Here they are…our 7 top tips for recruiting successfully. Make the most of our free HR advice and elevate your business.

1 – Know what you want

If you are looking to take on your first person, it is usually because you need them to bring in more revenue or you need them to take on some of your duties to free up your time to bring in more business.

It is important that you are clear on the purpose of the job and what you will require the jobholder to do. Take time to really think this through and compile a Job Description and Person Specification to ensure clarity and manage expectations for both parties. Make sure to cover the main purpose of the job (to bring in more business, to retain clients through customer satisfaction, to manage a new project – for example).

Next, expand on the main responsibilities of the post holder, it doesn’t need to be a list of every task the person will need to undertake but it’s important to list out their core responsibilities.

Alongside this, a person specification sets out the qualifications, skills, experience, and personal attributes that the job holder will need in order to perform these duties.

2 – What do you have to offer?

How are you going to attract that top talent into your business? Consider the going rate for someone with the skills and experience you seek. Can you afford to offer a competitive package? It’s not always about the salary – the potential for development and progression ranks highly amongst many candidates. Equally, flexible working, pension provision and / or healthcare – as well as how much holiday you are prepared to offer – can all make the package more appealing.

Remember, above the salary outlay, you will have employer national insurance, auto-enrolment pension contributions (if not straight away, at some point in the near future), employers liability insurance, equipment/tools/stationery, training, sick pay, holiday pay, maternity and paternity pay. Speak to your accountant about the full cost of employment and weigh up how you can lure the best people to your door.

Employing friends and/or family members can sometimes seem like a perfect solution, however, this can turn into your worst nightmare if not managed properly. Again, matching the person and their skills to the Job Description and Person Specification will help to ensure that you get the right person for the job and having the right documents in place will ensure both parties know exactly where they stand.

3 – Spread the word

There are loads of different methods to advertise the vacancy – such as job boards, noticeboard adverts, newspapers, recruitment agencies, head hunters to name a few. However, you need to consider your budget and where you are most likely to find that person. For example, there is no point in paying for a national newspaper for an unskilled, low paying role.

Do you have a website? If so, do you advertise vacancies on there and through your social media channels including Linkedin, Facebook & Twitter? Directing traffic back to your website is a great opportunity to build and show off your employer brand, so make sure candidates can find out a bit more about your company and can start to understand how great it would be to work for you – and why they should apply.

[Tip: Have a chat with Spider Recruitment Fixed Fee Web Recruitment].

4 – Interviewing

When it comes to selecting the right person to employ, take care to ensure that you maintain a fair and consistent process. Many employers don’t realise that an applicant can make an application to an employment tribunal if they feel that they have been discriminated during the recruitment stage. It is therefore important that when you discount an applicant that you note the reasons why and, when you interview those shortlisted, that you ask competency-based questions to test their knowledge, skill and experience. Remember to use open questions.

There may be applicants who cite the work of former colleagues on their CV in order to make their CV look better. The interview is the time to flush this out. We often ask employers – how long do you consider before making a purchase of £15,000 – many say ages but will then only interview a candidate for 30 minutes. Remember you are looking for the person who will add value to your business so don’t rush to make a decision but also don’t leave it too long as the great candidates can be snapped up!

5 – Proof of right to work

Ensure that you carry out the necessary checks during the recruitment process to ensure the candidate is legally eligible to work in the UK – and make copies of the correct documentation. Here is a handy link to the government guidance on this. Don’t wait until you have offered them the job and they have started, thinking you will pick this up in the new starter documents. By this time it is too late and you could waste valuable time, resource and money rectifying the error.

A report issued by the Home office shows that in the period January to March 2016, the Home Office imposed fines of over £14million to employers across the UK. The maximum civil penalty for employing illegal workers is £20,000 per illegal worker. In addition to the reputational and financial costs of employing an illegal worker, this is also a criminal offence and may result in a custodial sentence, which has been increased from 2 years to 5 years’ imprisonment.

6 – Contract of employment and Company Handbook

Legally, you will need to produce a written statement of particulars within 8 weeks of the person starting their employment with you and this must include the main conditions of their employment. It would be our advice that any such statement should be supported by a robust, commercially written contract of employment detailing the expectations and standards of behaviour required during and after the employment relationship.

Your company handbook will include policies and procedures that will need to be followed – and detail the consequences if they are not. This document should be shared with employees at the earliest opportunity. We would also advise not delaying the issue of the contract – as soon as someone joins you, they will have access to a lot of sensitive information such as pricing, product, contract and customer information for example. In the absence of robust confidentiality clauses and post-employment restrictions, you could be putting your company at risk, should they decide to leave and commence work with a competitor.

5 – Induction

Have a plan for when your new employee arrives. Often it is a relief to get a bum on a seat, however, to get the most out of your investment, you need to have a clear induction planned for them. Incorporate a training plan to bridge any skill or knowledge gaps that you have identified during the recruitment process. Who do they need to meet? What information do they need to know? Don’t overlook the smaller things, what is the tea and coffee making etiquette? What should they do for lunch? Where can they go? Is it OK to heat up last night’s curry in the microwave and eat it at their desk? All of these elements are so important to helping the newest member of the team feel at ease and motivated to succeed.