As any established business will testify – you just know when it’s the right time to start searching for your first employee. Telltale signs include:
- ●Increased sales– things have been going well for your company and you’re showing sustained growth.
- ●Too much work – you can’t manage on your own anymore – or at least not without having a nervous breakdown…!
- ●Opportunity –there’s a chance to branch into a new area or take a new opportunity; and it needs additional help to make it happen.
The Big Question – Do You Need Extra Staff
First, before starting your hunt for the perfect candidate, you need to ask yourself this important question. An extra employee can add real value to your business – but only if what they offer can justify their salary.
If you’re not sure, explore the option of outsourcing employees first. This is a great ‘suck-it-and-see’ approach; letting you test the value of additional staff without committing to a long term contract. However, make sure you select a freelance worker with the right skills and experience. A good phrase to keep in mind here is ‘you get what you pay for’! Alternatively, hiring an apprentice might be a good option. You’ll get some additional help for the business, at a fraction of the usual cost. The apprentice gets some valuable experience it’s a win win situation!
The Truth About Hiring Your First Employee
If you’re certain that your company is ready to take this important step, here’s a checklist of what you’ll need to ask yourself first.
- What does the job entail?
If you want to attract the right candidates, you’ll need to have a clear, detailed description of what the job actually involves. In some cases, this is pretty simple – for example, if you’re a catering company seeking your first professional chef. However, in other cases it might not be so clearcut,
especially if your employee needs to take on a range of responsibilities. Make sure you know what these are before proceeding.
- How are you going to find them?
There’s a great candidate out there – but chances are that they’re not psychic, and won’t know you’re looking for them. Shame, that! There are a variety of ways you can find them. Placing ads on relevant job sites or local papers is one method.
Alternatively, you can work with a recruitment agency, who do the hard work for you in exchange for a fee. Our advice? Put the word around that you’re hiring. Let your contacts know. Mention it on LinkedIn and other social media sites. It’s amazing how many ideal candidates are found like this – in fact, according to statistics, 95% of recruiters used LinkedIn to find the right person for the job in 2015. There’s absolutely nothing stopping you from adopting exactly the same approach.
- Understand the legalities.
When hiring, you’ll need to act within the law. All employers, regardless of the size of
the business, must pay the National Minimum Wageand if employees are over 25, the National Living Wage which comes into effect as of 1st April 2016.You must also register as an employer with HMRC and check that your member of staff is legally permitted to work within the country. Yes, this is your responsibility, not theirs!
- Cover yourself.
If for any reason you need to fire your employee in the future, this can be a real legal headache. Investing in employers’ liability insurance helps you to avoid this, so it’s well worth doing. Of course, it also goes without saying that you’ll need to create a contract for your employee – to protect both your interests.
By 2017, every business will need to automatically enrol their staff on an approved workplace pension scheme. This means, as an employer, you’ll need to make a contribution towards it. Find out more here.
Taking Steps to Grow Your Business
Hiring your first member of staff can feel daunting, particularly if you’ve never managed anyone before. However, it’s also incredibly exciting. It marks the next stage of your business journey – where you’re finally able to invest money into improving your services! Good luck with it, and let us know how you get on.