If you wish to employ someone then it is important to consider all the financial commitments as well as making sure you recruit the right people for the role. The following are areas that should be considered before employing staff.

Financial Commitments

To help budget for staffing costs you need to decide whether you want to employ someone on a full-time or part time basis and if the role will be ongoing or if it will be for a period of time (fixed term contract). A salary will then need to be worked out taking into consideration the national minimum wage which must be paid. If an employer fails to pay the minimum wage they will face a penalty charge as well as having to pay back any salary that is owed. Attached is a link with information about the minimum wage. https://www.gov.uk/national-minimum-wage. To help benchmark a salary you can search for similar roles on local internet job boards which will give an idea of the salaries that companies are paying for similar roles.

There will be ongoing financial costs in addition to the salary. For example Employer NI contributions as well as the current/future costs associated with the Pensions Auto Enrolment which is gradually being phased in. There is a legal duty for employers to automatically enroll certain staff members into a pension scheme and make pension contributions towards it. Details of the Pensions Auto Enrolment and phasing in dates (timings are based on the size of a company) can be found under the link www.thepensionsregulator.gov.uk/employers.aspx

Employer’s liability insurance will also need to be taken out. Information about this insurance can be found under https://www.gov.uk/employers-liability-insurance

The Recruitment Process

Job Description and Person Specification

To assist in the recruitment process a job description and person specification should be designed. A job description should clearly state the purpose of the role and the main tasks of the role to be carried out. The person specification should detail the skills and experience required to perform effectively in the role including any necessary qualifications the ideal candidate should have. Having a job description and person specification will help you with the creation of a job advert and assist in the selection process in finding a suitable employee.

Advertising the Vacancy

Once the requirements of the role and skills have been decided, then the next stage will be to advertise the vacancy. There are various different means to advertise a job including national and local job boards on the internet, advertising in local or national papers, recruitment agencies, and specialist magazines all with varying costs. You may consider advertising the vacancy on the Universal Jobmatch service offered through the Government Gateway as the cost is free. The link to their site for further information is https://jobvacancies.businesslink.gov.uk/IndexDwp.aspx

Screening and Interview Process

Once the job has been advertised and individuals are sending in applications, candidates will need to be shortlisted for an interview. To assist with the short-listing a screening chart can be created that details the main qualifications, skills and experiences of the role. If a candidate has those particular skills, experience and qualifications then they should be suitable to interview. By using a screening chart you are fairly selecting candidates for an interview reducing the possibility of any discrimination in the screening process.

Following the short-listing, a small number of candidates should be invited to interview. It is best practice to plan for interviews in advance. Questions should be planned carefully before an interview and the same questions should be asked to each candidate. Only ask questions that are relevant to the role and a candidate’s experience. Do not ask for personal information.

As part of the interview and selection process you may also consider using simple tests as an additional tool to help you find the right candidate. For example some companies like to test individuals on their numeracy and literacy skills by creating a simple math’s test and getting them to undertake a written exercise where candidates have to demonstrate good written communication, the ability to construct clear sentences, spell accurately and use correct punctuation and grammar. For admin or secretarial/PA type of roles the use of an in-tray exercise can be helpful. The purpose of an in-tray exercise is to test a range of skills that may be needed daily in the role for example delegation, prioritisation skills and communication skills. An in-tray exercise can consist of emails, letters, reports which need to have actions decided, prioritised in order of importance as well as draft responses created to letters and emails.

Terms and Conditions of Employment

Once the interview process has ended, and a candidate has been selected, a verbal offer should be made to that candidate. If the verbal offer is accepted then this should be followed up in writing with a written offer detailing the main terms of the offer. If an employment contract is to last a month or more an employer, by law, has to provide in writing a statement of the terms and conditions of employment within 8 weeks of that employee starting.


ACAS the advisory service who provide free employment advice to employers and employees have a good Recruitment and Induction booklet (link below). This will help in the creation of a job description and person specification, avoiding any discrimination in either the screening or interview process and assistance as to what should be included in the terms and conditions of employment. http://www.acas.org.uk/media/pdf/l/e/Recruitment_and_induction_(October-2012)-accessible-version-may-2012.pdf

In addition to the booklet, ACAS have useful template letters/forms etc for written terms of employment and also job and person specifications. This information can be found under the following link http://www.acas.org.uk/index.aspx?articleid=1392

ACAS generally provide a variety of employment relation tools on a range of employee and workplace matters. Link to their home page is http://www.acas.org.uk/index.aspx?articleid=1461

Other Considerations when Employing Staff

Legal right to work in the UK

Under the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006 you will need to establish that the individual whom you employ has the right to work in the UK. As an employer you have to check and record a copy of that individual’s document (for example the passport of a British citizen or of an EEA national) proving their eligibility to work in the UK. The following link provides further information https://www.gov.uk/legal-right-work-uk

Disclosure and Baring Service (DBS)

Dependant on the type of role you have recruited for you may be required to apply for a DBS check for that successful candidate. This is necessary for certain jobs for example working with children. The following link provides further information https://www.gov.uk/disclosure-barring-service-check

PAYE Online

You will need to register as an employer with HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and enroll with PAYE online in advance of a first payday. You have to report payroll information to the HMRC before you can pay anyone. The link to for further information is http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/payerti/getting-started/register.htm