10 Things to Consider When Hiring Your First Employee

10 Things to Consider When Hiring Your First Employee

Read Time: 5 Minutes


04 Jan 2019


Business is booming and you’re having to stretch your self-employed self across every single position – and it’s getting to the point where you really need to hire an employee to help you out. Sound familiar?

If you’ve found yourself having to navigate the totally new world of recruitment, don’t’ worry. We’re here to help make that a little easier. Here are 10 things to consider before, during and after recruiting your first employee.


What to Do Before Hiring Your First Employee


1.    Work Out the Costs

Like with any big business decision, the first thing to do is to set yourself a budget. The first big cost decision will be: how much do you want to pay them? The higher the pay, the more experience you can demand – but remember that you must pay your new employee at least the UK’s National Minimum Wage.

As well as this, you’ll also need employers’ liability insurance. You could be fined £2,500 a day if you aren’t properly covered, so make sure you put this at the top of your to-do list!


2.    Register as an Employer

Whether you’re employing staff or subcontractors for construction work, you’ll need to register as an employer with the HMRC before the first pay day.

This means you’ll be able to pay tax and national insurance for your employees. Find out more about how you can run payroll here.

Make sure you also understand your responsibilities around workplace pensions.


3.    Write a Compelling Job Description

The job description is one of the most important parts in hiring someone new; this is how you’re going to attract the most qualified candidates. 
Important things to include in the job description are:

•    The job title
•    A summary of essential responsibilities
•    The qualifications the candidate must have
•    Company values and benefits (like number of holiday days)
•    Why your company is unique
•    The job location


What to Do When Hiring Your First Employee


4.    Plan the Interview

Depending on the kind of job you’re offering, you’ll need a different kind of interview. Your interview process could be made up of a number of different elements, including tasks and face-to-face interviews.

Here at instantprint, our first-round interviews are entirely focused on whether the candidate’s values match the brand and whether or not they’d be a good fit. In a recent speech, Co-founders Adam and James said,

Our focus for first-stage interviews has become finding people with the right attitude and behaviours rather than someone who has experience in x, y or z. It is infinitely easier to train someone to run a printing press or write .net code than it is to instil a positive, proactive attitude into them.

You’ll need to decide what kind of questions to ask to figure out things like:

•    past experience and current skills;
•    future goals;
•    and the candidate’s core beliefs and values.

Make sure you’ve read the candidate’s application and tailor the interview around that.


5.    Let Them Know They’ve Got the Job

Next, it’s time to give feedback to the successful candidate, but also any unsuccessful ones. Always be prepared to give constructive feedback to unsuccessful ones – like areas to improve for next time.

You can either let them know via email or over the phone.


6.    Agree a Contract and Salary

Once the employee accepts the position, you’ll need to agree a contract with them – they don’t have to be written down, but commonly are. The contract details the terms of this agreement, such as:

•    Employment conditions
•    Key workplace rules
•    Rights
•    Responsibilities
•    Duties


7.    Tell HMRC About Your New Employee

Once all contracts have been agreed, it’s time to tell HMRC about your new employee. This will involve how you’re going to pay them, getting their employee information to work out their tax code and whether or not they’re paying off a student loan.

This must be done on or before their first pay day.

Find out more about how to do this on the gov.uk site


8.    Create an Employee Handbook

Not an essential, but a definite nice-to-have, an employee handbook describes your business’ policies like dress code and time off work allowances, and goes into detail on how the brand values work.

We recommend printing yours on an A5 perfect bound booklet so it’s perfect for fitting in your employees’ drawer.


What to Do After Hiring Your First Employee


9.    Train Them Up

Even if your new employee has experience in a similar role, they won’t know your business like you do. The best way to make sure they work in the way you want them to is to take a bit of time in the beginning to show them the ropes – trust us, it’ll be less time consuming it in the long run!

We recommend spending the first week (at least) focused on training and developing their skills – there will be a few hiccups to begin with, but it’s important to remember that we have to make mistakes to learn.


10.    Invest in Their Development

To make sure your business is at the top of the industry, you’ll need to makes sure your employee’s skills are sharpened with training.

Create a development plan of how their role will progress in the future. Remember to ask for their input too – their personal development is key for your success and it’ll keep them motivated too!


Growing your team is an extremely exciting time. And we’d love to congratulate you on the current success of your business. The next step in propelling your business forward in a proactive and productive way is to set some SMART goals for yourself and employees. Or, hear some more advice from our founders here!


About the Author

Hi! I’m Laura and I’m the Head of instantprint. I’m dedicated to using my experience to help small businesses make the most out of their marketing.