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As a small business owner, you may be working with a multi-generational workforce. At any time you may have up to four different generations working together. You’ve heard of the “Traditionalists” (born between 1922-1945) and of course, the “Boomers”(1946-1964); Generation X (those born between 1965–1979); and Generation Y (those born between 1980-1999).
But each of these groups have different values and views on work in general so using the same approach with such diverse groups is not the best HR practice. Instead, you want to create a “Gen Y Friendly” culture and workplace, and balance it with the needs of a multi-generational workforce.

In this day and age, a high percentage of people, especially women, are afraid to be assertive because society may view them as being pushy or overbearing. However, assertiveness is the complete opposite – being able to stand up for your self is a very powerful tool.

In my last blog, Can You Express Your Feelings? we examined emotional expression.
Now let’s discuss the second competency in the self-expression area, Assertiveness. Assertiveness is the ability to express your thoughts, feelings and beliefs clearly and in a non-offensive way. It is the balance between being passive and aggressive.

In British Columbia, many people in skilled trades, technical and management positions will be retiring between 2015 and 2020. Fact: it is going to become even tougher to find skilled workers in the future. Companies adept at recruitment and retention will have a competitive advantage.

Some Recruitment Basics

Below are some suggestions to help attract good people who will stay with your company beyond a couple of pay periods.

The talent wars are making a come-back and employee retention will represent the most important competitive edge a business has. If your company has the best talent in your industry, if you’re not spending thousands of dollars on replacing key staff, if you are the magnet for employees – just imagine that competitive edge.

Where to start? Business owners are innundated with “best employer practices” and there are countless examples to follow, but here are some key pieces and sample best practices in this complex puzzle.

Recruiting a manager is extra work crammed into your already bursting schedule. It’s also work you do infrequently (we hope!), meaning you may get rusty between cycles. Most people have great intentions when they start to recruit, but the process can be draining. When fatigue sets in, remind yourself of the goal.

How many times have you thought: “If we just find the right people, everything else will fall into place”? A good hire can add hundreds of thousands of dollars to your bottom line, and a great hire transforms that one-time bump into an annuity paying dividends year after year. But how will you find that great hire?

Use Your Network

Before you contact job sites and recruiting firms, use your network! Current employees, past employees, friends, colleagues, suppliers, and sometimes competitors can be a great source of candidate leads. Tell your network that you are looking, and be clear about what you are looking for.

Be Memorable

Problem solving is a key skill that can make a huge difference to your business. Whether resolving a problem between you and your client, you and your employees, or you and your union, three things need to exist:

1.Shared goals: The thing about shared goals is that you have to walk the talk. In good problem resolution, before trying to solve the problem, take the time to define what the problem is in detail. Ask “Why” over and over until you can’t go any deeper. If you don’t work on the roots of a problem, any resolution is merely temporary.

Communication is one of the biggest issues for employers, so you are not alone if you struggle with it. In a small company which has very few people, communication happens easily because you sit side by side. As the company grows it becomes more and more difficult to keep in touch. Even with the advent of myriad ways of communication (email, skype, text, chat, twitter, facebook, blog, etc.), managers struggle with how to get their messages across.

In business, when it comes to the proper fit, nowhere is it more important than in recruitment of new staff. Your hiring strategy is key to your company’s future growth. There is no better way to retain employees than to ensure their personal and work values fit in with the culture of your company. Learn about these five steps for a successful hiring process.

1. Start with the job description
Ensure that the job description is current and accurately reflects the requirements, skills, and knowledge required to complete the job at the highest possible level.

Human resources is part of the larger business strategy in a small business. Recruitment and employee training has to fit in with the business culture. There are several points to consider while deciding on the HR strategy for your business.

1. Recruitment
Know what you are hiring for. Use lots of behavioural interviewing questions – otherwise the business may be systemically hiring people who can answer rehearsed interview questions. Check references.