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How to Train Up New Recruits When You’re Time Poor

Small businesses make up more than 80% of Australian businesses and it’s this group that struggles the most to find the time to train up new hires. As a result, they often only hire people with enough experience to hit the ground running in a new role. In an already highly competitive, candidate-short employment market, this narrows down the talent pool even further.

What can time-poor employers do to make training new recruits easier and expand their range of candidates?

  • Create a list of actions
    To establish what a new hire needs to be taught, create a list of exactly what they are required to do day-to-day and week-to-week in their role. 
  • Nominate team members
    Spread the work between existing team members. Think about which existing staff members are suitable to train any of the items on the list. Even if your team is only 3 or 4 people, explore which items can be allocated to others to help get the new hire up trained.

  • Establish quick wins
    What are the quick wins that could get a new hire up and running? Are there any repetitious and time-consuming tasks that they could be shown, with a plan to expand on those later? For example, answering phones or setting up a file.
  • Manage expectations
    To ensure your new recruit succeeds in their role, it is important to outline the training plan when they start. That way they will understand what is expected of them upfront.
  • Check in regularly
    In most small offices, new employees learn a lot by absorption. When that is the case make sure that you are checking in with the person to see where there may be gaps.
  • Allocate small blocks of time
    It is much more effective to put aside 1-2 hours per day for training, than trying to achieve large blocks of training time. It just isn’t manageable for most small business teams. Make sure you have some tasks that new recruits can go on with in the meantime.