For many small business owners, taking on your first employees can be a rather big deal. Not only will you be handing over some of the responsibilities of your business to somebody else, you’ll also need to deal with the day-to-day management of your team and being not only your own boss, but somebody else’s. So, it’s easy to see why it can be daunting for entrepreneurs to take their business to this next level.
However, many small businesses will need to hire some full-time staff in order to achieve company goals and objectives. Careful preparation before you take on your first employee will help you get this process right; you can hire a super productive startup team, and get the results that you want from expanding your team.
We’ve put together eight top tips to consider before you take the next step.
1- Prepare Yourself:
Whether you’ve worked as a manager before or have no prior experience of running a team, hiring employees who you will be overseeing is likely going to be a different experience to anything that you’ve done in the past. Even if you have previous managerial experience, the difference when you run your own business is that you are the person who’s completely in charge and calls all the shots.
Any business owner will know that being a good boss is more likely to encourage any employees that you do take on to be more productive, passionate about, and loyal to your company. You may consider investing in some leadership training programs to help you become the best leader for your new team. A useful tool to use is findcourses.com who have listed all of the options available. You can filter the search by your location to make sure there’s a course available in your area.
2- Take Your Time:
Getting the right people to work for your company is no easy task, so it’s important to take your time when it comes to drafting person specifications, job application profiles, and conducting interviews. Give yourself plenty of time to go through a large number of applicants before coming to a decision about who will make the best addition to your start-up.
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Rushing into the hiring process can lead to costly mistakes that you may regret later on. Sit down and think about the type of person that you want working for you; do they need to have specific qualifications, or are you happy to take on somebody as long as they display the right attitude and are eager to learn more? Do you want somebody who is available full-time, or are you only in need of help on a part-time basis?
The answers to these questions will be very important when it comes to putting together a job listing that’s going to attract the right people.
3- Carry Out Applicant Checks:
Once you’ve found the right candidates for your job, it’s a wise idea to carry out applicant checks. You should ensure that your employee has the legal right to work for you, and you may also want to get references for them from any past employers. If necessary, you may also need to conduct checks that are appropriate for their new position, such as background and criminal record checks which may be needed if they are working in a security position or with vulnerable members of the public, for example. If your new employees will have access to financial accounts or work in another finance-based role, you may want to consider carrying out a credit check.
4- Provide Your Employees with a Contract:
By law, your employees must be provided with a contract of employment once they have accepted the offer to work for you. This contract will outline their rights, responsibilities, and working conditions. You can include things such as working hours, vacation days, policies regarding sickness, absences and lateness, pay and commission, uniform, and notice required in the contract.
It does not have to be a formal written document, but it must contain both explicit and implied terms of employment. In addition to a contract, you might also find it useful to create an employee handbook for all workers to adhere to. This can go into further details about the factors mentioned above and any more that are specific to your company.
5- Make Sure You Have the Right Insurance:
Before you can allow anybody to start working for you, it’s essential to make sure that your company is adequately insured. Employer’s liability insurance will make sure that your business is protected in the event of claims from employees who have fallen ill or been injured at the workplace. Unless you have nobody working for you, it is illegal to operate in most states without the correct employer’s liability insurance.
Most insurance companies who provide business policies such as public liability insurance will be able to provide you with this. It’s likely that you’ll get a better deal by taking out a package policy with your current business insurer, but don’t assume that this will always be the case.
6- Be Aware of Health and Safety Obligations:
As an employer, it’s your legal obligation to ensure that your employees have a safe, secure environment to work in. This will of course vary between workplaces; a city center office will likely have less hazards to deal with than a construction site, for example. However, don’t think that your business doesn’t have to worry about health and safety.
Even in an office environment, you’ll be obliged to ensure that all electronic appliances pass safety tests and that the building itself does not present any hazards. It’s a good idea to go around the workplace with a health and safety professional beforehand to make sure that all boxes are ticked.
7- Make it Easy to Stay:
Many small business owners will tell you that hiring is the easy part. Once that’s over, you’ll need to make it easy for your new employees to stick around and work to the best of their ability for your business. Today, there is no shortage of jobs out there for the right people, so always be aware of the possibility that your employees could leave for elsewhere.
Consider employee perks and other incentives to motivate your team. Once of the best things about working for a new start-up is that there’s more potential for employees to grow within the company. Recognize this and give your employees the opportunity to progress.
8- When Things Don’t Work Out:
Although you want to get the best employees and have them work for you for as long as possible, this won’t always be the case. It’s important that you are prepared for what to do if things don’t go to plan. It’s important to be prepared for employees leaving, or even worse, having to fire them.
Bear in mind that if an employee believes that they have been dismissed unfairly or if they leave due to you breaching your contract with them, they may take your company to an employment tribunal. So, it’s important to ensure that everything is done by the book in these circumstances. Before the time arises, have a plan in place for how you will handle investigations, disciplinaries, and dismissals.
Hiring your first employees can be an exciting and daunting time for an entrepreneur. We hope these tips helped you get the best team working for you!