How to grow your team for your small business

Written by: Nora Dawud, CEO and founder at Black Pen Recruitment and Immigration Specialists.

South Africa is an entrepreneurial hub with the Government projecting that small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs) will contribute 60-80% of South Africa’s gross domestic product (GDP) and will unlock an estimated 90% of the 11-million expected new jobs. However, the impact of COVID-19 on the country’s economy, small businesses and subsequently the employment rate has been catastrophic which may negatively impact the targets set by the NDP. 

I believe though, that small businesses owners have the ability to turn this negative situation around and kickstart South Africa’s financial state while growing the job market. This can be attributed to our local entrepreneurs’ aptitude of finding innovative solutions to problems and their ability to implement at a much quicker pace than some larger corporates.

However, I must stress that it is vital that SMMEs get the necessary support needed from the Government in order to survive and thrive. 

Once businesses get to the point where they are ready to grow, it is also key that they hire the best talent possible in order to continue to take their businesses to the next level. 

Teamwork makes the dream work

Talent is a core factor in the productivity and success of any company. As such, making the right decisions when it comes to new hires is of the utmost importance. This is because a company is like a soccer team. In a match, it doesn’t matter if one person performs well if the rest of the team does not contribute. Ultimately the whole team will lose. Therefore, it is vital to hire people that show a deep understanding of the company and what it does, and in doing so, act as support to the CEO who is essentially the captain of the team. 

Another reason for this is that small business owners often wear many hats, and they need to have the right employees who can also juggle multitudes of tasks in one role. By business owners having the ability to delegate work effectively allows them to focus on core areas of company growth.

Along with this, it is key for companies to hire an expert in different fields as this provides a diverse mindset and positive synergy within the business. Talent should also share the same values as the company, belief in its mission and more importantly have the passion for the position on offer.

Selecting key players 

To assess what roles new staff would be required to manage, start by mapping out an organogram. By doing so this gives employers the ability to work out which roles need to be filled now, and how they can plan for the future.

Entrepreneurs do not have time nor money to waste and it is crucial to find the best people from the start. This is now more tricky than ever as the impact of COVID-19 has resulted in 2.2million jobs being shed in South Africa in the second quarter of 2020. As such, the job market has become saturated with job seekers, making it even more difficult for employers to find the right talent for the job.

When selecting a new employee, it is important to note that a positive attitude can sometimes be more important than qualifications, so when possible hire a candidate with the right attitude as this generally adds tremendous value to the business.

I recommend seeking the professional services of a recruitment agency when hiring as the process can become far more expensive when considering the costs associated with the appointment of the wrong person and their impact on the business. 

At Black Pen Recruitment, we offer a variety of informed recruitment solutions for our clients both in South Africa and internationally. We provide simplified and transparent recruitment services for individuals, start-ups and big corporates in the language of their choice, including German, English, French, Polish, Russian and Afrikaans. 

We are experts in various industries including the foreign language market, iGaming, eCommerce, IT, Tech, Retail, NGO’s, Marketing, Finance & Accounting, Design and Start-Up to name but a few, thus allowing for companies and candidates all over the world to benefit from our recruitment services that stretch across South Africa, Europe and the Middle East. As such, we are perfectly positioned to help you when it comes to hiring the right players for your team. 

Supporting the team

For entrepreneurs wishing to start a business in South Africa, I would like to end with the following words: Entrepreneurship is a school with an endless wealth of lessons to be learnt. It is a journey of failure, success, disappointment and accomplishment. While walking this path I try to remember that it is critical to be open to change when it comes to running my own business. As such, I encourage you to be open to reshaping their model, ideas or team if need be.