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       Kick start 2018 with a good recruitment and selection plan.    It’s a new year, so I bet you have already set some business goals that you would like to achieve in 2018 and beyond. If expansion is on your list, then you are probably considering adding members to your team. Finding the perfect person for your team isn’t always easy. Recruitment can be a tricky process, so here are some things to consider before you go ahead and sign on the dotted line.   Consider the team environment:  If you have   fostered an environment where people want to work, have a good atmosphere, respect your staff and have an open-door policy when to comes to making yourself available to staff, then you are probably in a good space to attract and retain your new recruit(s).   Be clear on the role you are recruiting for:  Make sure you know exactly what the job will entail before recruiting. If you are vague on the details of the position, then it will be hard to find the right person.   Shortlisting:   If you are overwhelmed with applicants, conducting phone interviews can be a good way to drill down to the most suitable candidates to put through to the next stage of the recruitment process.  This is a great way to cut down on the number of face to face interviews, saving both hiring manager and candidates time.   Take your time when interviewing:  Interviewing is not a process to be taken lightly. It is your best chance to find out more about your candidates. Make sure your interview style is structured and consistent. Be objective and involve other people in the process, the hiring manager should not make the final decision alone.   Use all tools available to you:  We live in a digital age where our lives are broadcasted through social media. Before adding someone to your team, Google their name and see what comes up. You might be surprised by the results!   Reference Checks are vital:  Make sure you complete reference checks for every short-listed candidate. Past employers have worked with the candidate before, so will be able to share insights around the candidate’s strengths and weaknesses.   Know the next steps:  Have an on-boarding process in place before you hire a new team member. It will allow them to settle into the role, instantly feel part of the team and you will not waste precious time scrambling for a training plan.  Your employee’s impression of your business starts with how they were treated during the recruitment and selection process.  In today’s candidate short market, nailing your recruitment will ensure that you have the right people to take your business into 2018.   Sign up to our mailing list  and receive FREE HR tips for your business

Kick start 2018 with a good recruitment and selection plan.

Finding the perfect person for your team isn’t always easy. Recruitment can be a tricky process, so here are some things to consider before you go ahead and sign on the dotted line.

