Whether you are a new or established business, taking the big step of employing a new member of staff can be fraught with difficulties.

Hayley Mitchell, director of Bowella Recruit, talks us through some of the things you need to consider.

Starting your own business can be exciting, daunting and difficult at times.

In the first 18 months many new business owners will find it highly likely that they will work long hours and must do the bulk of the workload themselves with no support until you are ready to take on your first employee.

Taking on a new employee in an established business is a big step but when it’s a growing business in the early stages of it’s a huge step.

You will be committing to paying their wage for the foreseeable future and one of the biggest worries for many small business owners is what happens if you do this too early’.

Hayley Mitchell

Hayley Mitchell

Bowella Recruit


 If you do employ too early you could experience cash flow issues, so its about being financial stable enough to deal with the extra outgoing costs.

Always speak to your accountant if you are unsure as you are liable to pay pensions, NI and various other costs on top of the salary.

Employing your first member of staff is your opportunity to delegate control of specific functions with the business – assuming you are happy to let go of these functions.

Here are some things to consider:

The role

It is important to define the new employee’s role and what will they be doing at the start?

You can also look at how can this role may develop in the future.

Try writing a list of tasks you feel are suitable for someone in this role.

If this amounts to more than 20-25 hours per week then you’re ready to recruit.


Taking on a new employee in the early stages of growing a business is a huge step.


How will you hire? Is there a timescale you need to work to?

Create a guideline of hiring process and essential criteria that you are looking for.

This will help you keep structure and organisation behind the process whilst also ensuring you are fair and open when recruiting.


How much can you afford to pay someone including benefits/pension etc?

A new employee should be bringing money into the business or freeing up your time to bring money in.

You need to consider your role once the new employee has started and that you will have the funds available to meet their wage.

It should be easy to establish their wage as you can look at similar roles available on the market.


How will you attract candidates to apply for your role?

There are several ways you can do this with little/minimal costs such as social media platforms, your company website, local shops boards and word of mouth.

Recruitment agencies can always help but if you are looking to keep costs low then try the above first before engaging with local recruiters.

Interview Processes

Once you’ve started to receive some applications, you’ll need to start deciding which ones are worth seeing.

You will need to ensure they can “walk the walk” and may consider a skills test to gauge their competence.

Give them a task to do complete in the interview that they would do on the day to day job and see how well they complete it.

This is an effective way of testing their skills and not just their ability to answer a question well.

Hiring Processes

Prepare the contract before you make your offer. Ensure you know what salary you are offering, the benefits, the hours of work and offered holiday entitlement.

Having an official document helps your new employee to feel part of the team; it also ensures that everyone knows the legal standing of the employment.

It is essential any employee is taken on for a probationary period.

This gives them, as well as you, the opportunity to end the contract without any issue.

It can be that you simply don’t work well together, or they need a different type of work as they are not suited to the role on offer.