Taking on a new employee is a huge and exciting moment for your business. It’s a little sign that the hard work, sleepless nights and long days are making an impact and you’re on the right path…your business is growing!
We work with lots of small business owners just like you and are on hand to offer support, guidance and generally be your HR sounding board to help make your onboarding process as simple as possible, and help you find the right fit for you and your business.
We all know that if you make a bad decision when it comes to hiring it could cause a ripple effect on your business:
– the reputation you’ve worked so hard to build could be affected.
– you may need to spend precious time you simply don’t have managing under-performance.
– disruption and demotivation could impact the performance and equilibrium of the team.
– and then, the depressing thought of starting the whole recruitment process all over again, crossing your fingers that this time you’ll make a better choice!
But don’t worry – we’re on hand with this handy checklist of our top tips for employers about to take the plunge:
Be clear about what you need
This is your business and your vision, so make sure you choose someone who shares those values and has the enthusiasm and drive to reach your goals.
Write a full and detailed job description detailing technical (what you want them to do) and behavioural (how you want them to do it) competencies you are looking for in your ideal candidate.
Don’t forget, they’re interviewing you too! Create a package that’s competitive and attractive – consider salary, benefits, perks, non-monetary rewards etc.
Check you can afford to recruit a new Employee
Talk to your accountant about your plans. Don’t have an accountant? We work closely with Heelan Associates who we highly recommend.
Consider your cash flow and projected wage growth, including increases in cost-of-living, bonuses and planned promotional increases.
Check that your planned salary is in line with your industry’s standard.
When doing your calculations, work in terms of gross costs… so by this we mean:
Salary + tax and National Insurance + any pension contributions
Consider the amount of your time will be needed to manage them and ensure they perform at their best – this is an often forgotten additional cost to your business.
Understand your legal and contractual obligations
The scary bit! Don’t worry, we can support and advise on the relevant compliance factors. You’ll need to make sure that you:
Pay National Minimum Wage
Have Employer’s Liability insurance in place
Provide a written statement containing the main terms and conditions of employment within two months of the start date
Have Health and Safety, Disciplinary and Grievance policies in place (as a minimum), although we also advise investing in a set of policies and processes that are bespoke to your business, to ensure your new employee fully understands both the company’s key values and what is expected of them in relation to these. This also acts as a set of criteria by which performance and conduct can be assessed, and maximum productivity and engagement levels achieved.
Follow a robust recruitment process
What do we mean by this? Well, simply that you need to be fair and compliant, and give yourself the best chance of finding the best candidate for the role.
Use your detailed job description from point 1 and use it to advertise the role.
Ensure the application process is standardised for all interested applicants.
Create a list of interview questions based on both technical and behavioral competencies needed for the role and in line with the company’s values.
Decide on the best candidate based on objective and non-discriminatory considerations.
Undertake thorough and complete pre-employment checks for the successful recruit (references/ID/Proof of right to work in the UK)
Make time for a proper induction
How you onboard your new employee will set the tone for their experience with you. You can do this by:
- Setting your new employee clear expectations and targets which are reviewed regularly.
- Creating an induction programme with key team members.
- Providing a mentor/work buddy.
- Enforcing a Probationary Period and only confirm in post if targets and expectations are being met (there are rules around failing a probationary period so advice from a HR person should be obtained if you are unsure)
- Plan for ongoing performance management.
Phew! That’s a lot to remember, and it could be very expensive for your business if you make any wrong choices. We understand that the ‘people stuff’ may not come naturally to you, and those are the times you’ll be looking for expert, affordable support. We’re here to help you out as much or as little as you need, to help you get the right people into the right roles at the right price.
One final thought from us…don’t neglect yourself! Evolving from doing everything yourself, to delegating to, and monitoring work and productivity of, a growing team of people ultimately requires a change in skillset. Would you like some leadership coaching as part of your own professional development?
We hope you’ve found this useful, and if you need to chat about any HR issues, we’d love to hear from you – all it costs is a cup of coffee!