You put so much time, effort and care into building your business, growing it from nothing into a working operation with a customer base. As small business owners, we have to give 110% all the time and get used to knowing a little about everything from balancing the books to marketing our business. So, when you finally have the chance and the funds to expand and take on some staff, it can actually be an extremely daunting experience. What do you need to know about your first hires? We take a look …
Make Appropriate Checks
Although you may be used to dealing with people on gut instinct, that’s not a good way to go about the hiring process with new employees. You’ll need to be very certain that the person in front of you will be an asset to your company, and that means making sure that background checks are in place. Everything from CRB checks (if needed) to checking they really did complete that MBA online. Hiring someone who is the wrong for can be a costly mistake, so don’t be afraid to meet them several times and enquire into any aspects of their background you’re unsure about.
Get the Contracts Right
Each employee must legally have a proper Contract of Employment, and if you aren’t sure what’s required then you should approach a recruitment specialist, who will be able to advise and also filter through prospective candidates - for a fee. Start by finding a guide to employment law and making sure everything is correct.
Make Sure You’re Insured
Having the correct insurance is paramount when you begin to employ others. You need cover in place in case others fall ill or injure themselves while working for your company. Insurers liability cover is easy to find quotes for online.
Be Aware of Health and Safety
When you employ others, you have a legal obligation to safeguard their welfare at work. Until you have five or more employees, you won’t need a formal written Health and Safety policy, but you do need to be aware of what to do if a problem arises. It’s a good idea to have a written risk assessment, even if you only have one other person working with you.
If Things Don’t Work Out
If the worst happens and you do have an issue with one of your new employees, make sure that you seek adequate legal advice. One of the hardest areas is if you should have to make a position redundant. If you have breached any contracts on your side of the affair, or you don’t handle the dismissal process in the correct way, you may find yourself at an employment tribunal. These can involve claims for unfair dismissal, harassment, disagreements over pay and working conditions and any kind of discrimination. If this does happen, a good place to start is the ACAS website for advice and proper conduct.
Employing others can be daunting but it will also help your business to grow and bring in new skills that can create further opportunities. Employing people isn’t a science - it’s an art - and getting the right mix of attributes and team dynamics is something that you can only learn over time.
Featured image from Shutterstock / By Bimbim