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29 March 2021

What to do when becoming an Employer for the first time

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Posted by: Katy Mcminn

What to do when becoming an Employer for the first time


Guest Blog from Anabela Yourell, Stress Free HR Ltd, an HRi Accredited Platinum Member


So… you’ve built up a successful business and you have enough profit to start taking things to the next level. You’ve started thinking about employing for the first time.

For many, this can be a massive step and a scary prospect. What if the business slows down and I can’t pay them? What if I recruit the wrong person? Employment law is such a minefield isn’t it!?!

Before employing someone for the first time, you have some legal requirements to comply with and can find them here THE LEGAL BITS.

However, doing just the legal bits doesn’t ensure your first hire is a successful one. In this blog, I wanted to focus on some of those other areas, the ones that if you get it wrong, isn’t just about the legal ramifications…


Top Tips for making your first and subsequent hires successful ones

It’s important to bear in mind that this is not an exhaustive list. Having said that, putting these things into practice should definitely reap its rewards! 

1.Company Culture and Values

If you haven’t established these already, then this is a great place to start. By having a clear company culture and values, you can ensure that the person you are bringing into your business shares them. If one of your values is attention to detail for example, employing someone who shares this value will likely deliver the service in the way you expect. Remember that you can teach someone a new skill but you’re unlikely to change someone’s personal values!

2. Identify the true cost of the role

When business owners think about employing someone, the salary is usually the biggest cost, and this is where the focus can sit. However, not considering the true cost of the role can bring unpleasant surprises later. Factoring them in early on is important so you’re prepared. As well as the salary, there’s employers NI, employers pension contributions, car allowance or leasing and insurance (if they have a field-based role), commission, uniform, computer hardware and software licences, stationary to name a few extras. Breaking it down will help you understand exactly what your outlays will be, particularly in the first year.

3. Scope out the role

When employing for the first time, business owners have a tendency to group together jobs they don’t like or want to do and add them to the new role. Rather than create an independent role which their business needs, it becomes a mishmash of a few jobs which can then cause difficulties in finding someone with the skills and experience to do it all.

Consider what the main purpose of the role is, list all the different tasks and then group them into categories creating a few sentences to describe these. You can do this by thinking of “what needs to be done” to “achieve what result”. Once you have a clear job description, it should make writing your advert a lot easier. Don’t forget that a clear job description will also help your new employee understand what’s expected of them in their role.

4. The interview questions

Preparation is key here. Put together a list of questions that you’ll ask each candidate, taking into consideration both the skills and experience needed for the role but also the culture and values of the business. As mentioned above, if one of your businesses core values is attention to detail, what kind of question will you ask that checks for this in the interview? Asking each candidate the same questions should make coming to a decision much easier. Having a list of answers will help you check whether the interviewee answers the question fully, partially, or not at all for when you score it.

5. The whole experience

Something which is often forgotten is that your recruitment process is an advert for your business. If you create a poor experience for candidates at any stage in the process, you’re generating poor marketing for your business. Candidates will often go to websites such as to describe their experiences so make it a great one!



Stress Free HR Ltd are specialists in supporting both first time employers and micro businesses, fully understanding their needs at those early stages. 

If you’re reading this wondering whether you have some HR gaps in your business, why not reach out and ask for a HR MOT! For £150 + VAT you’ll find out whether you need some fine tuning or have complete peace of mind that you’ve passed the test!

As a Platinum an Accredited  member of HRi, Stress Free HR Ltd features in the HRi Directory, having been assessed against the HRi standards.