It pays dividends to keep it in the family

It seems incredible but it\'s only been 18 months since we launched into the specialist packaging market.

Business has boomed since then and so have our staffing levels. We’ve gone from only 10 staff members to over 50 today.

But like any business that experiences rapid expansion, as we’ve grown we’ve had to work hard to maintain our founding principles of trea-ting customers fairly, honesty and strong service standards.

We’ve always embraced the idea of career progression from within the firm for all our staff, irrespective of their position.

Family is important to us. Take a look at our existing staff, as we have a mother and daughter on the team, three brothers and even partners who met at work. My wife also freelances for us from time to time.

I’m not suggesting for one minute that specialised recruitment companies don’t have their place.

But with fees ranging from 10% up to 40% for their services, they don’t come cheap and justifiably so when they successfully manage to source the ideal candidates for positions that otherwise would be difficult to fill. However, we’ve found that promoting the idea of family is such an important part of our work culture that we look to include staff partners in as many work dos as possible.

From my perspective, the rewards include loyalty, hard work and friendship from my staff above and beyond the norm. And as a result we have excellent staff retention, with only one person leaving us in the past 18 months.

The keep it in the family approach also gives you a better indication of what you’ll get for your money. You reduce the risks inherent in bringing new people on board of whom you’ve no prior experience.

After all, there’s only so much insight to be gained from reading someone’s CV and the interview process, whether entrusted to a recruitment company or conducted internally through your human resources department. Given that in a typical working day em-ployees are away from their families for nine hours, why not promote a feeling of family in the office?

I believe that wherever possible, firms should look to recruit and promote internally, which helps rapidly growing businesses keep a family feeling that’s difficult to maintain as organisations grow.