Category Archives: Careers

Recruitment: The next big thing for your start-up


Recruitment for small businessesAccording to The Federation of Small Businesses small businesses alone accounted for “47 per cent of private sector employment” and “SMEs employed 14.1 million people”.  Yet for many start-ups hiring their first employee can be an overwhelming experience.

One reason that businesses choose not to hire is the cost.  The responsibility to cover wages, training, resources and other company benefits can be very off-putting.  However, the cost of not hiring new staff can be equally high.  Also, when so much personal time, money and resources are pumped into a business it can be very daunting to hand over responsibility to employees.

If you are unable to spend the appropriate amounts of time on the various elements of your business it can start to flag.  In most cases, an extra pair of hands, or another head to think, can save more than it will cost.

Once you’ve decided you need an additional person, and that the business can support the extra cost, you need to ensure you’re hiring smart.  As a start-up you are not compelled to hire any old sole who applies.  Be choosy.  Though a multi-step recruitment process may seem lengthy or laborious, it is usually beneficial to the employer and the potential employee.  Even though all businesses are different, there are a few common steps which everyone should follow.

  1. Establish what role the new person will have, what they will be doing on a day to day basis, and create a job spec for the role.
  2. Think about how you are going to advertise the role.  Advertising the role on web recruitment boards can be very expensive and you’ll receive a high volume of responses from candidates that do not match the job role.  You may have worked with someone in the past that may be suitable.  Or you could consider using word of mouth, social media and networking as recruitment tools.  Time Magazine reports that “92% of employers are using or planning to use social networks for recruiting”.
  3. Get candidates to complete an online application which could include submitting a CV, a portfolio, and a cover letter.
  4. Narrow the list of applicants by excluding those with the least relevant experience or those without the necessary skills or qualifications.
  5. Conduct telephone interviews.  These need not be time consuming as just one 4 or 5 minute conversation can help you learn a lot about a person.  You’ll be able to assess their communication skills, enthusiasm, interest, and most importantly get a feel for their personality.
  6. Hopefully by this point you’ll have found a few candidates who may be suitable to interview.  It is always a good idea to have a second pair of eyes and ears when interviewing so invite someone (a business partner or someone you trust) to meet these applicants and share their recommendations with you.
  7. In the interview focus on what experience and skills the person has which are relevant to the job.  Competency based interviewing is a good way to understand how suitable a candidate is.  (This is where the candidate is required to give examples of their experience in dealing with particular situations or scenarios which are relevant to the role they’re applying for).

It is good practice to interview a few different people before making any job offers.  It can be a good idea to go back to the job specification you wrote and tick off how each of the people you have interviewed matches the job role.  Remember that a qualification proves someone has met the criteria of the role in a classroom and it may not always translate into practical ability.  As an interviewer you should ask if they have the experience you need for them to do the job and don’t be afraid to push a little bit if you are unhappy with their answers.

Once you’ve found the right person and employed them, make sure that you look after them.  By having the correct contracts in place, a staff handbook and dedicating time to training the person to do the job you want, you’ll ensure you get the best from your employee.  Employees who are given the resources and training to their job correctly are not likely to look for alternative employment opportunities.

If you’re thinking of taking on employees there are legal requirements you need to adhere to.  As an employer you have to be registered with HMRC for PAYE and be RTI compliant.  You have to at least pay minimum wage and run a regular payroll.  Our business consultants can assist you with the process and we have the tools to make it as simple as possible Call us now on 0800 0828 727 to register for PAYE and find out more about our Managed Payroll Service.