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Hiring your first employee can be an exciting time, as you think ahead and plan for all the positive changes an additional pair of hands can bring to your business. Just imagine what you could do if you weren’t going it alone!

However, it can also be an anxious time, as you try to make your way through all the complex legal requirements, obligations and paperwork that come with recruiting someone for the first time.

If you’re ready to take your business to the next level but are worried about navigating the complex recruitment process, our top tips on hiring your first employee should help put your mind at ease.

Know your requirements

One of the biggest mistakes a lot of small businesses make when hiring their first employee is to leap into action without first taking the time to establish exactly what it is they’re looking for. This can lead to rushed or confused job listings and a whole lot of wasted time for both the business and potential applicants. Before you put out a job advert, make a list of all the responsibilities that go with the position as well as the key traits, experience and qualifications your candidates will need to have to be considered. Write these up in a clear, succinct advert to save yourself time sifting through a lot of unsuitable applications.

Be aware of responsibilities and obligations

You also need to advertise exactly what you’re able to offer potential new employees. This shouldn’t just cover salary – it’s vital to consider other legal responsibilities you’ll have to your employee such as sick pay, holiday pay, parental leave and pension contributions, so you know exactly what your obligations are and that you will be able to cover them if necessary.

Get your paperwork in order

The  amount of paperwork involved in hiring someone for the first time can be daunting for a small business. As well as understanding your financial obligations, make sure to research any other legalities you’ll need to comply with such as having a comprehensive health and safety policy and the proper insurance. You’ll also need to register with HMRC as an employer and make sure you provide a proper contract and written statement of employment within two months of hiring your new employee.

Don’t go it alone

Many businesses underestimate how lengthy and complicated a process recruitment can be. This often results in them making a bad hire due to a rushed process or a lack of understanding when it comes to writing the best listing and getting it seen by the best people. Hiring the wrong candidate can be hugely detrimental to your business; it will usually take you between one and two months to realise you’ve made a mistake, a further one to two months to dismiss the employee, and another five weeks on average to replace them. That’s potentially up to four months worth of wasted time, money and effort.

The best way to avoid a bad hire – or wasting time on a long and stressful recruitment process – is to work with an experienced recruiter who knows what they’re doing. A good recruiter will help you navigate the complex legal issues that come with hiring your first employee as well as having the connections and resources to make sure your ad reaches more people and is seen by the best candidates. They’ll also organise and manage the entire recruitment process, saving you valuable time that’s better put to use working on growing your business.

Are you thinking of hiring your first employee? Get in touch with us to see how we can help.