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Employing staff for the first time

At Fair Business Loans we are passionate not only about providing small business loans UK but also about equipping small business owners with the knowledge and skills they need to make business work. We are involved in regular events called ‘Let’s Do Business Together’ that focus on issues of critical importance to small but growing businesses. The last event was about managing people. This is a huge leap forward for many small businesses in two major ways: logistics and culture. Let’s take a closer look at both of these now.

There is some excellent advice on the Gov UK website about employing staff for the first time. We reproduce the six main points below but would encourage you to check out the website for yourself as you will find lots of useful information there:

  1. Decide how much to pay someone - you must pay your employee at least the National Minimum Wage.
  2. Check if someone has the legal right to work in the UK. You may have to do other employment checks as well.
  3. Apply for a DBS check (formerly known as a CRB check) if you work in a field that requires one, eg with vulnerable people or security.
  4. Get employment insurance - you need employers’ liability insurance as soon as you become an employer.
  5. Send details of the job (including terms and conditions) in writing to your employee. You need to give your employee a written statement of employment if you’re employing someone for more than 1 month.
  6. Tell HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) by registering as an employer - you can do this up to 4 weeks before you pay your new staff.

As well as getting the initial logistics in place regarding the initial employment of staff, it is critically important to train your staff well and to keep their skills up to date. In a recent blog we covered the importance of training your staff and how it has a positive impact on customer satisfaction and business growth.

Another crucial area that is easily overlooked is the culture of your organisation. So far your organisation may only have consisted of you, so as you add others to your number you need to ensure that they will do things the way that you want them done. Your business is your passion - your “baby” - and you need others to share that passion and have the same values and standards that you do. Yes, new staff will bring with them new ideas as well as much-needed skills and talents - and may well help to develop your business in new ways - but you do have to ensure that they “fit” your organisational mould.

It’s well worth taking the time to think through this aspect carefully before you even advertise for employees: recruiting the wrong person can cause a lot of trouble and stress for all concerned. Think about whether you like a formal or more informal working environment, how you like to communicate, how much you are prepared to delegate to others and how you want to be kept updated. Also think how you want your business to serve and interact with your customers. Closely guard your developing brand in these crucial early days so that the vision that becomes a reality is yours and not someone else’s.

If additional small business funding is needed to enable you to recruit new staff then do get in touch with us at Fair Business Loans to see how we can help. We hope that this article will help point you in the right direction to get things right the first time both in terms of getting the right people then ticking all the boxes in the potentially complex world of your responsibilities as an employer.

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