5 things new employers wish they had known before hiring

Hindsight is a wonderful thing. Get the benefit of it with these handy tips to help ensure your recruitment process is as smooth as possible...

Finding great people for your business can be hard – or for some in-demand skill sets nigh-on impossible.

For many small businesses and start-ups, once they find their unicorn they’re in such a rush to get them onboard that they miss out some of the essentials. And this can spell trouble. Fortunately most mistakes are easily avoidable if you know ahead of time.

Here’s a list of five things new employers wish they’d known so you have the benefit of hindsight before you hire.

1. Know the PAYE sweet spot

When you want to employ someone you have to register for PAYE with HMRC. Here’s the rub – this can take anywhere from two-six weeks but HMRC also says you can’t have the number for more than two months without using it. Make sure you time it right.

2. Put it in writing: Employee contracts

You might be thinking ‘obviously’ but it’s astonishing how many new businesses have staff working in their business that don’t have any kind of written agreement – let alone a proper contract.

Trouble is while you may both be happy to work on “good faith” in the short-term, failing to issue employment contracts is extremely risky – not to mention illegal. They protect your interests and those of your new recruit. Anything from IP theft to employment tribunals could result – and as a small business you really don’t want either.

You’ve got two months from start date to issue an employment contract – don’t dally.

3. Employee Handbooks are a “must-have”

While not a legal requirement per se, Employee Handbooks provide policies and guidance on the terms of employment with your business – and yes some of those policies are required by law. Granted, some are best practice (e.g. dress or social media policy) rather than mandatory (such as disciplinary and sickness) but it’s worth covering all the bases from the off.

Providing your new employees with as much guidance as possible will avoid confusion – and help protect you if things go wrong.

4. Some interview questions are actually illegal

You may have not even realised but plain curiosity and even casual small talk with an interviewee could be interpreted as discrimination – and is illegal. To avoid getting into hot water you have to avoid questions pertaining to: race, religion, sexuality, marital status, gender, maternity and pregnancy and overall health. Age is also a banned subject – and for the record it’s just as bad to ask a 21 year old as it is a 64 year old. Age discrimination cuts both ways.

5. Training is not a crash course

Employees are 40% more likely to leave their job in the first year if they’ve received poor training. Given that the average cost of replacing an employee can run to tens of thousands, it’s safe to assume that onboarding and ongoing training are extremely important – not only to ensure a successful hire for your business but the happiness and fulfilment of your new employee.

And happy people work harder – fact.

Geniac provides a single platform that gives start-ups and small businesses an edge. For more tips on hiring and firing for your business download their free ebook here.

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