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Employee expert and author says business owners need to learn how to hire properly and should undertake Appropriate Workplace Behaviour training in light of #metoo.

The author of a new book - From Hire to Fire & Everything in Between - claims "the majority of business owners are terrible at recruiting.”


Natasha Hawker, the founder and director of Employee Matters, which provides employee support to businesses around Australia, says poor recruiting means business owners often bring on employees “that are unable to do what they thought they could do or are not a cultural match to the business.”


This not only leads to poor productivity but can even lead to costly unfair dismissal claims.


With the #metoo movement gaining momentum, Christmas party season fast approaching and new domestic violence leave entitlements in place, Natasha, who has 23 years’ experience in human resources, people management and employment relations, felt the timing was right to launch a new edition of her HR bible.


First released in 2015, From Hire to Fire & Everything in Between, is the only book of its kind in Australia to help small to medium business owners navigate hiring, managing and exiting employees.


Entertaining and easy-to-read, the book reveals the secrets to finding, building and maintaining engaged, high performance teams - increasing productivity and profitability by up to 20 per cent.


Equally, it teaches business owners how to have those difficult conversations and exit employees easily, fairly and legally, avoiding company fines of up to $63,000 and personal fines of up to $12,600. 


“Your employees are your biggest opportunity to make your business successful. They can also be your greatest liability,” Natasha says. 


She says hiring and managing the right employees, dismissing poor performers and keeping compliant with ever-changing workplace laws can be an ongoing challenge.


"Research consistently shows that people issues are the primary cause of headaches for most businesses."


“There are legal challenges to be faced within employment law; there’s the cost of hiring and managing employees, whilst trying to avoid and prevent discrimination, bullying and terminations – to name just a few,” she says.


“This book aims to remove those headaches by equipping business owners with the knowledge and advice they need to manage employees - from hiring and getting the most out of them, right through to exiting staff.”


Natasha has held numerous human resources and recruitment roles over the past two decades, including for global management consulting firm Accenture, in London, India and Australia, before launching Employee Matters in December 2011.


She has presented at conferences and for organisations across the globe, on all aspects of HR, people management and employment relations and has facilitated Appropriate Workplace Behaviour courses as a qualified Train the Trainer.


She is also regularly quoted as an expert on employee matters in the national media, including for the ABC and in the Sydney Morning Herald.


Natasha Hawker is available for interview and can discuss a broad range of topics, including:  

The #Metoo movement – has increased the number of sexual harassment complaints being filed due to an increase in awareness and acceptance of the issue. Natasha firmly believes, now more than ever, employers need to protect their employees and themselves by conducting Appropriate Workplace Behaviour training. 


Christmas parties – are notoriously high risk for complaints around sexual harassment or inappropriate behaviour. Natasha says bosses need to prepare properly for the silly season.  She says Christmas parties are an extension of the workplace and professional conduct is required. Communications should be sent out ahead of the event, outlining the expectations around behaviour and the ramifications for non-compliance.


Domestic Violence Leave – millions of workers across Australia now have access to unpaid domestic violence leave, following a ruling by the Fair Work Commission which came into effect on August 1. Natasha says this is a new change that impacts potentially all Australian businesses and goes some way to help curb our appalling performance in supporting victims of domestic violence, with one woman every week being murdered by her current or former partner.


Firing Employees and Redundancies – Natasha believes we are going to start seeing some significant impacts of technology in the workplace which will result in an increasing number of redundancies. In addition, every business owner will need to exit poor-performing employees at some point. Natasha can provide advice on how to end an employee’s tenure with minimal legal, commercial or emotional fallout.


From Hire to Fire & Everything in Between, $24.95, is available now from all good book stores, including Dymocks, Amazon, Kindle, and the Employee Matters website, www.employeematters.com.au