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Top Tips on Hiring Staff for SME Owners – Part One

If you’re running a small business and need to take on staff, chances are that you’ll need to interview several people for the job.  If you’ve not had any experience of interviewing and hiring potential workers, this may seem like a daunting prospect for you, especially if you’ve been operating as a sole trader so far and need to take on somebody to help as your business grows.  Because we appreciate that many of our readers who are small business owners have no experience of doing this, we’ve decided to publish a guide designed to make the whole process easier.  Today we’re going to give you some tips on how to make a start on looking for staff for your business.

Before you even begin, if you’ve never hired and employed staff before, you’ll need to familiarise yourself with your duties as an employer.  Once you start employing staff, you have legal obligations towards the people you employ in terms of health and safety, payment processes, tax and National Insurance payments, etc.  Some of these legal obligations will vary depending upon the type of work and the industry in which you operate, so visiting the government’s advice pages for employers is the best place to find out exactly what your legal obligations would be.

Obviously, the first step is defining what you want your new staff member to do – whether it’s running the office side of things while you take care of business, helping out with fulfilling orders of products you provide or actually working alongside you as you deliver services or products.  You’ll need to write a short job description that can be used to advertise for staff and this should cover the tasks that you expect the person you hire to carry out.  Here are some things to include when writing the job description:

  • List any qualifications that are required.
  • Whether the person should already have experience of similar work.
  • Whether you offer any training and, if so, whether this would result in the candidate gaining a formal qualification.
  • Attributes of the ideal job candidate.
  • How many hours per week and how these hours are spread throughout the week.
  • Location of job.
  • “Perks” of the job – any benefits that you are offering to workers.
  • Pay scale.
  • Closing date for applications.

Next step is to advertise the job.  There are plenty of places online where you can advertise for workers and you may also want to advertise the job at your local job centre.  LinkedIn can be a great place to connect with potential candidates for the job, but you’ll probably need to search users who work in your field or join some groups that are relevant to your industry before posting a job advert.  Once the job has been advertised, it’s not time to sit back and wait for the applications to roll in – now is the time to prepare for the interviewing process.

Next week we’ll have some tips and advice on how to interview potential job candidates to make sure you choose the best person for the job.  Don’t miss out on the advice and information you need – just follow us on Facebook or Twitter and you’ll get a notification as soon as the advice is published.