Keepers Accountancy's Blog

The 5 traits to look for in a small business employee

Posted by Ludovica Zallot on Oct 27, 2016 5:00:00 PM

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As a small business you are very reliant on your team - that is why it is essential to find the right person

Bigger firms can often rely on a large network of staff and HR personnel to recruit new employees. As a small business, you have limited resources - and that is why you need to get it right. You will need staff members with the flexibility to take on varied roles and cope with changing needs. So if it's time for your SME to recruit, here are the 5 traits of the perfect small business employee.
Being flexible and adaptable

In bigger firms, each employee often has a well-defined role and will not be expected to take on tasks that are very different from those initially agreed. In a small business, not only an employee might need to take on a variety of responsibilities - but these might also change over time as the business grows or as other team members are recruited. For example, the same staff member might be required to give a presentation to a client on minute, but be asked to mind the phones the next. Within a small team, therefore, it is important for each member to be flexible.

Taking ownership of tasks and responsibility for mistakes

In a big firm, a mistake is easier to cover up and is less likely to have an impact on the company. In a small firm, however, an error can have a more significant effect of the performance of the business, and there is certainly nowhere to hide. It is easier to assign responsibility, so an employee should be able to come clear - admit the mistake, learn from it, and move on. If you are hiring a freelancer, who might work away from the office, it is also essential for them to take ownership of the task at hand and work independently - but be a team player at the same time.

Having the right attitude, even without the experience

Without the resources of big firms, which are able to attract expert workers, small businesses might not be able to obtain employees with established skills. That is why attitude is the trait to focus on instead - the expertise can be developed later, and in the area most required by the circumstances, which might change as the business grows. You will need people who are ambitious and interested in advancing the business, so attitude is essential.


Having an entrepreneurial spirit

Working in a small firm can be a fantastic, eye-opening formative experience for many people who are planning to start their own business at some point. These entrepreneurs can make great members of staff as they will take full advantage of the opportunity being offered to them, to learn the skills needed, take risks and go over their responsibilities. An employee with a certain amount of entrepreneurial spirit can therefore be of great help to the growth of a business, so it is definitely a trait to look out for.

Being positive and enthusiastic

Finding an employee that "fits in" with the company culture is important. They should be able to get along with everyone else as well as challenge decisions and bring their own input into discussions and meetings. In big firms, a large team can help dilute individual personalities that might not fit in so well - but in a small business this can be more difficult. Enthusiasm and a positive personality are therefore important traits to find in an employee.

In conclusion, a small business might need to focus more on the attitude and personality of potential candidates when recruiting. The skills can be developed on the job, but not without the right amount of positive attitude and enthusiasm. In addition to that, it is important for an employee to be able to work independently as well as a team player when required, and take on additional tasks will ensure that all the work gets done. Finding someone with ambition might also help your business get that additional push that will help it grow.

If you have any questions about this issue, do not hesitate to seek professional help, or if you are with Keepers, talk to us now. On top of offering some of the best accountancy services in Sussex, we also give free business advice and free tips for small businesses. Book your Free Telephone Conversation with us now. Keepers, the proactive accountants in Sussex.

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Topics: business tips, Employees, start up advice, recruitment