       The Good, The Bad And The Ugly Of Employing Family Members   Are you considering employing someone in your family? Before you take the plunge and do something you might regret, it is vital to assess whether it is the right decision for your business or not. Employing family members can be fantastic, but it can also turn out as a disaster. We have done the homework for you so that you can read up before jumping in with both feet.   The Good    Loyalty and Trust   One of the most fantastic things about employing family is that you know exactly what you are going to get. As you have known them for many years, you will have seen them at the best times and also at their worst times, so know how they react to pressure. Because they will have your best interests at heart, you can expect loyalty, and trust they will do the best job possible.   Good Culture   When you work with your family it can be easy to build a great workplace culture. You get on, you will be comfortable around each other, and know when to steer clear. There is no awkwardness of needing to get to know each other before you can work together efficiently.  In a family business, often the culture has been built over generations and tweaked for the current situation. The culture will be able to drive a cohesive decision making process that aligns with the business values and growth goals.   The Bad    Taking Advantage   Some family members can have a tendency of taking advantage. You may find some of the lines get blurred and the rules are only loosely observed. They may expect more leniency, more time off, higher salaries, or better job content than their colleagues. You will need to manage this carefully so that their behaviour does not affect your business.  You as an employer must not take advantage either. Employing family members still means paying them fairly, at least minimum wage. They must also have suitable working conditions, reasonable working hours, and appropriate holiday entitlements.  Also, if you have more than one team member, be very careful not to play favourites with your family members by being more lenient. This can cause resentment from the other team members, and let the family member get away with poor behaviour without reprimand.   Conflict   It is easy for home and business life to collide into one when you work together. Don’t let personal conflicts affect business, and likewise, don’t let business conflicts tarnish personal relationships.  A family business is often full of intense passions as everyone wants what is best for the business. But, you might not always be able to agree on what the best thing is. You may want to consider an outside perspective to resolve conflict over the direction for the business. Whether this means a business coach, a trusted advisor, or even governance from an external board or director - use the means that suit your business.   The Ugly    Safeguard The Unexpected   No matter who you employ, things can go wrong. Whether it is a simple dispute that needs resolving or a major issue, it is important to safeguard your business.  You NEED to have a contract in place with all of your staff or contractors, and that includes family members. That means if push comes to shove, you can put aside the family aspect and fall back on the paperwork. You can follow the correct processes for resolution without the heart strings getting in the way.   Hostile Takeover   Remove the danger of hostile takeover in a family business by succession planning. Get a structure in place that works in the best interest of the business, but still satisfies the individual parties involved.  Recognise that everyone will want to have different levels of involvement. Some will want to see the business continue to tick over and will be happy to maintain the day to day running. But some will want to push the business forward, growing it and opening up its potential. Respect each person’s involvement and assign roles accordingly.   Vital Considerations When Employing Family Members   So we have gone over some of the things you can potentially expect when employing family members, or working in a family business. To help you out, this is a handy list of reference points to make the process as smooth as possible…  ●       Have a formal Job Description and Contract in place so that all parties know what is expected of them  ●       Keep all of the appropriate documentation you would for any other employee: contract, hours worked, pay history, leave taken, proof of their ability to work legally in New Zealand, and legislation records like PAYE  ●       Set clear expectations in terms of behaviour, responsibilities, hours, salary and other potential points of conflict  ●       Ensure that they have the skills and temperament required for the role, don’t give them a job they aren’t qualified for because it seems easy, or you feel sorry for them  ●       Seek external advice from someone able to see the bigger picture  ●       Try to separate business and personal life as much as you can, especially if you have members of your team who are not family members. This removes the perception of favouritism, or preferential treatment  ●       Go into it with your eyes open and be willing to admit if things need to change, or are not working. An awkward conversation is better than jeopardising your whole business  If you need some advice on employing family members, dealing with one already in your employment, or if you need assistance with your family business, then don’t hesitate to get in touch. At In2HR, we work with a number of family businesses and therefore we are able to give you that outsider perspective that is so vital in the success of a business involving family. Get in touch with one of our friendly HR Consultants today!

The Good, The Bad And The Ugly Of Employing Family Members

Before you take the plunge of employing family members and do something you might regret, it is vital to assess whether it is the right decision for your business or not.

       Joint Employer Predictions Come True – Proposed Changes to Legislation   It’s great to hear that our crystal ball is working well. Back in January, we wrote an article on the potential that Franchisors and Franchisees could be seen as Joint Employers [ you can read that article here ]. That prediction seems to be coming true, as the wheels are turning in Australia on proposed legislation changes. It will only be a matter of time before we see the same legislation changes here in New Zealand.  Here is what is happening currently…   Senate Committee Making Progress   As of an April 6th deadline, the senate committee responsible for reviewing the Australian Protecting Vulnerable Workers Bill had received a number of public submissions in support of changing current legislation.  The proposed legislation would make Franchisors liable for any outstanding wages in their networks. This even means outstanding wages for workers who are employed and paid by their Franchisees. The ruling comes in the wake of the recent 7-11 debacle, where the privately-owned company has been forced to repay almost $88 million to underpaid workers.  This bill is a controversial one. While the intention of ensuring all workers get fair wages and fair treatment in their employment is well-meaning, organisations such as the Franchise Council of Australia and The World Franchise Council oppose the liability on franchisors. The danger of an entire network being brought down by the actions of a couple of franchisees is worrying.   The Risks of the Bill   The major risk to Franchisors if the bill is passed in its current form is, that they could be liable for their Franchisee’s failure to pay their own staff correctly.  The change in legislation would see the Franchisor judged on if they ‘could reasonably have been expected to have known’ about the infractions of their Franchisees.  A Franchisor would not have to have direct knowledge of a Franchisee’s wrongdoing to be held liable. And it is not just underpayment of employees that is covered by the Protecting Vulnerable Workers Bill. It extends to a large number of workplace law compliance areas.  As well as increased civil penalties, a Franchisor can be ordered to directly compensate employees that have been underpaid by their Franchisee.   A Target on Franchisors   Franchisors are being targeted in these legislation changes as, franchises are commonly known to have ‘vulnerable workers’. These proposed changes are in direct response to the practice of Franchisees deliberately underpaying employees and Franchisors claiming no knowledge of such a business model.  The proposed changes in legislation will see a significant increase in the responsibility of Franchisors. They will be directly responsible for all of the independent businesses operating in their network. This leaves many Franchisors questioning the difference between company owned stores versus franchised stores - a question that we will have to wait and see as the legislation evolves.    What Can Franchisors Do?   This new legislation will allow Franchisors to remove liability if they have taken reasonable steps to prevent their Franchisees from acting with incorrect practices.  However, this is not a safety net. There are no set rules around what the ‘reasonable steps’ should be. It will all depend on the individual circumstance of the franchise. Consideration will be made to the size of the network and the available resources for regulating the Franchisees within, as well as the Franchisor’s influence, and their arrangements for assessing compliance with the Act.   NZ Franchisors - Time To Get Prepared    While these proposed changes relate to Australian Law, it will not be long before New Zealand Employment Law falls in line. Now is the time to make arrangements that will protect your franchise network. Put systems in place to assess that your Franchisees are abiding by correct employment practices. Then you will be ready for this when these changes come to New Zealand.  At in2HR, we have been busy preparing franchise systems for these changes. We can help you safeguard your franchise by implementing:     A robust on-boarding program for your Franchisees so that they understand their employer obligations.  Ensuring that your Franchisees have the HR support mechanisms to implement best people practices into their business and your franchise.  Provide visibility to you as a Franchisor into your franchisees business through conducting regular HR audits. This will give you peace of mind that your Franchisees are complying with employment legislation and that your brand is protected.    If you are an established franchise or a new franchise in NZ, get in touch with us at in2HR to see how we can help you develop robust systems that will keep you out of hot water.

