Before spending time and money on employing someone new, you should weigh up whether you really need to recruit new staff. To do this, look at your staffing needs in relation to the wider objectives of the business.
You may need extra help immediately or you may simply be thinking about your future staffing requirements. But in both cases it's valuable to plan as far ahead as you can.
You should consider why you're looking for extra help and how long you will need it for.
- Ask yourself the following questions:
- Are you considering taking on your first employee to help you grow your business or handle an increasing workload?
- Are you replacing an employee who has left? If so, why did the previous employee leave and what skills and experience have you lost?
- Do you need to bring in a new skill to your business that none of your existing employees has?
- Has your workload increased? If so, is the workload likely to continue or is it just a temporary increase?
- What will be the impact of taking on a new staff member? Do you have somewhere for them to sit? Will you need to buy new equipment for them?
- Do you need cover for yourself in the long term?
If you are taking on your first employee you will be required to register as an employer with HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC).
You can find a 6 point check list about employing staff for the first time at GOV.UK: Employing staff
As an employer, you have a number of legal obligations with regards to paying employees. If you don't follow the proper procedures - including paying your male and female employees equally and fairly - you could have penalties to pay.
Alternatives to taking on new staff
Since recruitment can be expensive and time-consuming, other options you could consider include:
- Re-organising the company structure
- Sharing work among existing employees
- Promoting existing staff
- Asking part-time employees if they would consider full-time work
- Improving the efficiency of the business, perhaps by rearranging tasks
- Offering overtime
- Adopting flexible working arrangements, eg allowing some staff to begin earlier/later to provide cover for a longer part of the day
The best ways to take on extra people