You've started your own business and things are going well. So well in fact you need need an extra pair of hands. Here are some important things to consider when hiring your first employee.
Owning your own business is many people’s ideal way to make money as you are finally able to become your own boss. You have more freedom and control over your own income and outgoings.
However, despite the amount of freedom you might have personally, when it comes employing staff, there are a certain amount of rules and regulations that you must abide by - particularly as the business owner.
If your business has reached a stage where you simply cannot manage all the jobs yourself, first of all- congratulations on the growth of your company! Now you to understand what is required of you as an employer.
Often one of the first employees needed for many types of business will be someone to help out with the administrative sides of things. It can be easy to become overwhelmed with admin when attempting to juggle every aspect of the business alone. Of course hiring an employee comes with many new responsibilities but it should hopefully also allow you to continue to produce the quality of work you want to without becoming snowed under with things to do.
Decide on Wages
The first thing you must do when deciding to employ someone is to work out how much you can afford to pay them. Be sure that you do not pay them anything less than the national minimum wage. This would be illegal, but of course also has serious ethical consequences.
You want to make sure that your employees are taken care of not only to abide by the law but also because staff loyalty is vital to any business particularly one that is just starting out - if staff feel underappreciated, they don’t tend to stay around for long. It may be tempting to skimp on expenses as you will be used to paying close attention to your outgoings but pay your employees what they deserve, for the work they provide and allow time to see this investment work in your favor.
Advertise the Job
This is the most important stage in letting potential employees know about your job vacancy. Be careful when crafting your job description, you want to make sure that people responding know exactly what they are in for and are clear about what will be expected of them. Be sure to include the qualifications required and the job objectives to avoid receiving too many CVs from people entirely under-qualified for the role.
If you are seeking someone to help you with the paperwork and organization side of things job seekers generally use job sites like Jobrapido in order to find a list of local administration jobs, so putting your advertisement on sites like these is a good way to bring in a range of applicants.
Interview the Applicants
The interview is the best way to get a clear idea about what the candidate will be like to work with, and allows them a chance to get to know you and the company better. An interview is vital in the employee search as it is the only way to be able to get to know and compare candidates even if their CVs provide most of the information you were looking for.
Try to fit interviews into a couple of days so that the process doesn’t take too long, and you have a clear idea of each candidate when it comes to making the final decision. Skype interviews are also an option if it means it’s easier to find a suitable time or place for each potential candidate, and yourself.
You can find a lot of tips on how to conduct a good interview online if you are unsure exactly what you need to ask. If you require the new employee to have a particular skill e.g. typing, driving or speaking a second language it may also be work incorporating a practical test or role-play into the interview process.
You do not want to get your heart set on hiring someone that might not legally check out. There are a lot of requirements that a potential employee might have to face and it is required by law that they are eligible to work. If you are working in certain fields, like teaching, security, or any type of care, you will need the employee to undergo a CRB check. This could take up to eight weeks so you want to get this done as soon as possible. Of course searching for a driver means you want an employee with a clean driving license who can be trusted to do the job safely and carefully- never try to cut corners as these kinds of decisions will most likely come back and bite you at a later time.
Insurance is vitally important in business, though the costs can sometimes leave you questioning if it’s really worth it - it is. You want to make sure that you are covered if your employee gets sick or injured because of the work they do for you, it’s unlikely, but as the boss the responsibility lands on you should anything go wrong. When you employ someone you must get liability insurance before the day you become an employer. Make sure your insurance covers a large amount of money and is from a valid insurance company - don’t be afraid to speak to other business owners for recommendations on specific companies. You will be fined if you do not have enough insurance for your staff.
Register as an Employer
Finally, you must register as an employer with the HM Revenue and Customs (or HMRC) at least four weeks before you pay your employee for the first time. You can do this online and it can take up to two weeks to finalize, so think in advance and do not leave anything until the last minute. Start as you mean to go on - be organized and do everything through the correct channels.
Once you have employees the job does not end there. It is important to keep employees happy, loyal, and well provided for to keep a business running smoothly in the long-term. Owning your own business has huge rewards, but also huge responsibilities.
Author: Emily Jones is a recent graduate from the UK now working as a freelance writer in Rome. She is passionate about business, technology and travel and has written for a number of blogs on these topics.