Saturday, October 19, 2013
Most entrepreneurs can tell you exactly what it felt like when they had the capacity and financial clout to hire staff for the first time: it felt great. However, it's also a worrying time, not least as what has gone from usually a single self-employed tax return is now complicated as business accounts need to show staff wages as outgoings. If business isn't quite booming enough to hire someone to do the accounts specifically, now's the time to learn and sign up for online accounting. There's even free software available so it's not an expensive choice (unless the figures get entered incorrectly of course!).
Checking contacts are legal and suitable is important too. For example, zero hour contracts have received much bad press recently, yet for seasonal or flexible work they may be best suited to both the employer and employee. A decent contract will also help prevent any legal implications later on if problems arise. Get contracts properly written up and correctly signed.
Employee benefits need to be carefully assessed too. Decided in advance of drawing up the contracts, basic benefits can be supplemented with generous expenses allowances for travelling staff who have to work away frequently, or an extra day's holiday on an employee's birthday for example. Little perks such as these will attract and retain the best staff to a business, and when taking on those first few employees it's important to hire well.
Seeking flexible employees is also a wise idea. With so few employees to source skills from, the ability to multi-task will be a great benefit. When an emergency arises (and they will) it's absolutely priceless to have staff who can jump into the saddle at a moment's notice. This desired flexibility works best if it's mutual: you can't expect staff to work late and then moan if they ask to leave early one day. As long as the correct hours are getting put 'in the bank' allowing flexibility will strengthen morale.
Of course, before any of these points can be implemented the successful candidate needs to be found. Hosting those first interviews can be daunting, so it's worth a quick search online for tips and to be certain the most important questions aren't missed. And remember that with any small business personality counts just as much as skills, so remember to hire someone you like, not just someone who gets the job done.