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Hiring employees for your small business

Hiring employees to your business is a sign of growth and expansion and something that should be celebrated. However, it can be a daunting process, especially if you don’t have any experience in hiring staff and employees. You must therefore be prepared to ensure that you have made a good decision and hired the right person.


There are many ways in which you can test your job candidates to assess if they will be a good fit for the role, as well as your business. Whether you are adding the tenth member to your team or hiring your first employee, you will have to make the daunting decision of selecting the right person. Here are some ways you can see if a candidate is suitable for the job being offered.

Know what you want

You need to make sure that you know what you want. Maybe consider having an ideal candidate in mind, as this will give you a starting point. Begin by defining the role and create a job description, highlighting all the roles and responsibilities that come with the job. You will also need to make it apparent what your requirements are. For example, you may want an experienced individual with at least couple of years in experience in the field. Or you might want a candidate that has achieved a certain level of education. Also you will need to think about the salary you want to offer when putting together the job description. As a small business, you will need to see what you can afford to offer your employees. A good salary will entice good quality candidates to your role, ensuring a good match for both the company and the candidate.

Transparency is key when it comes to hiring staff. Make sure to make your expectations clear, highlight the company culture and discuss the salary openly. This will ensure that there are no problems and misunderstandings in the future.

Where to hire

Deciding where to hire employees will vary depending on what kind of role you are advertising. For example, if you want to hire a social media intern, then you don’t necessarily have to go through recruiting websites or agencies. Try contacting local universities or colleges to see if any students are willing to take up the role. Alternatively, if you require a qualified professional then you might have to approach a niche job website. For example, for an IT role you might consider using Technojobs to fill the vacany. There are many recruiting avenues to consider, therefore you have to take time to decide what suits your situation the best. You may also want to consider the time you have available and the money in your budget for recruiting staff. If you need staff on short notice then you could hire through recruiting agencies. Recruitment agencies are usually quick and efficient so they are a great way to hire a worker.

Anthony Sherick, added: “Hiring staff is often quite difficult for small businesses who don’t have a dedicated in-house recruitment resource. Therefore the burden and resource is normally additional to the day to day work. There are multiple channels to source candidates from jobsites to recruitment agencies. Recruitment Agencies will often charge a percentage of salary whilst jobsites will charge a flat fee for advertising. It is so important that small businesses sell their company to prospective candidates through the job advert, social media etc.”

As a small business owner, you may have only a few members of staff that you may consider as your work family. Therefore, you could even hire your own friends and family, or existing employees’ friends and family. This could save you a lot of time and money. You might also have the additional benefit of previously knowing the candidate. Whatever the case, make sure to set professional standards and boundaries.

Company culture

Company culture includes the shared values, beliefs, behaviours and experiences of your company. These all need to align with the company’s ethos, as well as the long terms goals and objectives. For example, you may encourage you staff to get a healthier lifestyle by encouraging physical exercise and a healthy diet. This might be a prominent part of your work culture because promoting good health will ultimately promote productivity as well as a happier environment.

Company culture is incredibly important when hiring employees, and you will need to make sure that prospective candidates will fit into your team and be a valuable asset. A new employee that fits in and accepts the company culture, will likely ensure a prolonged amount of time working for you and your business. Employee retention will likely depend on their efficiency to embrace your company culture and values.

Interview process

Once you have selected a couple of candidates, you will need to carry out the interview process. You will need to decide how lengthy you want the interview process to be. Ideally you would want a quick and efficient interview process. However, if you are not one hundred percent convinced on hiring a candidate, don’t settle. Don’t hesitate to either keep looking, or hold another interview or assessment day. You need to make sure that the candidate you hire is absolutely right for your business, as this will avoid any problems in the future. You don’t want to rush in hiring a candidate, and later realise that they are completely not compatible with your company culture. Recruiting process can be expensive, therefore make sure you take time in any decision making.

Legal requirements

You need to consider several things when hiring, especially the the legal requirements. You need to make sure that a candidate is suitable for your business, and complies with the following:

  • National minimum wage – when considering the salary, you need to make sure that you are offering the minimum wage or above. Also, note that the minimum wage varies for different age groups.
  • Legal right to work – ensure that your candidates have the right to work in the UK. Are they a UK citizen? Or do they have a working visa?
  • DBS check – if your business has any contact with the vulnerable people or young children, your candidates need to have DBS checks. For example, if you are hiring for a nursery small business, then any candidate will need to have a DBS check.
  • Employer Insurance – as an employer you will need to take out employer insurance.
  • Contract/ Written statement of employment – when you hire a candidate, you will need to provide them with a job contract and an employment statement.
  • HMRC – you will need to register yourself as an employer when you hire your first employee.
  • Workplace pension scheme – you will need to see if you need to offer a pension scheme for your employee.

More on employing staff and growing your business.

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