Six steps to follow before employing your first member of staff

Author
Tara Gillam
Head of Enterprise | Business West
1st August 2014

Are you put off growing your new business by the thought of taking on staff?

For new businesses at the very start of the employment process it can seem quite daunting, and financing a new employee will be a key factor. You need more hands to handle the workload but at the same time you need to balance your budget against output and profit.

However, getting more hands on deck, even on a temporary basis, means that you can effectively fulfil projects and grow your business beyond its first year or two, increasing competitiveness and productivity, as well as benefiting from fresh talent, new skills and innovative ideas from others coming on board.

And, as a business owner, by taking on one or more new staff members, you will also be contributing to job creation in the region.

Are you ready to take on that first staff member?

If you can answer yes to most of the points below, then you're ready, and employing your first member of staff could benefit your business.

  • You can't cover your workload alone
  • Quality of work is being compromised
  • You feel super stressed and frustrated about getting things done
  • You have new clients on board and more work booked in
  • You realise you have enough profit to take on some help
  • You're relying too much on outsourcing to freelancers and contractors
  • A new employee would fulfil work that will definitely increase profit

Taking on staff need not be as hard as it seems though. Below, we offer a round-up of the need-to-know, as well as a number of opportunities and schemes available that can help you in making that first step, many of which offer funding benefits and support:-

6 things you need to do before you employ staff for the first time

First things first. There are some critical legal things you need to ensure are covered. Read Gov.UK's checklist of six things you need to do before you employ staff for the first time.

National Apprenticeship Scheme

By taking on an apprentice, the benefit to your business in using the National Apprenticeship Scheme is that most of the risks in the employment process are reduced and you will also receive a payment of £1500 towards the costs of the apprentice's training, salary and other costs.

Plus, you will help a young person to gain valuable work experience, and also enable them to get some practical qualifications in the process.

West of England Youth Skills Employability Programme

A new programme designed to help young people and the long-term unemployed get the skills and experience they need to win future jobs. You can access incentives if you offer work placement experience, with the aim to provide a valuable reference at the end of a placement, or bigger incentives if you offer an apprenticeship at the end of the work placement period. This scheme is being launched shortly; for more information call 01275 376 233.

Access Graduate Talent

Attracting graduates to work with you can help to bring different skills, new ideas and innovation into your business. There are two graduate initiatives you can consider, including:-

  • Grads for Growth
    Through the Grads for Growth programme you can harness the passion and drive of a graduate to achieve an innovation project, as well as gain access to expert mentors and a dedicated business development team who can help you keep the project on track. Project funding is offered to eligible businesses.
  • Graduate Talent South West
    Access the Graduate Talent SW online vacancy distribution service that can connect you, as an employer, with university career services to promote your vacancies directly to job-seeking students and recent graduates.
  • Volunteers and Work Experience
    Generally, if you need someone on a temporary basis or to help out on a specific project, you can also consider advertising a temporary position to attract a volunteer or a young person seeking valuable work experience, but make sure you are up to speed with any legal requirements beforehand so that both you and your volunteer or temp are covered legally.

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    You're ready for the next step! Speak to one of our expert business advisors about how we can work with you to help you grow your business and employ new staff.