Taking on your first employee

Taking on your first member of staff is an exciting moment. Making the transition from sole trader or family concern to a proper small business is something to celebrate – but can be daunting. At RecruitAbility we help many companies hire their first employee. Director Lucy Fowler has some advice for those considering taking this step.

When is the right time?

The answer is different for every business. If you have so much work you are struggling to handle it all or if you are very keen to grow the business the decision seems clear but before you take the plunge make sure you can afford it and check that you understand the legal responsibilities of becoming an employer.

Understand the legal responsibilities

Becoming an employer comes with legal duties that must be carried out. Briefly you must:

  • Check if someone has the right to work in the UK
  • Have employers’ liability insurance in place
  • Register as an employer with HMRC
  • Provide a written statement of employment to the new staff member
  • Set up a pension scheme

The government provides various resources to help small businesses when they are starting out. There is a guide to your legal responsibilities here and information on pensions here

Finding the right person

Your first employee should be someone who brings in money or who saves you time. Before you start the recruitment process spend some time defining the role. Write a comprehensive job description and state your requirements clearly. Decide what the salary will be, the working hours you require and any benefits you plan to offer. Put all this together into a job specification document.  

Have a good recruitment process

Keep the process simple and as efficient as possible. Candidates appreciate knowing where they are in the process and when they can expect to be contacted. Once you’ve made your decision inform the interviewees as quickly as possible. Offer constructive feedback to the unsuccessful candidates if you can -  it will leave them with a great impression of your business.

Consider using an agency

Using an agency to help you make your first hire can help you avoid all the pitfalls that come with recruitment and find the person who is right for your business. RecruitAbility handles all the early stages – including advertising your job in the ideal places, sifting through CVS and conducting initial interviews. We send over a maximum of three CVs, all of which have been matched to fit your business requirements. Many of our placed candidates are still in their roles after several years. If we can help you with your recruitment needs please get in touch on 01279 758855.

Posted on Tuesday Nov 6