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Six tips for companies employing for the first time

When a start-up takes off and the market demand justifies team growth, first-time founders find themselves with an exciting but unfamiliar challenge. After all, it’s one thing to run a business, it’s another to take on the responsibility of becoming an Employer.

If you’re starting from scratch and you’ve never employed anyone before, there’s no doubt that it can be daunting. Before you can even consider casting a line out to the talent pool, there are a number of legal obligations you must tick off. If it all sounds a little overwhelming, don’t worry – our top tips on hiring for the first time should help to keep you on the right track.

1. Register as an Employer

Need more hands-on deck to assist with the workload and meet growing Client demand? Before you do, you’ll need to tell HM Revenue & Customs that you are becoming an Employer.  Even if you are only hiring contractors or subcontractors for the time being, registering with HMRC is an essential task that must be completed prior to the first payday. It usually takes 5 days for HMRC to send you an Employer PAYE reference, so it’s a good idea to complete registration as soon as you have made the decision to hire.

2. Pay the right rates

Almost every worker is legally entitled to the National Minimum Wage, and if they are over 25, they’re likely entitled to the National Living Wage. Paying the right rates is also a question of meeting the industry average and ensuring your staff are remunerated fairly for their contribution. Deciding what you are going to pay people demands research, and while you might not be able to offer the moon a stick, the addition of perks, benefits and values can make all the difference in keeping your first hires engaged.

3. Make sure your business is insured

As soon as you become an Employer, the law states that you must take out Employers’ liability insurance to meet the costs of damages or legal fees for members of staff should they fall ill or suffer injury while working for you. Remember, insurance is not optional: Employers who don’t aren’t properly insured can face fines of £2,500.

4. Carry out applicant checks

Bringing in new talent to the business is an exciting prospect to say the least, but before you offer a position to any Candidate, you should always check that they have the legal right to work in the UK. While you’re at it, take the time to verify their qualifications and references. After all, there’s nothing more detrimental to a start-up’s scaling strategy than a string of bad hires.

5. Put a pension scheme in place

In the eyes of the law, Employers must be able to provide automatic enrolment to a workplace pension scheme for every new hire that meets the eligibility criteria. However, while ensuring compliance is essential, competitive pension schemes can also play a role in a Candidate’s decision to accept an offer. 

6. Enlist the help of a recruitment agency

Sourcing the right talent for your business can be a minefield, even if you aren’t a first-time Employer. In many cases, the process is as time-consuming as it is costly to the business. With a series of new-found responsibilities to focus on and a business in growth mode, leaders can stand to benefit significantly from the aid of a specialist recruitment agency – one that understands their unique requirements and can dedicate their time in finding Candidates who have the potential to make a positive impact.

Over the last 20 years, we have grown as a business to become one of the leading independent Recruitment agencies in Oxfordshire, and in 2018 we opened our first London office, to service Clients and Candidates in the capital.  

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Allen Associates

Allen Associates

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