Guide

Recruiting staff

Recruiting staff: 7 things you should know

If you want to expand your business, one way to do this is to take on new staff. Recruiting new staff means taking a chance and investing in your business so it’s essential that you choose the right methods to suit your individual business needs.

1. Decide if you really need to recruit new staff: You’re going to be spending time and money on recruiting someone new, so look at your staffing needs in relation to your business objectives. Consider why you’re looking for extra help and how long you will need it for. Could another option be more viable such as sharing work amongst existing employees, reorganising the company structure or rearranging tasks? See recruiting new staff and the alternatives.

2. Register as a new employer: If you are taking on your first employee, you may be required to register as an employer with HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC). Most new employers can register online but some will need to register by email, by telephone or with an HMRC office. See how to register as an employer.

3. Consider the type of worker you wish to employ: The options you have for employing a new worker will depend on factors such as how constant the work is, how long it will last and the number of hours per week. There are a number of options available including permanent employees, fixed-term contract employees, self-employed freelances or contractors and employment agency staff. In addition, do you need someone there on a full-time or part-time basis? See your options when recruiting staff.

4. Write a job description and person specification: Preparing a job description is not a legal requirement but it can help with deciding the scope of the work, advertising the job and clarifying what applicants will have to do in the job. It can also help to identify a new recruit’s performance and identify their training needs. If you decide to include a person specification, you should include the essential and desirable knowledge, experience and skills you are looking for. See writing a person specification and job description.

5. Decide how much you should pay: Offering a competitive salary and benefits will help you to attract the best person for the job. However, you should balance this with how low you need to keep your costs. Work out what you can afford and assess whether the job requires specialised skills that should be reflected by the wages. See how to set the right pay rates.

6. Advertise and interview for the position: There are many options available when advertising a job including newspapers, online recruitment sites and employment agencies. Decide on the most appropriate option for your business. When you have the replies to your advertisement, compare the skills and experience against the job description, draw up a list of candidates and invite them to interview. Carry out appropriate preparation for the interview so it will be as easy as possible for you and the candidate. See carrying out the job interview.

7. Make a job offer: The final stage of the recruitment process involves choosing the successful candidate. You can inform them by telephone or email, followed up by a formal confirmation in a letter which should set out the main terms and conditions of the job. It should also state whether the offer is conditional, ie subject to the outcome of checks, or unconditional, ie not subject to any further checks. Once the offer is accepted, a contract of employment exists between you and the employee. See making a job offer and taking workers through their induction.

Further information on recruitment can be found in the Invest Northern Ireland Employers' Handbook which outlines both legal essentials and best practice guidelines for effective HR management.