If you’re turning down work and staying late in order to hit deadlines, it might be time to hire your very first employee!
Deciding when it’s the right time to start hiring your first employee can be tough. When you finally do make the plunge, you need a plan in place to ensure it all goes smoothly.
Do you take someone on full-time straight away or just part-time? What does it mean, legally, for a small business owner becoming an employer? How do you go about finding someone to work for you?
Read on to find the answers to all these questions and then you can put the wheels in motion to start hiring your first staff member.
1. Get to Grips with the Legal Requirements
Before you start anything, do your research. When becoming an employer, there are a couple of very important documents you need to fill in and some steps that have to be taken. Here’s a quick run-down of all the legal things you need to consider when hiring someone:
- Check that they are legally permitted to work in the UK. The government website provides a useful tool to help you understand which documents give someone the right to work in the UK or not and what checks you need to undertake.
- Get employer’s liability insurance. You are, after all, taking responsibility for somebody else’s livelihood. Unless you are hiring a close family member, you could be fined £2,500 for every day that you are not covered.
- Give a written statement of employment to anyone you are hiring for more than 1 month. These include; name of employer and employee, dates of employment, pay details, working hours, holiday entitlements, overview of the role, and details of collective agreements.
- Register as an employer with the HMRC. You should do this with enough time to receive their PAYE number before their first payday (usually takes 5 days from registration) but no more than 2 months before you start paying people.
2. Know Exactly What They’d Be Doing
It’s all very well you wanting someone else to do the tasks you find less interesting, but have you actually sat down and thought how what a new staff member would spend their days doing? If the answer’s no, you may want to do that before getting into the whole hiring process.
Which aspects of your business can you easily pass over to someone else and which need an experienced hand?
You could be wanting to hire administration staff so that you can carry on working the printing side of things. Or, you might want to hire a press operator so that you can stay in charge of the actual running of this business. These are two very different positions that could require very different approaches when it comes to hiring.
3. Full-Time or Part-Time?
You could be stuck in that awkward period where you know you have too much work to handle by yourself but you’re not sure if it’s enough to spread over time full-time members of staff. That’s okay. Nobody said you had to hire someone full-time outright.
Instead, you could hire someone to come and work for you part time and then, as your business continues to grow, they could move to become full-time employees.
Alternatively, you might only need an extra pair of hands when you hit really busy points in the year – like September. If so, you could hire someone on a fixed term contract so that, when things slow down again, you won’t need to worry about having enough work for them.
4. Hire Based on Potential
There’s an interesting debate that could be had over the benefits of hiring people based on experience or potential. Of course, if you hire someone with experience, you have more of a guarantee that they’ll do well because they’ve done it before. First time employers tend to feel this way especially because they’re risking more on their first hire.
However, we would urge you to look at potential instead. As a small business, you’re unfortunately not likely to attract to ‘best’ in the business but you could employ someone who is on their way to that. You want someone who is passionate and eager to learn so that they can grow alongside you.
5. Plan an Onboarding Process
This can be more difficult when you don’t have an existing business partner because you don’t need to set aside meetings when there’s just the two of you. You don’t need official meetings, though, to inject some structure into your employment journey.
Your new staff member won’t be able to take everything in straight away – especially not if you’re just rambling, hoping to remember all the important stuff. So, break down all the information you need to tell them and map out how you’re going to take them through it all.
You’ll save yourself a lot of time by doing this and it’ll make the process go much smoother.
Not quite ready to hire your first employee? Why not take a look at these 12 ideas you could use to grow your business?