4 Reasons you Should Hire Recent College Grads for your New Business

Starting a small business, no matter how much experience you have, is always hard. But once it’s up and running, and it’s time to start hiring and building a team, the stakes become higher. After all, the success of your business rides on the people who run it, and starting off with a poor team will surely spell disaster.  Of course, you want your new small business to have a diverse set of employees, but there are definite reasons you should focus on hiring recent college grads, especially if you’re founding a startup related to technology, social media, Internet marketing, etc.

1. Recent college graduates are passionate and not yet disillusioned by the workforce

If there’s one thing that can be said of Gen Y (don’t count this so-called “sense of entitlement”), it’s that they are passionate about everything they do. Most of those in the 22- to 30-year-old set were raised during an era in which parenting was decidedly about raising children to love what they do. This parenting style has produced young adults who have a strong desire to not just get any old job, but to get and excel in a job that they enjoy. Hiring recent grads will give your new business the edge that it needs.

2. They know the Internet and computers like the backs of their hand

If you’re starting a small business now, chances are that, even if it’s not exclusively up and running online, a big part of the business is run by computers and Internet tools. If you hire too many older employees, chances are that you’ll have to spend quite a bit of time training them how to use these tools. With “digital natives” learning most computer and Internet skills is almost instant—if they don’t know it yet, they’ll learn it by the end of the day.

hiring fresh graduate

3. They desperately need jobs

Of course, you shouldn’t hire someone based only on their desperation for a job. But in this bleak economy, those who are hurting the most are those who just recently entered the job market. Some employers may be a little hesitant to hire young people with little experience, but they often have more skills than you would think. And giving a helping to hand to those who are young and full of potential will help you as your business grows.

4. Younger employees are more willing to take risks that are vital to the success of your business

If there is one thing that is common to all small businesses, it’s that they absolutely require risk-taking in order to survive. Recent college graduates are often very keen on taking risks, much more so than those who are older and more experienced. The vitality and innovation-driven spirit of recent grads can only be an advantage for your small business.

Of course, there are problems with hiring recent grads that are specific to this generation. They often need more guidance and desire praise and a sense of purpose. But if you can provide a nurturing environment, your young employees can be one of your greatest assets. Good luck!

About the Author: This is a guest post by Susan Wells. She writes on topics including health/car/life insurance, mortgage, real estate.

Image: Will Folsom / Flickr

3 Reasons Why You Should Outsource Your IT Department

1.       It is cost-efficient.  Instead of internally hiring IT people, outsourcing it to an IT company will save you money. The cost for training, office equipment, employee benefits can be hefty and the IT person himself may demand for a higher remuneration. When you outsource your IT department, you only pay the company where these specialists are signed based on the packages or services you are availing.

2.       It saves time. Instead of hiring IT specialists that will undergo the course of employment requirements such as interviews and exams, and undergo a series of trainings on both technical and company matters, getting services from an outsourcing company can work on the goal even on its first day. Skilled outsourced IT professionals need not undergo trainings since they have acquired the knowledge over time with past clients.

3.       It gives more opportunities for broader and better aspects of IT. Outsourcing companies hire and train IT professionals for more intensive work and with that being said, they have broader knowledge in information technology – whether software or hardware. Your own IT department may have the knowledge and skills but a team from an outsourcing company can open doors to more techniques, strategies and approaches in the field. In a nutshell. Outsourced IT professionals may know more than in house IT people.

Information technology is a field that is ever-evolving. If your company is based in prime territories such as Australia, the best way is to outsource this department to avail premium Melbourne IT services. It is faster and more practical and it gives your company more opportunities to excel.

About the Author:  Guest post contributed by freelance business writer Pamela Kinley on behalf of Australia’s mid-sized enterprises, Brennan IT  has become the leading national provider of specialist business-ready Melbourne IT services .

The Importance of Background Checks

The increasing competition amongst candidates is causing many to lie on their resumes, a step potentially dangerous for any business. Performing background checks on future employees is an essential step that all organisations must take to ensure that their business is protected against theft and fraud.

Failure to perform such checks can lead to several legal complications and cost your company a lot of money in the long run. Investing in thorough employee checks today can help you save substantial long term costs.

background checks
Image: dexknows.com

Potential risks of negligent hiring

As many organisations are in a hurry to hire professionals, experts advise businesses to take background checks seriously. Some of the most common facts that are tweaked in a resume include education level, university attended, job responsibilities, skill levels and previous salary drawn. Most candidates include falsified information in their resume to either gain advantage over other candidates or to mask their intentions. The risk of employee fraud increases if the hiring company fails to conduct its due diligence.

