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How to hire employees for your growing business

Looking to take on more employees for your growing business? We've pulled together the top tips you need to know when hiring so that you hire the best team for your business.

How to hire employees

Knowing how to hire good employees for a small business is crucial to maintaining the smooth running of your organisation and the excellent reputation you’ve worked so hard to build.

1. Write an attractive job description

As well as writing about the role and the qualities you’re looking for in a candidate, include information about the company, the benefits you offer, and why it’s a great place to work.

Tip: To attract employees who are hard-working and have drive and determination include information about training and opportunities for career development in the job description.

2. Advertise in the right place

There are a number of places to find potential new employees:

  • Recommendations from your existing team.
  • Word-of-mouth through friends, family, or trade suppliers.
  • Recruitment agencies.
  • Online job boards and job posting sites.
  • Via apprenticeship schemes such as the Homeserve Apprenticeship Foundation.

Tip: Don’t forget to use your company website and/or social media platforms to advertise job opportunities within your growing business.

3. Review the applications carefully

Hopefully, your advertising efforts have resulted in a stack of CVs, but how do you shortlist the candidates?

  • First, check that the candidates’ qualifications and experience match the requirements for the role.
  • Next, look for evidence of the candidate having desirable qualities for your team.

Once you’ve sifted through the applications, you’ll have a shortlist for interviews.

4. Invite the candidates for interview

It’s up to you how formal or informal you wish to make the interview process, but the overall aim of the interview is to:

  • Tell the candidate more about your business, the role, benefits, and salary.
  • Learn more about the candidate and ascertain whether they’d be a good fit for the role and your business.
  • Ask and answer questions.

Tip: If you’d like to get more of a feel for a candidate, you could suggest a paid trial morning or afternoon to see their skills in action.

5. Request references

One final check before you commit to hiring an employee is to request references from previous employers or a tutor if hiring an apprentice.

How to spot ‘bad employees’ before you hire them

There are a couple of things you can do to spot ‘bad employees’ before you hire them:

  1. Think about the qualities you need in a candidate (e.g. reliability, accountability, attention to detail etc.) and ask specific questions to find out if the interviewee would be the right fit for your business.
  2. Look for warning signs. This can include a poor attitude, e.g. complaining during the interview or saying negative things about a previous employer or colleagues. If they’re late, unprepared, or unenthusiastic for the interview, that can be a red flag too.

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How to hire temporary staff

There may be times when you need to hire temporary staff. Perhaps your work has seasonal fluctuations, or you take on a project that needs a few extra pairs of hands.

One way to do this is through sub-contracting. Alternatively, you can use a recruitment agency.

How to hire employees online

There are a number of ways you can hire employees online:

  • List job opportunities on the ‘Careers’ section of your company website.
  • Post job opportunities on your social media platforms – Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn, for example.
  • Advertise your job opportunities on job boards and job posting sites, especially if there are specific job sites for your industry.

Remember, to be effective when hiring employees online, it’s important to use specific words in your copy. For example, if you’re looking for an apprentice electrician to join your team, include ‘apprentice electrician’ and your location in order for your job ad to be seen by people looking for electrical apprenticeships in your area.

How to hire employees online

How to hire employees and process payroll

To hire employees and process payroll, you’ll first need to register as an employer with HMRC. You can read about how to register for PAYE here.

You’ll then be able to use HMRC’s PAYE Online service to send them payroll reports, access the right tax codes for your employees, and much more.

Payroll software

To process payroll, you’ll need payroll software. You can compare the various payroll software offerings on the market based on your needs and your budget. However, you must make sure it’s capable of reporting to HMRC in real-time (RTI compliant). Some of the familiar names include Quickbooks, Sage, Xero, and IRIS.

Checklist for hiring employees

Before hiring employees for your expanding business, make sure you’ve read up on your responsibilities as an employer. Our article on taking on staff acts as a handy checklist for hiring employees. It covers everything you need to know, including:

  • National Minimum Wage
  • Employment checks (Right to Work in the UK, DBS checks, and health checks)
  • Your insurance needs, particularly employers’ liability insurance (a legal requirement)
  • The details of an employment contract
  • Information on the workplace pension scheme
  • Your responsibilities to HMRC

Checklist for hiring employees

If you’re looking for subcontractors, make sure you know the difference between labour-only and bona fide subcontractors. One of the most critical aspects is making sure you have the correct insurance cover.

You will also need to make sure you comply with the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.


How do I hire local employees?

The best way to hire local employees is to start spreading the word that you’re looking to take on staff.

  • Ask existing staff if they know of anyone who’d be interested in joining the team.
  • You can also reach out to friends and family, or local trade suppliers who might be able to put you in touch with interested parties.
  • Don’t forget to use your social media platforms to let people know you’re hiring. And ask your followers to share the post to get your message seen by as many people as possible.

How do I hire reliable staff?

To help gauge someone’s reliability before hiring them, you can ask a few key questions to give you greater insight into them as a person. For example,

  • In your opinion, how would you determine a reliable employee?
  • Can you tell me how you like to plan and schedule your commitments?
  • Can you tell me about a time when you’ve had to sacrifice your time for work commitments?
  • What do you consider to be effective communication?
  • What do you like to do in your spare time?

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