So, your business is progressing nicely, plans are coming together and you are extremely busy doing everything yourself. Now may be the time for you to think about hiring your first employee, but where do you start?
Before you take on your first employee….
Many new employers don’t realise that small errors in the early days can be very costly for the future. Before you even think about who you might hire, here’s some of the things you need to do:
- Register as an employer
- Set up payroll to collect tax and NI contributions from employees and pay these to the tax authority
- Prepare to provide itemised pay statements
- Be properly insured
- Provide a safe and secure working environment
- Comply with relevant legislation on holidays & other statutory leave
- Put in place policies for handling personal data
Finding the right person….
Once you’ve got the basics in place, now is the time to think about what you want your new employee to do and who you will choose. It’s imperative that you ensure your whole process is fair and complies with equality and discrimination legislation – it’s easy to slip up here.
Here’s some of the things you need to get right:-
Write the job description
Delegating jobs and responsibility can be difficult for a new employer. Think about what the person can be responsible for, what specific tasks they will cover and how will they add value to your business.
Decide the Rate of pay
Dependent upon the skills, experience and seniority, you’ll need to decide an affordable rate of pay for your new employee, whilst attracting good quality people. Benchmarking against other similar roles will help you to decide.
Holiday, other leave and benefits
Be aware of the statutory requirements for holiday, sick leave and other time off including maternity and paternity leave. Make sure you comply with the minimums and decide if you will offer enhanced leave or benefits to make you more competitive as an employer. The type of contract will have an effect on what is offered.
Produce a Job advert
Draw up a job advert telling prospective candidates what to expect and what you can offer. You’ll need to decide how you will advertise the role, for example, local press, social media, job centre or via an employment agency.
Shortlist the applicants
Once you’ve received the applications, you’ll need to decide who you want to interview, considering which of the applicants are a good fit for the role.
Carry out Interviews
Preparation in key for interviews. Use the time to confirm the skills, experience and ability which the applicants say they have. Think carefully about the future potential along with what the candidate can bring immediately. Remember the employment relationship is intended to be for the long term.
Make a job offer
Once you’ve chosen the preferred candidate, it’s time to make a job offer. This is the first stage of entering into a contractual relationship. Make sure you set out exactly what is expected and the terms on which the employment will proceed.
Complete pre employment checks
All employers have a duty to ensure that their employees are legally employed. Make sure the employee has the right to work in the UK and if not, now is to make immigration or work permit applications. Remember you must have given preference to candidates who are already qualified under right to work. Apply for any references from previous employers.
Provide a contract of employment
A full contract of employment must be provided within the appropriate time scale, normally within the first few weeks of employment. You’ll need to be conscious of what type of contract you are offering and that your paperwork covers the legal minimum requirements for content.
All the above might sound like a lot to think about, but people are your most important resource when growing a business. Getting it wrong may result in loss of reputation, costs of staff leaving and having to re-employ and any complaints which the employee may lodge against you.
About the Author
This guide has been written by Nicola Quayle, founder of Positive Solutions HR Limited. Contact us on 07624 481335 or firstname.lastname@example.org for further information or a no obligation chat.