Hiring your first employees – 6 things to know
When it comes to hiring your first employees, there are many factors to consider. Whether you need operational support or are looking to share strategic responsibility, finding the right people to drive your business forwards is a must.
There are many aspects of the hiring process to be aware of before you start recruiting, from getting employers liability insurance to making sure new employees have the right equipment to succeed in their role. We've rounded up six of the most important considerations to help smooth the process for you.
1. You'll know when you need the support
You may feel you need to bring in specialist skills like keeping accounts or making sales pitches, or perhaps you're having too many late nights keeping up with everything on your own. This will feel like a good time to make your first hire.
While hiring staff is a big investment, it will also help you to manage your workload and allow you some flexibility to enjoy more time off, or invest your energy in other areas of the business you might not yet have had chance to explore.
2. Budgeting for new employees
One of the most important things to do before you hire more staff is ensure you can afford them. Your business will need to be generating enough money each month to pay their wages and other benefits such as pension contributions. To find out how much you should be offering for a role, benchmark salaries against the wider market to calculate what a fair salary is, without it coming at too much of a loss for the business.
It's also worth remembering that investing in new employees is well worth it if it frees up your time to enable you to get on with other tasks. When you have boots on the ground staff that you trust, you're able to concentrate on growing and developing your business, leading to potential new income streams.
A good way to save money on new hires is to consider whether you need staff to be full-time or part-time. It may also be worth considering hiring freelancers who can support when times are especially busy, or work with your business on a project-by-project basis.
Insuring your company
In the UK, employers' liability insurance is a must to protect your company. Employers' liability insurance safeguards your business against claims from employees and covers the cost of settling or defending them. These claims could be made under a range of different circumstances, including suffering an injury at work or falling ill, which you as the employer could be held liable for.
There are different legal requirements subject to the type of staff you hire. You may not be legally required to take out employers’ liability insurance if you only hire contractors or freelancers. However, you are required to do so for full time staff, as well as temporary staff, volunteers and part-time workers. Make sure you research the level of cover you need before applying.
3. Are they the right fit for the business?
Making sure you get along with the people you hire makes a huge difference. It's also important to think about how employees will connect with each other as a team and try to get the working dynamic right for your business.
Not only is it important from a personal perspective – you'll be in contact for a lot of the working week – but also making sure they're right for the role. They need to specialise in what they do, knowing more about their area than even you as the employer, but also be willing to work for you as well as with you.
4. Can they help you build a business?
As well as fulfilling the duties of their role, you'll want people who share and can contribute to your vision. These may be the most expensive hires you make for a while as your company finds its new footing, so make sure they are willing to earn their position.
If people are experts in an area where your knowledge is limited, use their expertise to make sure that's one area of the business you can soften your own focus on. It can pay in the long run to hire more experienced people on higher salaries to ensure you're investing in the talent you need.
5. The next steps
Before you've even made your first hire, think about the bigger picture. Once your company has advanced to the next level, it's time to consider where to aim next.
Marketing your business
Putting more budget into your social media strategy or working with a digital marketing agency to promote your business online could be a great way to reach new audiences. Be that through PPC, SEO or even traditional marketing methods, a solid marketing strategy will help get your brand out there.
Expanding your workforce could help to improve your service offering or enable you to start working in new markets. There may also be scope to recruit people in finance or HR roles to help with the accounts and people management aspects of running a business too.
Your own future in the business
Is it time for you to take a step back and let someone else take the reins, or do you want to become even more involved? Once you have expanded your workforce, it's a good idea to evaluate your position in the company.
Some businesses thrive in an inner-city location as it helps to get the brand name out there and attracts more young professionals, whereas others make more money from being based in the suburbs. Once your business is growing, it's a good idea to consider whether relocation could have any benefits.
Hiring new employees can be an exciting time for your business as you take your first steps towards growing its potential. With so many aspects to think about take a look at Markel's help and guidance for professionals to take one thing off your mind.
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