Employing a member of staff for the first time…What should I do?
If your business is expanding and extra support is required, important points to consider are ‘What am I prepared to delegate?’ and ‘What will I trust someone else to do in my business?’ Once you have answered these questions you are prepared to move forward.
Preparation is key, before you advertise; prepare a job specification (a list of all day-to-day responsibilities, tasks and objectives). This information will determine whether full-time or part-time support is needed.
In addition, set a budget for salary and overheads, this may include work space, furniture, tools or technology.
You need to register as an employer with the HMRC. You will need to pay tax and NI on behalf of your new employee
How will they be paid? PAYE or cash? A payroll facility must be set up before the employee starts, this will generate itemised pay notes, P60’s (year-end document) and P11d’s (benefits) if required. You can receive support from your bank or your accountants.
Employer’s liability insurance must be taken with an authorised insurer; it must cover £5 million as a minimum.
Salary and benefits – what will you offer? Remember to check out the minimum wage rates, they can change annually.
Advertising and interviewing…
With a clear idea of what the job entails and how your business operates you will think about the best form of advertising for the role. This may include use of local press, radio, social media, or verbal.
I would always recommend carrying out the interview yourself. Do this in an environment similar to where they would work; it will create the right image for you and your business.
Decide on a short list of questions to ensure consistency with the interviews, responses from candidates will be easier to compare.
Very important from my perspective, if someone has taken the time to come for an interview, always inform them of the outcome of the interview and if the answer is no give them constructive feedback as to where they could improve their skills.
Once you have identified the person for the role…
Ensure your potential new employee has a legal right to work in the UK, anyone subject to immigration control must have a work permit prior to commencing work. Passports are a must to ensure you comply with UK law on immigration.
Contracts of employment are a legal obligation to give to your employee. This must be done within 2 months of commencing employment. Contracts must include, salary, hours, holiday entitlement (28 days a year, including statutory bank holidays), notice period and other terms and conditions you feel are applicable to the role. I would highly recommend a probationary period, this protects you as an employer, you can terminate the employment with a week’s notice if the arrangement does not work out.
Health and safety….
It is essential to carry out risk assessments on the tasks your employees will be undertaking. This will help to protect you and any claims that may be made against you or your business, ensure you check out your terms of employer’s liability insurance.
Remember throughout the process you are demonstrating your company image it is important to get it right with a positive experience. It will help set the culture of your business and your employer – employee relationship.
Louise Kennedy | Oculus HR Ltd
t | 0191 3055188