Whether you’re just starting a business or have a growing company, becoming an employer isn’t something to take lightly. Whatever the place that your business is at – a brand new startup or a more established company, taking on staff for the first time can be daunting.

Especially as lots of employers fail to take the right steps when taking on employees and end up in court. On a weekly basis, hundreds of employers are sued by disgruntled employees.

However, don’t let that put you off taking on staff, it’s just a case of going about it in the right way, that’s all. To make it easier for you to navigate the minefield that is becoming an employer, here are six useful tips to take note of. These will make becoming an employer for the first time, much easier and less stressful.

1. Register as an employer

The first step to becoming an employer should always be registering as one. You can’t just start taking on staff. First, you need to deal with the legal side of things. By law, you have to inform the department that deals with business and employment in your area. Until you let them know that you plan on hiring someone, it’s against the law to do so. Ideally, you need to inform them that you’re becoming an employer at least a month before you start paying your first employee.

2. Update your insurance

As well as letting your Local Department for Business/Employment know, you’ll also need to get in touch with your insurance company. When you’re an employer, having basic business insurance isn’t enough. To stay within the law, you’ll need to have employer’s liability insurance. This will mean that should a member of your team get hurt while at work, your insurance will cover any costs that may come with it, such as court fees.

3. Decide on what roles you need to fill

The next step is to decide on what roles you will be filling. You most probably have an idea of what areas you need help with, but may not have created each role yet. It’s important to do this so that you’re able to work out exactly how many employees you need.

Can a few tasks be rolled into one job or will you need to advertise for more than one position? It’s important that each staff member is clear from the outset about what’s expected of them. This is why it’s crucial that you have job titles and descriptions to refer to.

4. Work out rates of pay

If you want your employment opportunities to appeal to people with the right level of training and skills, you need to offer the right rates of pay. Ideally, a salary is the best option and tends to be more appealing. However, if you’re looking for part time staff, then paying a set amount per hour can also work well. The question is, how much should you be offering?

For each role, decide on a low pay amount and a high pay amount. For instance, say you were to offer between USD 25,000 and USD 31,000 per annum. For a less experienced candidate, you would offer them a salary that’s on the lower end of that scale. While for a more experienced candidate, you’d offer them a salary on the higher end, such as the full USD 31,000. It’s important to get to grips with how much you can afford to offer before you start to interview people.

5. Have a contract drawn up

If you’re going to be an employer, it’s crucial that you have a contract drawn up. This should detail all the ins and outs of the role, what’s expected of the employee, and what the workplace policies are. It should also discuss rates of pay and what happens should the role not work out. Unless you have a legal background, it’s best to use employment law services to draw up the contract. Else, you can’t ensure that it’s all legal and that everything that needs to be, is included.

6. Know how to be a good interviewer

Have you ever conducted an interview before? No – then it’s important that you know how to do so. Interviews are vital when it comes to selecting the right members of staff for your company. So take the time to perfect your interview technique. You need to have a list of questions to ask potential candidates to help determine who is a good fit for the role.

It’s important that none of the questions that you ask relate to race, sex, skin colour, religion, or disability. They should all be linked to the role in question and previous experience. Under employment law, even potential candidates are protected in regards to discrimination. So make sure you are aware of what is and isn’t acceptable to ask.

As you can see, there’s a lot more that comes with becoming an employer than meets the eye. Without being prepared and knowing what you’re doing, your chances of hiring suitable employees is low. That’s why it’s so important to take the time to prepare.

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