs to be done, discuss with your employee the best way to achieve it and agree a target to meet the objective. If your employee(s) need reasonable training or support to get the job done, then as a good employer who wants to ensure your employee(s) develop their skills and knowledge, then you should organise this training and support
- Absence Policies - You may have in the employment contract what the holiday and sick pay entitlement is. But a policy (or separate policies) to cover how holidays (annual leave) should be booked (e.g. how far in advance), how notification of sickness absence should be made, and how other absences should be handled is always a good idea. Having clear policies written down and clearly known by your employee(s) will help manage expectations for all and enable you as the employer to take action if unauthorised absence occurs.
- Training and Development - This can link into performance management, but is another separate area really. Investing in your employee(s) development of skills and knowledge will not only help them to further their career (hopefully with you!), but will enable them to better fulfil their work so they help meet your business objectives. How many courses can someone attend per year? If you pay for a course for your employee(s) and a qualification is achieved, will you have a contract in place that means if they leave your employment within a certain time period they have to pay for the course fees?
There is of course lots more to think about when employing people, not least taxes, national insurance contributions and pensions. You could also consider buying in help when you need it from a staffing agency, a virtual assistant or "procure" the work from a company or individual - if you do this, then get at least 2 or 3 quotations to compare services and price. This will help you when you're very busy or have a specific project.
I hope the top tips here help you develop your veterinary or animal care business.
For more great business basics, why not take my online course "Your Guide to Planning Your Animal Care Business", take a look at https://animal-star-social-media.teachable.com/p/your-guide-to-planning-your-animal-care-business
If you'd like some useful employment advice, then the ACAS website is full of helpful tips and information too - you can find it at http://www.acas.org.uk