Negligently hiring employees could result in violence and assaults at the workplace. It also increases the risk of employee turnovers and job related accidents. Any liability charges filed because of the employee’s actions may cost the company millions owing to negligent hiring. The possible influence of drugs and alcohol can tamper employee productivity, leading to more losses. Theft and fraud committed by employees can cause a company millions. It is estimated that embezzlement costs companies billions each year.

Responsibilities of the employer

The potential risks of hiring an employee without performing thorough checks can be damaging to a company and its reputation. As an employer, it is your responsibility to know your employee. Employees with past accounts of violent incidents, alcohol and drug abuse and criminal records should be carefully dealt with. Any damage caused by an employee’s known or unknown past record will make the company liable.

If an employee has a past record of negligent driving or drunk driving, the organisation should not allow him/her to use company cars. Similarly, candidates with a history of violent outbursts are not suited for client interaction or personalised home visits. It is every employer’s responsibility to learn of any undesirable traits the candidate may possess. Performing a background check on an employee is not considered a violation of privacy.

Using professional services

Instead of spending days on performing background verification, many companies opt for the services of businesses that specialise in gathering such information. Professionals in background checking offer concise and detailed reports regarding the authenticity of information provided on the resume and interview. Detailed background checks include clarification in criminal history, illegal activities, financial background, educational background, credit history, and reference verification.

Benefits of background checks

One of the biggest benefits of performing detailed background verification is the satisfaction of hiring a promising employee. Including productive employees in your company not only boost your revenue but also reduces employee turnover (the ratio of employees that were replaced in a specific time period). Background checks help candidates be more honest about their qualifications and create a transparent relationship between the employee and the organisation.

About the Author: Penny is an expert associated with CV Insight, a leading group of employment screening specialists. If you are looking for services like background checks on candidates, contact our professionals for helpful advice. CV Insight also specialises in screening your employees to help you hire qualified candidates.

How Recycling, Reducing and Reusing Can Increase Profitability of a Business

Many companies have made the dramatic discovery that going green makes cents. While exacting environmentally friendly practices, businesses can save money. Companies that make it a priority to recycle, reduce, and reuse earn reputations as responsible businesses that are also likely to attract consumers and clients who care about the green movement. The following tips are ways that businesses can transform into a greener company.

Recycling Tips

Use recycled products whenever possible. Recycled paper for printing and copying needs can easily be purchased and tends to be less expensive. Recycled ink cartridges should also be purchased for cost savings. Eco-friendly office supplies are widely available and cover the spectrum of office needs; supply chains sell everything from recycled Post-it Notes to paper towels for the staff room and bathrooms.

Many companies simply throw away outdated electronic and computer equipment. Instead of sending these items to the dump, call a company that buys this outmoded gear. Such companies are popping up everywhere and will often come and haul it away. If there isn’t a company in your area that will pay for the items, consider donating them to a library, school, or some other organization. This will increase the business’s popularity in the community and may also be reported as a tax write-off.

Reducing Tips

Going paperless or at least substantially reducing the amount of paper printed or copied is an increasing trend among businesses that care about the environment. Encourage employees to correspond over email and take pains to monitor the amount of paper used. Whether the company is large or small, set paper-reduction goals; when staff meets the reduction goal, have some rewards on hand—buy lunch, award gift certificates, etc…Not only will you save money buying less paper, you will increase staff morale—which is a great way to increase profitability, too. Staff can also decrease paper use by printing double-sided whenever possible.

Your company can reduce energy use by turning off equipment when it isn’t being used. All equipment should be turned off at night and over weekends to capitalize on this energy savings. Naturally, decreased energy usage translates into lower monthly energy bills. Also, be sure to turn off lights in the evening and reduce heat and air conditioning at night, too.

Encourage employees to share office supplies and equipment. It’s easier than ever to network printers and copiers. Staff can also share small items like pencil sharpeners and staplers at specially created “share stations” around the office.

When it comes to the staff room or company kitchen, encourage employees to reduce the need to buy plastic ware and paper plates. Keep dishes and silverware on hand. Be sure to have a place for employees to keep their coffee mugs and water bottles.

Reusing Tips

Packaging supplies can often be reused to reduce the cost of buying new materials—which can be quite expensive. Padded envelopes can be re-labeled and bubble wrap can be saved. Whenever your company receives reusable items in the mail, encourage them to keep them in the supply room instead of throwing them away.

Your staff can collectively save the business money by reusing various office supplies like paper clips, clip boards, and file folders. Instead of buying new office furniture, refurbish the items you have. Apply fixes to broken items instead of ordering new ones. This attention to reuse can definitely increase a business’s profitability.

Request an employee to make routing slips or note stacks from office scrap paper. This often simply involves a paper cutter and a bin of used paper.

Wrap-Up

None of these green practices can be construed as overly difficult. They simply require encouragement and commitment. Going green in the office is an earth-friendly policy that will also translate into increased profitability for the business.

