26 Dec Appoint your first employee
Appointing your first employee – what to do and avoid
Taking on your first paid (and therefore contracted) employee is a major step for any company.
Get it wrong and the results could be crippling for your business.
Get things right however, and you’ve taken the first step to a successful future.
Here then, are a few things to do and to watch out for.
1. Be very clear about what you want
Finding the perfect person is of course, essential.
Take time therefore to ensure that you’re absolutely clear what you want them to do and what you will do (and also how you’ll review and measure it all).
This will feed the job description and enable you to draw up, not only a list of the practical skills and experience they must have, but also the personality and attitudes they should carry.
Take care also to be realistic about what this person can do within the weekly timescale. It can often be the case that when you’ve detailed what you actually need done and the skills required to do it, you could be looking at two or three roles rather than one!
2. Get the salary right
Not only must you ensure your pay levels are appropriate to reward the right individual they must also be at a sustainable level for your business; even during the quiet times
3. Get the recruitment and interview process right
This is of course, critical.
If you’re not sure about how best to go about candidate recruitment, profiling and interviewing (and background and reference checks too) you should take professional advice.
Remember, this is not only to ensure you find the right person, it’s also to ensure that you comply with all the legalities relating to equal opportunities.
Misjudge this or get the process wrong and you could end up in hot water.
4. What kind of employee contract do I need?
An employee contract not only sets out a clear understanding of the requirements and expectations for both parties, it can also be structured (within the law) to meet your unique situation as an employer.
It will outline as a minimum; salary, hours and place(s) of employment, holiday entitlement, company sickness policy, pension provision, notice periods and disciplinary and grievance procedures.
5. Ask ‘what if’?
Take time to ask yourself all the ‘what if’ questions.
What for example would happen if your new employee left shortly after joining? Where would this leave you?
Ask yourself therefore, if you need your new team member to sign any nondisclosure and/ or non-compete agreements?
6. Ensure you’re fully legal
Compliance with all the requirements of the law when it comes to employees and having people working in your building(s) can be complex and daunting.
This, including insurance and Health & Safety requirements, is an area where you should seek professional advice.
7. Establish a secure payroll system
You’ll need to set up a payroll submission with HMRC to ensure all tax and National Insurance requirements are covered.
8. Test with a trial period
There is nothing that says you must take someone on permanently from day one. Instead a trial/ temporary employment period for both sides will ensure you’ve found the right person.
9. Ensure you have the funds to cover the recruitment
It may take quite a lot of time and expense to get the right person in.
Do not underestimate therefore, the cost of this to your business and the time you’ll need to put in.
10. Decide how you’ll manage them
Don’t forget that getting the new team member in place is just the start of the process.
To ensure you get the business uplift you’re looking for, you will then need to ensure you lead and manage them appropriately.
If you have little or no experience of people management yourself, then it is probably a good idea to invest in some management skills training.
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