Home' Border Enterprise : Enterprise Spring-Summer 2009 Contents Q&A
Q. I own a small, successful business. I
have encountered problems with people I
have employed. Do you have any thoughts
about how to find the right person?
A. Every employer should be looking
for the best possible new employee
but sometimes the best person can be
Certificates, qualifications and experience
are important guides in selecting staff, but
they aren't necessarily the be-all and end-all.
I've seen good people miss out on jobs
because of poor calls made by employers,
including the applicant had "too much
experience", was "too motivated", "too
ambitious" or "overqualified". Since when
has being motivated or qualified been a
shortcoming in any applicant?
As much as anything else, you should be
considering "the person" you interview - their
reasons for wanting to work for you; their
willingness to lear n; their life skills; maturity;
thoughts about teamwork; decision-making
ability; their needs, expectations and plans;
their knowledge of your business; and their
potential to develop.
Age should never be a barrier. It's an
enhancement, whether it is a young person
with the potential to soak up knowledge in
a new job, or a mature-age job seeker who
brings life skills, experience and maturity
that comes with time. They each have
When considering new staff, focus more on
what they do know, or have the potential
to lear n through training, than trying to
discover what they don't know.
Make your selection interviews the most
important thing you do on any work day.
Clear your desk, stop all calls and give
yourself the chance to really absorb what
these people have to offer your business.
Once you have selected the person you
want, contact the unsuccessful applicants
to infor m them of your decision and thank
them for having applied for the job.
Q. I'm 24 and working for someone else,
but I would like to start my own business.
I have what I think is a viable and unique
business idea. Is there anyone who might be
willing to help me get started?
A. Have a look at the Enterprise Network
for Young Australians (ENYA) enya.org.au.
If you are aged 15-30, ENYA can provide
infor mation about how to start a business
and see it grow.
You can find out about its Micro Enterprise
Program (for 18-29 year- olds) and the Micro
Enterprise Loan Program supported by
National Australia Bank.
There is also advice and infor mation from
professionals in accounting, public relations,
legal services and marketing, and ongoing
ENYA is a not-for-profit organisation that
has provided support to a wide variety of
new businesses started by young people.
You can phone ENYA on 1300136921.
Q. I'm an employer who has just
interviewed two applicants for a job.
Although both have been out of work for a
while, they show good potential, they are
keen and their CVs are good. My problem is
how do I separate this pair of applicants?
A. Interviews can be one part of the
selection process but you might benefit by
inviting these two people back to take them
for a walk through the workplace. You can
lear n much about possible new employees
by taking them out of the interview room
and spending some time in the workplace.
See what their reaction is to the prospective
new work environment. Introduce them
to your staff. Ask any further relevant
questions but also listen to the questions
they may ask you about your business, the
workplace and about the job. Be honest in
considering what this job really needs from
a new worker. What training options exist?
What experience do you really need? Are
you looking for someone to stick with this
job as it is or do you see the job growing
and evolving? Ultimately, your inner voice
should help you find reasons to support one
applicant over the other.
Another consideration: can you employ
both of these good applicants? Is there room
for both? Would it be financially viable? If
you do select one person, then make sure
you let the other know they were close and
you appreciate their application --- provide
honest and genuine encouragement. Be
honest and fair in your consideration and
you will usually end up selecting the right
person for the job.
Q. What incentives exist for employers
considering employing people with
A. Some of the incentives can be
found at workplace.gov.au/workplace/
which provides infor mation about support
available through Auslan for Employment
(financial support to assist employers with
the costs associated with deaf employees),
the National Disability Recruitment Co-
ordinator service, Supported Wage Schemes,
the Wage Subsidy Scheme and the
Workplace Modification Scheme.
People with disabilities should never be
overlooked. They can be great employees.
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