Employing people

There aren’t many tasks more daunting for a start-up business than taking on your first member of staff.

You’ve been running your business on your own, it’s going well and the time has come to take on your first member of staff to share the workload.

But how do you find the right person? What red tape is involved? How do you go about paying them? These are just a few questions that many people ask when recruiting for the first time.

Here’s a few tips to help you on your way…

Evaluate your business

Take a look at where your business is now, are you financially able to take on a member of staff and do you have enough work to offer?

If the answer is yes, pinpoint the key tasks the role will include and jot down the skills, traits and experience they will need.

This will help you prepare for the recruitment process and will ensure you know exactly what you’re looking for.

Create the role

You’ve established that it’s time to take on your first member of staff and you want to get down to business.

Now it’s time to write up your job description. Give the role a name and make clear exactly what the person is expected to achieve.

It is also a good idea to give a little information about the scope of the job, highlighting how important it is to the business and how the chosen member of staff will fit in with the company’s goals.


One of the hardest parts of recruiting for a start-up business is advertising the job and getting it in front of the right people.

Sadly, there aren’t many free recruitment tools which guarantee you success, quite a lot of them do come at a cost.

If you are operation on a shoe string however, it may be worth posting your job role to social media. Linking in with community groups is a great start.

Social networks such as Twitter and Facebook are a great way of getting your role out to local people whereas LinkedIn is a great way of getting it out to people in a specific industry.

If this doesn’t work, there are a number of other avenues you can go down. From listing the job in the local newspaper, to advertising it on LinkedIn, job recruitment websites and local schools or colleges.

Finding the right person

You’ve identified your role, highlighted what expertise you require and received a number of applications. Now, how do you choose the right person?

The best idea is usually to pick a few of the applications that really stand out and invite them for a formal interview.

This will give you the chance to speak to them in person, chat about why they want the job and see how well you get on with them.

As a small business, it’s important to have a good team spirit and face-to-face meetings are a great way of getting a feel for whether someone is a good fit for your business or not.


Okay. So you’ve held your interviews and have a good idea of who you’d like to employ. There’s just a few things to check off your list before making your final decision.

When employing any member of staff, you must make sure you don’t discriminate on grounds of sex, race, disability, age, sexual orientation or religion throughout the entire recruitment process.

For example, if a job candidate you have selected for interview has said they have a disability, you must make any reasonable adjustments so they are not at a disadvantage.

It is also a criminal offence to employ a person with no immigration authorisation to work in the UK.

Offering the job

Now you’ve considered all of the legal aspects and have cherry picked the right person to help grow your business, it’s time to make it official.

The first task is to send out a job offer letter. This should set out:

  • The job title and offer of the job
  • Any conditions applying to the offer
  • The terms – including salary, hours, benefits, pension arrangements, holiday entitlement and place of employment
  • Start date and any probationary period
  • What the candidate needs to do to accept the offer, including satisfactory references, or decline it.

Also, if the letter is to be the employment contract, or part of it, it should say so and include the main terms and conditions.

A written statement of employment terms and conditions must then also be given to the employee within two months of them starting work.

Now you’re ready to go!