Joint Employer Predictions Come True – Proposed Changes to Legislation

Does your Franchise have a robust system in place for checking that your franchisee's are compliant with current Employment Legislation?   Now may be the time to review your practices with joint employment looking like it may become a reality for the franchising industry. 

       What are your employer rights if Cyclone Cook closes down your business?   It’s fair to say that NZ has seen its fair share of natural disasters over recent years with Christchurch and Kaikoura devastated by earthquakes, and the more recent damage caused by freak summer storms and Cyclone Debbie.  Many regions of NZ are battening down the hatches in preparation for yet another storm, as Cyclone Cook threatens to hit our shores just in time for the Easter holidays.  The volume of natural events is starting create questions from business owners who are wanting to find out what their obligations are when they and/or their employees are affected by such an event.    Here are some tips for business owners faced with not being able to open for business because of a natural disaster:   Before looking to make any deductions from employees’ wages/salaries:   Check your employment contract to see if contains a force majeure clause, and specifically a clause allowing you to deduct from wages/salary.  If your employment agreement does not contain a force majeure then you cannot deduct from an employee’s wages/salary, particularly where they are ready and willing to work but simply can’t because the premises are damaged/unable to be opened.   This of course then poses another question, what if I am open for business but my employee(s) have been affected and can't attend work?   In the event that the business is unaffected and is open for business but employees are unable or unwilling to attend work due to the natural disaster then there is potential for the employer to make a deduction from wages.   Invoking such clauses requires a robust process to be followed, and we strongly recommend that you contact a member of in2HR for further advice should your business be confronted in such situations.  With that said, our recommendation would be to do the right thing wherever possible, and pay the employees for hours that they would have otherwise worked (particularly when the business interruption is short term).  Additionally, the emotional toll these types of events has on employees can vary greatly; while some employees remain relatively unaffected emotionally and just seem better equipped to handle this type of stress, others may need further support.  Employee Assistance Programmes such as those offered by EAP (www.eapservices.co.nz) are a great resource to call on for employee support post a natural disaster.  For short term interruptons, these recommendations are sure to get your business and employees back up and functioning normally as quickly as possible.      

What are your employer rights if Cyclone Cook closes down your business?

For some businesses, Cyclone Cook will not only mean closing down their business but employers will need to support employees who are emotionally and physically affected.