The 5 things you need to do before you hire your first employees

So you have decided its time to expand, or maybe you just need some additional help to support your current business.  Here are the 5 things you need to do before you hire your first employees:

1.     Double check your finances as in addition to basic pay you may need to pay for national insurance, benefits and office equipment.  You must also offer basic pay that is at least national minimum wage.

2.     Check you are registered to employ people with HMRC and have appropriate Employers Liability Insurance in place. If not you will need to allow time to arrange both of these.

3.     Put together a description of the position you have in mind, including the tasks they will be responsible for and the mix of skills you would like.  This will help you refine your requirements and ensure you are planning to hire into the right role.

4.     Make sure you have an offer letter and contract of employment that meets the minimum legislative requirements, and allows you to make a job offer subject to essential checks such as the right to work in the UK.  You will need to provide a new employee with an employment contract within 8 weeks of their start date but ideally in advance of their first day.

5.     Many employers will also have an Employee Handbook, which sets out more detailed policies such as sickness absence procedures, emergency time off and whistleblowing.  This can be as simple or detailed as your business needs but it’s sensible to put this in place early on to speed up decision making when these issues arise later on.

Next week I will be posting tips on how to ensure you find the right talent for your business!