Hiring your first employee – This guide tells you everything you need to know.

2 employees first day

Hiring your first employee – This guide tells you everything you need to know.

It is an exciting time for you and your business when you are ready to hire your first employee. Hiring your first employee is a big responsibility and you might be nervous about getting it wrong. That is why we have created this guide – to talk you through everything you need to know so that you can hire with confidence.

Step 1: Let’s talk about the cost of hiring your new employee vs not hiring at all and why having a People Plan can help you decide.

 Deciding to hire someone for the first time is a big decision and you’ve probably been thinking about the benefits, challenges and costs for a while now.

Can the business afford to pay someone else? Will their value pay for their costs? Alternatively, can I do all the work myself and will I be stuck if I don’t hire someone?

Only you can make this decision, with the help of your advisers such as your accountant, business mentor or us: your ‘People Partner’ – experts in our field.

HR is more than the legal stuff and supporting employees. HR consultants can help you grow your business by creating a People Plan.

This is a plan on how other people will help you to achieve your business goals.

Before you hire your first employee, be really clear with what goals your business is trying to achieve and exactly how this new hire is going to help you get there.

If you need some help thinking this through, we are happy to help you create a People Plan.

Step 2: Now it is time to find the right person for the job 

Creating an attractive job advert will help you find the perfect person for the job. Here’s our advice:

Do your research

You want to attract the best person for the job and you want the recruitment process to be nice and smooth, so doing your research and getting everything right from the start will help you.

Here’s some things you need to research:

Job title What job title are people likely to be searching for? Use this in your job description. 
Salary  What are other employers paying for a job like this? Make sure you are competitive. 
Benefits What are candidates likely looking for in a job like yours? Make sure you are offering an attractive package (eg. Hybrid working/health benefits/training and development).
Job sites  Where is your candidate likely to be searching for a new job? Ensure your job advert is in front of the right people (eg. Indeed or LinkedIn) 


Here are some other things you need to think about:

Your employee branding  What is it about you, your company and the job that is great? 
Key responsibilities  If you’ve created a People Plan already, you’ll have a detailed list of exactly what your new hire will be responsible for. 


Now you’ve thought about all these things, here is what a job advert should include…

  • -An attention-grabbing headline and opening statement
  • -A bullet point summary of why your job is great
  • -A brief descriptive paragraph about the company, what your plans are and how this role / person is going to help you make a difference
  • -A summary of what skills and experience is required
  • -A bullet point summary of responsibilities (6 – 8 bullet points maximum)
  • -Salary
  • -Other package and benefits
  • -Details on how to apply

Be careful! Important things to consider from a HR perspective

Although you may have a good idea of what type of person you want for the job, it’s really important that your job advert doesn’t discriminate against any protected characteristics. Otherwise, you could land yourself in hot water.

If you get stuck, we can help you create a job advert and handle the recruitment side of things too.

Step 3: Shortlisting and interviewing candidates 

Reviewing applications – before you start going through the CVs be clear on the skills and experience you’re looking for and create a criteria you can cross reference against to make things easier. Don’t be scared to add in a wild card though if you think they’d be a good fit.

It’s also important not to discriminate against people at this stage too.

Deciding what the interview process is going to look like – You should be thinking about the structure of the interview and whether to include a first short 15 min screening telephone or Zoom call. Then a second stage interview in person or via Zoom. Just remember the job market is moving fast right now and having a lengthy interview process may mean some candidates get other job offers while you are still deciding. Equally it is a big decision and you want to make sure you get the first employee right.

Decide how you are going to track candidate progress – You may think you have a great memory. But after speaking to lots of different people, it will be difficult for you to be clear on who stands out. That’s why it’s important to decide how you’re going to keep notes on each candidate, if they match your criteria and what stage of the interview process they are at.

Step 4: Offering the position to the best person and letting the others know

Here’s what to do next:

Firstly, Speak with the successful candidate to offer them the position and to make sure they’re interested.

If they are, you can talk through the package, notice period and verbally agree on a starting date. All of which should be confirmed, along with anything else you need, in writing and sent to them ASAP.

Once you have had a yes response in writing, it’s safe to then let the other candidates know that they haven’t been successful. You should do this, with some feedback if you can, as this is the right thing to do. Also you may soon be recruiting again so you want to leave all candidates with a good impression of the company.

Step 5: Now it’s time to get organised

Before your new employee starts their job with you, there are some tasks to complete.

  1. 1. Check if someone has the legal right to work in the UK. You may have to do other employment checks as well.
  2. 2. Check if you need to apply for a DBS check (Disclosure Scotland) if you work in a field that requires one, eg with vulnerable people or security.
  3. 3. Get employment insurance – you need employers’ liability insurance as soon as you become an employer.
  4. 4. Tell HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) by registering as an employer – you can do this up to 4 weeks before you pay your new staff.
  5. 5. Check if you need to automatically enrol your staff into a workplace pension scheme.

Taken from: https://www.gov.uk/employing-staff

You may also decide to create a handbook…

It’s also wise to create a company handbook at this stage. This should contain all your policies on things such as discrimination, inclusion, mobile phone and internet use, as well as your expectations of your employees, what they can expect from you, your legal obligations, and their rights.

These documents are important because they are what protects you as an employer should anything go wrong. That’s why it pays to work with an expert HR Consultant to help you create them. This is something we can help you with.

 And don’t forget, we’re here to help Albany HR

Does this all sound like a lot of work? We can help. Just give us a call.

Albany HR can support with –

  • Employee contracts
  • Employee Handbook or bespoke policies and procedures to fit your organisation.
  • Recruitment support
  • Induction support
  • People strategy

Get in touch to discuss if our services can support you. Email us at letstalk@albanyhr.com or call for a chat –  0131 364 4186.