Thursday, 26 August 2010

The Do's and Don't's of taking on your first employee

Roma Bhowmick, our monthly business advisor, tackled on today's show the issue of small businesses taking on a first employee. Taking on another member of staff has a huge impact on the profitability of a business and therefore should not be a decision taken lightly and it is very important to get right.

The first thing you need to ask yourself is whether you really need to take on an employee or could the work be shared out in other ways without extra staff? With the additional cost of paying an employee, this is not always the best option. If you decide that it is indeed necessary then the first thing to do is to write a job description - this is not just something that corporations do; it is essential for all companies taking on new staff.

Roma stressed the importance of taking care when looking for an employee not to assume that there is one perfect person out there, particularly not somebody just like you, as this is not actually a bad thing. The ideal candidate would complement your skills, not be identical to you. Roma also underlined the importance of not discriminating against candidates for any reason as laws forbid this!

To find your candidate, advertising and agencies can help and it may be best to advertise in specialist areas rather than more generally, as this should reach your target audience more effectively. Apprenticeships may also be worth considering - these are not just for trades and are aimed at any level, not necessarily young people.

The next stage is to prepare a few open questions in advance and conduct interviews, before selecting your preferred candidate and offering feedback to the other applicants.

For more information visit

Roma will be back with us on 27th September!

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