Small business: SMEs hiring staff

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Shona Grundy, CEO and co-founder of Trigger Happy

Shona Grundy of Trigger Happy.
Shona Grundy of Trigger Happy.

This week's columns describe the scary but exciting task of bringing on board new people for your business often at a time when you have no HR experience whatsoever and their contribution is crucial. You have big dreams for them as you have for your business. Their skills and ideas are going to add to what you have created and you hope they will fall in love with your brainchild as much as you have.

One of the recurring pieces of advice from this week's businesses, is to take your time and choose carefully. Don't hire in a knee jerk fashion because mistakes are expensive and can even bring a new company down.

We hear from the experienced businessman Brett Wells, a director of the music business, Rockshop who has been through 26 years of hiring employees. His key criterion is his staff must be musicians. It's a non-negotiable.

For the start up, Trigger Happy, about to launch its exciting new platform for iPAd, TOON HERO, after two rounds of funding it has gone from four to 18 staff in the space of a year or so.

CEO Shona Grundy says it has been an extremely steep learning curve on recruiting and branding the company for employees and others. And when you are launching such an ambitious business, there is not really room for juniors.

Clarian's Clare Parkes is often brought in by small businesses who don't have an HR function. As a small business owner herself, she sympathises with the idea that taking on your first few employees is daunting. She has some good tips on behaviorial interviewing which will help you figure out if your candidate is the right one.

Next week: You would think that any company which has fast growth has nothing to complain about. But sometimes very fast growth can bring a business to its knee if they don't have the systems in place and the advisers on hand. Tell us if you have had the good fortune to be in this situation and survive.

- NZ Herald

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