Other green ideas for a company to consider include:

  • Purchasing green cleaning products
  • Doing businesses with other environmentally friendly companies
  • Encourage employees to car pool
  • Create a “green” committee to investigate new ways to keep the business green
  • Propose a green “Secret Santa” event for the holidays encouraging employees to give one another homemade items or used items from home.
  • Decrease the company mailing list and increase its email list.
  • Invite an environmentalist to speak at a staff meeting about more ways your company can go green.

About the Author: Guest post contributed by Kris Rayner, on behalf of GeneralWasteCollection.co.uk, specialists in the collection and disposal of general and recycling waste collection.

Choosing a Business Structure for Your New Startup

You’ve just started your small business and are a bit confused as to which structure you should choose. It can be very confusing for a small business owner to know which business structure will be best for them, especially for those that never took business courses. However, it’s important to know that the structure you choose can greatly affect your taxes. That’s why it’s important to make the best choice. Here is a bit of advice for choosing a business structure for your new startup.

Types of Business Structures

The first type of business structure also happens to be the most popular. The sole proprietorship is a business structure ran by one person, the owner. Many small business owners prefer this method because it is easy to setup and doesn’t require any special licenses, other than the license to run your business if your jurisdiction requires it. The second business structure is the partnership. There are two forms of partnership and the most popular is the general partnership in which the partners share the liability and profits of the business. A limited partnership requires one partner to take responsibility of the debt. The last structure is the corporation, which can be one of three types (C, S or LLC). This business structure is for major corporations and the exact requirements and definitions will vary from state to state.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Each

For the sake of this article, we will focus on the sole proprietorship and partnership structures. A sole proprietorship offers many advantages. First of all, it’s easy to set up. Other advantages include being able to file your taxes on a Schedule C rather than having a drawn out form. It’s also the most popular methods among small businesses, especially those ran from the home. However, there are a few disadvantages. First of all, everything falls on the owner. This means that any debt the business acquires will be a personal debt. Last, but not least, it can be much harder to get financing.

The partnership also has many advantages. First of all, the business may be easier to run due to the fact that each owner may excel in different areas. There will also be someone to run the business should one of the partners become ill. Last, but not least, a partnership is easier to run because the liability of the business may be shared among owners. However, a partnership also has disadvantages. The first disadvantage is that a partnership is harder to set up. Another disadvantage is that the partnership may come to an end due to the partners becoming unhappy with each other. Last, but not least, one partner may end up being liable for all the debt.

Which Should You Choose?

The only people that can honestly help you make this decision is your attorney and accountant. There are a number of legal and financial issues that go with each business structure. This means that using the wrong business structure could end very badly.

As a new startup, you have the chance to pick your business structure, but you must do it carefully. Choosing the wrong business structure can lead to bad financial and legal consequences.

Management 101: Dealing with Politics in the Workplace

Politics can be a tricky subject and are often one of those subjects that people choose to keep off limits. As a manager, you probably know that some subjects can cause tension and reduce productivity. Politics are one of those subjects. Not only may employees spend the day trying to prove which candidate is best, but they may begin to argue and neglect their duties. You may even find that some team members are unable to work together because of their differing views. Here are just a few tips for dealing with politics in the workplace.

Create a Policy About Discussing Politics

First things first. You should create a policy that forbids the discussion of politics. You may think this sounds a bit extreme, but an ounce of prevention can go a long way. The policy may state that workers are forbidden from discussing any aspect of the campaign. You should also implement a punishment for breaking the policy. For example, the first offense may be a warning and the second offense a day off from work without pay.

Have a Meeting with Employees

One you’ve created a policy and decided on the punishment, you need to have a meeting with your employees to discuss the new policy. This is a good time for your employees to ask questions and have their voice heard. However, it is important to stick to your guns and explain that this type of workplace discussion will not be accepted.

Follow Through

Chances are there will be at least one employee who doesn’t want to follow the rules. You must act quickly and have a meeting with the employee to discuss his behavior and why it is not acceptable. This will serve as a warning. Unfortunately, many will not take your warning seriously. This means you will need to follow through and send him home for the day. The good news is this will serve as an warning to other employees that you are serious.

Politics are a nasty subject that can lead to arguments. While we all have different opinions, that doesn’t mean we should openly talk about them at work. Creating a policy that outlines your stand on the discussion of politics and meeting with your employees are the first steps. However, you must follow through by enforcing the policy. Otherwise, your employees will ignore your policy and continue their discussions on the campaign.

About the Author: Shala Bortle used to managed a large team of people with varied political beliefs and had to ban political propaganda from the workplace. She now uses virtual office space – the perfect solution for working with a team of individuals who don’t really need to be in the same office building!