You may have set up your business from your kitchen table last year, or jumped straight into premises with the intention of going global. Whatever your business plan, growth and success normally results in the need for support which introduces EMPLOYEES!

A daunting and terrifying thought for the uninitiated but never fear – the team at MAD-HR are here to support you and help you realise that hiring someone needn’t be that scary.

The main issue that most find daunting is Employment Law and indeed our advice would be that as a priority you need to at least be aware of the law, even if you need expert advice to fully understand the relevant parts:

  • Be aware of employment costs – national insurance, pension contributions, employers liability insurance, sick pay, holiday pay, maternity and paternity pay, statutory health and safety requirements. You need processes and systems in place to ensure you are meeting your obligations as an employer, and have the funding to cover the costs.
  • Right to Work – undertake the necessary checks to ensure that the candidate is legally eligible to work in the UK. Employing someone who is illegal can not only damage your organisation’s reputation but can result in hefty fines, and even imprisonment. Do these checks BEFORE offering the position, and keep copies of all the documents that you see (signing the copy and adding your name and date to confirm when the check took place).
  • Contract of employment and Company Handbook – these should be formulated and available PRIOR to the new recruit physically starting work. Dealing with confidentiality and behaviour issues once an incident has occurred can be avoided by being clear on obligations and consequences of breaching policies and the employment contract. You are likely to need to create the policies if this is your first recruit. For example, Annual Leave, Sickness and Absence, Use of Social Media, Client Confidentially….the list goes on.
  • Be clear on why you need to hire, and how that need will be best fulfilled. Are you looking to increase revenue by freeing up your time through them undertaking some of the routine administrative tasks, or by them earning the increased revenue directly?
  • Do you have a detailed job description and person specification? Person Specifications are often overlooked by SMEs yet are vital to managing expectations of both parties, and ensure your recruitment is focused and relevant.
  • Have you considered working hours? Whether part-time will suffice, how it fits in with your working hours to be able to supervise or even do you have the desk space/computer/phone line that may be needed.
  • Establish the best place to advertise. If you advertise on free selling websites you are unlikely to find a candidate with a top-class degree and a great CV. There may be specialist agencies or sites that suit your needs. Research, talk to people and make your decision based on recommendations and reputation not just the cost of advertising. Going through the recruitment process is costly enough without having to repeat it due to poor quality of candidates.
  • Plan the time to recruit. Once you have advertised your role, don’t forget to clear time in your diary to ensure that you have the capacity to shortlist / interview shortly after the application closing date. Equally, you don’t want to go through the process, find the ideal candidate and then get distracted for a few days so by the time you offer the position they have already accepted another role elsewhere.
  • Interviewing and Selection Process – make sure that you are aware of what questions you can and cannot ask, how to keep your notes and on what basis you are going to make your decision. Think about inviting someone to interview with you. It can be very useful to have someone else to discuss the candidates with and help with your decision making. If you want to have some competency tests included in the process ensure these are linked back to the person specification and are justified. Treat every candidate exactly the same to avoid any claims of discrimination. Please note – they don’t need to be an employee to head towards the Employment Tribunal office if they feel that they have been discriminated against.
  • Why should they want to come and work for you? Once you have learned about them and their skills. Use the interview to sell your organisation to them. Show them around, introduce them to the team (if you already have one), and share your vision and plans for the future. By letting them see your passion and excitement for your organisation they will be encouraged to come and join you on that journey.
  • References – it is worth checking out details on a CV and references. Call the previous employer and have a conversation to validate key details. It is best to find out about embellishments and omissions before employment is offered!

And of course – don’t forget the money. You need to be able to afford the recruit but you also need to ensure you get value for money by being competitive with the package that you are offering.

Speak to a recruitment expert, do research online and check out the local job market. Think bigger than just salary – annual leave, development and training opportunities, flexible working. Often it is not just the monetary salary that attracts the good candidates.

Finally, you can have your processes and systems set up, be trained and briefed on how to interview and select, have a great package to offer and have found the perfect candidate but don’t forget about that all-important onboarding process…… their experience from offer to the end of their induction process will determine if they want to stay with you – don’t let all of your hard work go to waste.

MAD-HR’s Charlotte Bale took part in a webinar last year which answers some of these questions, sit back and listen to Charlotte and the New Anglia Growth Hub team.

If you need help, then MAD-HR is there to support you as much or as little as you need. We are not a recruitment agency but we want to help businesses get better at finding and retaining talent for their business. Our toolkit has a wealth of policies and example Employee Handbooks that you can make use of, including recruitment advert templates, job specifications, interview questions, contracts of employment, Employer’s Handbook, policies and the list goes on.

Please contact us to discuss how we can provide the expert HR advice and support to help you achieve your organisation’s goals. We’re a friendly bunch and would love to help Make A Difference to your business so give us a call on 01473 360160 or arrange a free one-hour consultation.

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