Five tips for finding the right staff

If you’re thinking of hiring extra staff it probably means one of two things – business is expanding, or you’re looking to cut back your own hours. Either way, it’s a good thing. Choosing the right people to join your business, however, can make a big difference to it’s ongoing success.

There’s good reason to put in the extra effort to find the right person too, with one Oxford Economics report1 suggesting replacing a staff member can cost nearly $60,000. It's little wonder Apple's Steve Jobs said interviewing was one of the most important jobs for a CEO – and he backed up his words with actions, reportedly doing over 5,000 interviews.

Here are some simple steps to take when considering growing your business with extra staff.


Just like networking for referrals is important for business development, networking with peers can help you find the right candidate. Strong relationships can make you more proactive when recruiting, letting you select those who are the best fit for your business when they become available – or even when they’re not. The alternative risks being rushed to make a decision from the available talent when there is greater urgency – something which may increase the likelihood of staff turnover in the future.

Offer what others can’t

It’s true that good salaries usually attract good staff, however employees usually prioritise more than money when choosing the right employer. According to one PWC survey Millennials at work: Reshaping the workplace, 52 per cent of millennials said good opportunities for career progression made an employer attractive. This was, in fact, the top response, ahead of financial incentives. It’s important to uncover what’s important to your prospective employee, from ongoing education and training, to providing the flexibility a young family often demands.

Recruit from a variety of sources

By not looking outside financial advice experience you risk missing out on some talented client support staff. That’s the view of Brendan O’Reilly from Bridges Financial Services who suggests a career in hospitality is a reliable pointer to good client-facing staff.

“Staff who have experience serving customers generally translates to a good client experience in a financial advice environment,” Brendan says.

Identify the best fit for your company

Consider the culture of your business so you can find a personality which suits the environment in your office, as this can be more important for your business than experience.

Finally… the interview

Just as your prospective employees will be practising answers on the way to your office, you should also prepare for interviews. After all, your questions can be as important as their answers.

Behavioural-based interview techniques provide insights into the candidate's values, such as past behaviours and experience from past jobs. This is a way to learn the candidate's strengths and weaknesses more effectively than asking 'what are your strengths?' or 'where do you see yourself in five years'?

Some behavioural based interview questions:

  • What did you learn from your first job that still influences you today?
  • What's an example of a difficult problem you helped solve for a client?
  • What's an example of when you took the initiative or lead to get something done?
  • Tell me about a time you disagreed with a client – how did you react?

Incorporating these techniques into your recruitment process should help place the right person in your business and save the headache of high staff turnover down the line.


The information contained in this newsletter is provided on behalf of the IOOF group of companies and is intended for financial adviser use only. It is given in good faith and has been prepared based on information that is believed to be accurate and reliable at the time of publication. Any examples are for illustration purposes only and are based on the continuance of present laws and our interpretation of them at the time.