How To Prepare For Your First Ever Employee

A guest blog by Kate Underwood, HR and training advisor.

***“Clients do not come first. Employees come first. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of the clients” Richard Branson***
So, you’ve finally taken the plunge and realised that you can’t do everything yourself: the time has come to take on your first employee!

Here’s what you need to consider…

What’s your budget?

Depending on what role you are looking to recruit for, there are various options a small business can take.

Look at the type of contract you offer

Is it full time, part time or maybe to start with you use a sub-contractor, just to test the water?

Ensure you‘re offering a competitive salary

Generally the more experience someone has the more money you will have to pay. Have you thought about an apprentice or a graduate? Would you have time to show them what to do? This might reduce their salary, but don’t forget that your time costs money too!

Once you have decided on number of hours and a salary, you need to remember to add on all your other costs. Tax, National Insurance, and, from October 2017, their pension. As an average: if you add 15% to their annual salary and you won’t be far off.

The legal bit

So, you‘ve found the person you want to hire, what next?

Make sure you have a contract of employment

By law you must have issued this within two months of an employee’s starting date. Remember that both parties need to sign it — you will be surprised how often this is overlooked.

As an employer, you must prove that your employee is eligible to work in the UK.

Make sure you have the records to prove this — it’s a £20,000 fine per employee if you can’t.

Get advice from you accountant on using a proper payroll system

With RTI and auto enrolment, you need to make sure you’re getting payroll right from the outset.

Induction is for big companies — isn’t it?

50% of employees leave within the first 120 days of starting a new job because they felt their needs were not met. Ensuring your new hire gets the best start is just as important as choosing the right candidate.

Use a system like CharlieHR to get the onboarding process started for you.

A video or presentation about your company and its culture and a directory of “who’s who” can go a long way to making newcomers feel involved from the start.

When possible, ask them to complete any online training before they start

New starters are eager to please and make a good first impression, so make use of this! We know Health and Safety is a dry subject but, much like going to the dentist, it has to be done. Get it out of the way sooner rather than later.

Plan their first week, and especially their first day

Introduce them to key people in your business, customer, suppliers, and remember that where to put your lunch and go to the loo are simple things that many employers forget to say!

Make your employees feel unique and embrace your company culture

From Friday beers to a buddy system, it doesn’t have to cost a lot of money.

Plan some feedback sessions within their first three months

…and put them in the diary. Make the time — even if only 30 minutes a month — to really find out how they are doing.

Last (but not least), don’t forget the basics!

Have a desk, chair, computer, phone and other items they might need to do their job on ready on their first day. Forgetting these will cost in the long run, as they sit around waiting to start work (and pondering on how unprofessional you are)!

Your people are your biggest asset and you biggest cost. Look after them and they will look after you, from from their first day to their last.

CharlieHR is the HR platform for teams with big ideas. Building a company is hard, running one shouldn’t be. Find out more here.



Neo Sepulveda

Neo Sepulveda

Software engineer at CharlieHR 💻. I like climbing things quite a bit 🐒.


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