Jul 15

FIRST TIME EMPLOYER – Where do I start?


your business is successful and you are busy

Here are the first FOUR steps for you to think about next:


Decide what you would like your new person to do and write it down.

It is very easy to know that you need help but often difficult to articulate exactly what ‘help looks like’.  Take your time and write everything down. Don’t worry about how great (or not) your writing skills are, just list the tasks that you need help with and consider scoring them from 1 – 10 in terms of perceived complexity.

This can be used later to construct a Job Description but at this stage, it is important to be clear about the tasks that need to be done.

Having some idea of the perceived degree of complexity will also help determine a pay rate and potential source for the right candidate.

Think about whether this is a short-term requirement or whether the tasks will evolve into something more complex later on. Plan ahead and try to think about what this evolving role could become.


  • Employers often think they need one thing but actually they need something very different and don’t realise that until they have spent a lot of money advertising and recruiting for the wrong role and/or selected the wrong person.
  • As businesses grow, roles change significantly and often very quickly.  Finding somebody with versatility and development potential will reward your business for longer. 
  • Attrition costs money and can damage your reputation as a business owner. Planning ahead should avoid the need to reconsider whether the role meets the needs of the business regardless of whether the person you recruited to do it is still suitable.


Decide how much of their time you need and how often you will need it.

There is no point in employing somebody full time if you don’t need them all of the time or employing somebody part-time if the part-time hours are too inflexible.  There are many different options for all types of flexible working arrangements whether employed or not.  It may well be that you could outsource the work requirement until such time as the need grows.  That opens up avenues to consider quite a few different types of potential workers or working opportunities e.g. apprentices.


  • What starts as a part-time job can easily become a full-time one, but the person recruited does not want a full-time job or conversely full-time hours may not always be needed so the job very soon becomes potentially redundant. Creating flexibility in working patterns can be very attractive to talented candidates and offers options at a later date as your business grows.


Decide how much you can afford to pay.

We have all heard of the ‘minimum wage’.  If you employ somebody, you MUST pay this but paying the minimum will not always get you the best person for the job.  That is why the first two tasks above are very important and considering a combination may be an option.

From April 2020, the minimum wage for somebody over the age of 25 is £8.72 per hour.

Without wishing to be controversial, small business owners sometimes (not always) defer to this rate and expect to get a really experienced person for it.  That is rarely the case which is why creating flexibility in the options that are available to you can really work well.

Outsourcing complexity or buying in professional skills could be a consideration in the short term, especially if affordability is driving you towards the lower end of the wages scale.   That way you get the skills you need at a more affordable rate because you are not using them all of the time.  You may be able to consider somebody who can develop to learn the skills justifying a lower starting rate of pay, somebody who can grow and become the future talent within your business.


Determine what their employment status should be.

Small businesses often do not know or fully understand the different types of ‘worker status’ and that can be a very costly mistake to make.  The three main statuses for consideration are:

  • Employee – working under a Contract of Employment and has ‘legally enforceable rights’
  • Worker – not an employee but still has ‘some legally enforceable rights’
  • Self Employed – in business in their own right providing services to other businesses so does not have the same ‘legally enforceable rights’ but often very easily confused with either of the above if the working relationship is not clearly defined.


This is, believe it or not, a very important step.  If you determine the status incorrectly, either  HMRC or an Employment Tribunal claim could be heading your way.  This is because they will both determine the status by looking at ‘what happens in reality’ so please do not assume that because you say they are ‘self employed’, it will mean they really are.  For more information to guide you, the link below may help.



CALL 07525 923329

for a ‘no obligation’ free chat


If after reading this, you have decided what you want to do, explore [here] to find out more about how we can help you with the legal documentation you will need to become a new employer.


If after reading this, you are extremely bored, please accept our sincere apologies  but

THANK YOU for reading all the way to the end. 

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