Recruiting your first employee

Theresa Pruvost
Theresa Pruvost

If you’re recruiting for the first time it may feel a little daunting.

The recruitment process can be time-consuming and costly, especially if, further down the line, the person you’ve recruited doesn’t meet your expectations. Follow these top tips to help you to find and select the right person for the job.

Don’t discriminate. Familiarise yourself with the Equality Act 2010 so that you provide a fair recruitment process.

Before you advertise, it’s important to spend some time gathering key information about the job; its purpose and what the responsibilities and tasks are. This job analysis forms the basis of your job advertisement, job description and your person specification. It will help you determine your requirements in terms of skills, attitude, pay and training that you may provide.

Write a compelling job advertisement. Use jargon-free job titles; highlight what the candidate will do and include why you are a great company to work for. Say what experience and skills you are looking for, along with benefits that your target candidate would care about.

Select appropriate recruitment methods. How and where will you advertise? What is your budget? Remember, there’s lots of places you can advertise for free such as your website, Twitter and Facebook. Don’t forget, you can use multiple methods to advertise your vacancy.

Be thorough with your selection process. The ‘classic trio’ of application forms, competency-based interviews and references from previous employers is used by around 80 per cent of organisations to select new employees. Face-to-face interviews remain one of the most popular selection methods, but they are in fact quite unreliable. Think about introducing additional items such as ‘work samples’ – the candidate completes exercises that they would be required to undertake as part of the position; ‘computer exercises’ – demonstrates a candidate’s computer skills; and ‘role-play’ which can test a candidate’s problem solving, decision making, verbal communication and reasoning skills.

Understand the legal implications of offering a job. When you make someone a job offer, even if it’s only verbal, a legally-binding contract has been formed. You must provide a ‘written statement of employment particulars’ within two months of the start of employment.

You must ensure your new employee has the right to work in the UK and you must pay them at least minimum wage. If they are eligible, you will need to set up a workplace pension scheme for them. You will need employer’s liability insurance and also register yourself as an employer with HMRC.

Theresa Pruvost is managing director at Harris HR Consultancy, and is leading a Brighton Chamber Bite-sized Learning: Recruiting your first employees on July 18. To find out more,