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Friday
Feb082019

Hiring Staff for the First Time 

Many small businesses start out as solo enterprises. Even more so now that so many of us are shunning traditional employment to work for ourselves from home. In the early days, this is fine. Business is slow, and while we’re busy, we can tackle most tasks ourselves. We certainly can’t afford to employ a team and manage by outsourcing tasks that we don’t have the time or the skills to take on ourselves.

But, at some point, hopefully, your business will grow. Suddenly, you don’t have the time to take on all of the work yourself. You need people with the right skills to take on specific jobs. You need the kind of consistency that outsourcing will never bring, and hopefully, you can afford to start paying wages.

If you’ve never hired staff before, it can be tough. It’s tempting to hire people that you already know. It’s easy, it’s often cheaper than recruiting and paying professionals, and you know them already. But, it’s usually not the right way to go. Just because you have a personal relationship, doesn’t mean that they will be the right fit for your business or even that you will work well together. Most of the time, it’s better to go out into the big bad world of recruitment. Here are some tips to help you when it comes to hiring staff for the first time.

Take Your Time

Finding great candidates is crucial. Don’t rush out and hire the first person that applies. Take your time to advertise the position online and in your local area. Interview as many people as you need to until you are confident that you’ve found the right team. Take your time, you’ve managed without them up until now, and there’s no need to rush. Taking time now could mean that you retain staff, and save a lot of time on future recruitment and training.

Get the Legalities Right

It’s not as simple as going out and hiring staff, even if they are the right ones and you have taken your time. You need to make sure you stay within the law. This means updating your insurance policies, to cover your team. You also need to make sure you are paying them at least minimum wage, which is a little more complicated if you don’t choose to pay them by the hour. To be able to pay them, you’ll also need to register as an employer.

As an employer, it’s your responsibility to ensure that anyone that you employ has the legal right to work. Which might mean checking passports, and if they have one, checking their visas for any working restrictions. Once you know that your staff can work, and you are registered to pay them, get them to sign a contract of employment.

Hold Professional Interviews

If you’re not used to interviewing potential candidates, you might find that you fall into the trap of just chatting. You’ll come out of the interview without any more knowledge than you’d have got from their CV, no idea if they are right for the job or if they can do the hours that you need. But, you’ll have had a nice chat. It’s a waste of time.

Go into interviews with a list of questions to ask and things to find out. It’s also important that you spend some time in the interview telling the candidate more about your company and the role that they would be filling. Failing to do this can mean that they take the job without really knowing what they are getting in to. They might not stick around when they find out.

Carry Out Risk Assessments

Even if your staff work sat behind a desk, or in your home office, you need to carry out a risk assessment, to protect their health and safety and yourself legally. Look for any risks in the office or workplace, this can include sitting looking at a computer for a long time, or carrying heavy deliveries. Take the time to assess these risks and find ways to reduce them. Perform these risk assessments with any new members of staff, and prepare separate assessments for pregnant employees or those with any other additional needs.

Learn More About Pay

Paying your staff week to week is easy enough, as long as you are paying them fairly and on time. But, as an employer, it’s worth learning more about things like sick pay, pension contributions, holiday pay and maternity/paternity pay. Even if you don’t need them yet, it’s good to be prepared.

 

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