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Recruiting the Right People

By: Dave Howell - Updated: 21 Nov 2010 | comments*Discuss
Recruitment Employees Employer First

As your business grows it may become inevitable that you begin to employ additional members of staff. You can read a beginner’s guide for first time employers on the HMRC website: www.hmrc.gov.uk/employers/first_steps.htm. You can also download a handy guide ‘Thinking of employing someone?’ also from the HMRC website: www.hmrc.gov.uk/employers/employing-someone.pdf.

Hiring The Right People

Hiring new employees can be a time consuming and expensive exercise. There are a number of key components of employment law that you should be aware of that include:

1: Discrimination in the Workplace
Your recruitment process should be designed so that it does not discriminate against any of your candidates. You can download further information about how to handle religion in the workplace from the ACAS website: www.acas.org.uk/media/pdf/f/l/religion_1.pdf. ACAS also have a guide that covers sexual orientation in the workplace also available to download from their website: www.acas.org.uk/media/pdf/a/8/guide_sexualO_1.pdf.

2: Health and Safety
Every employee has the right to work in a safe environment. It’s important that you carry out a risk assessment of the areas that your employees will be working within to identify any risks. You can download a complete guide to health and safety from the HSE website: www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/indg259.pdf.

3: Pay and Conditions
The UK now has minimum levels of pay that all businesses must comply with. You can see details of the current National Minimum Wage on the BERR website: www.berr.gov.uk/employment/pay/national-minimum-wage/index.html. You should also be aware that it is your responsibility to check that your employees are eligible to work in the UK. If they are not, you could face a £5,000 fine.

Also, you must provide a full contract of employment. Your employees can’t work more than 48 hours a week to comply with the Work Time Directive. You can read more about this directive on the BERR website: http://tinyurl.com/29f9lr. You will also be required to pay statutory sick pay and possibly set-up a pension scheme if you have over five employees.

4: Tax and National Insurance
As an employer you now have responsibility to collect income tax and also National Insurance contributions from your employees. The paperwork that you have to complete can be quite daunting for beginners, so take advice if you are not sure of any details. Handling PAYE online can be very efficient. You can read more information about filing online on the HMRC website: www.hmrc.gov.uk/employers/onlineindex.htm.

Recruiting Checklist

Hiring the right people for your business is a crucial decision that can have far-reaching consequences for your enterprise’s future if you hire the wrong people. Use the checklist below to help you develop a robust recruitment procedure for your business:

1: Is the Employee Needed?
This may at first glance seem like an irrelevant question, but could you use consultants, part-time employees, or freelance workers to carry out the tasks that a full-time employee could? You may find that being more flexible in your recruiting can be beneficial to your business.

2: Detailed Job Description
It’s important that you have in writing a profile of the vacancy you have in your business. List the key duties as well as details like salary and hours. Don’t forget that you should also try and write a profile of the personal qualifications you are looking for, as the new employee may have to fit into an existing team.

3: Advertisements and Applications
You can now think about where you will advertise your vacancy and how you will handle the initial selection procedure. If your business is specialised, then the trade press that supports your sector is a good place to start. If you’re looking for more general employees, your local press and job centre are good places to advertise.

4: Shortlist and Interviews
For more general vacancies you may be faced with hundreds of candidates. This is where the application form comes in handy as you can see at a glance those applicants that don’t have at least the minimum qualifications you’re looking for. Try and draw up a shortlist of only the best candidates to call for interview.

5: Using Recruit Testing
The use of psychometric testing is becoming more common in smaller businesses, as the cost of these tests has come down. It’s important to use these types of test correctly not only to avoid discrimination that is illegal, but also to ensure you don’t end up hiring the wrong person for your vacancy. The British Psychological Society has a series of guides you can download to help you to successfully navigate testing in your recruitment procedure: www.psychtesting.org.uk/the-ptc/guidelinesandinformation.cfm.

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