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        Recruitment: Guide for start-up businesses

        Recruitment: Guide for start-up businesses

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          When launching a start-up, there are many aspects to consider, with one of the most important being recruiting new talent.

          Around one-third of UK adults have expressed an interest in launching their own business, with 10% of over-55s having already done so. A fast-growing market in the UK, start-ups received £31.5 billion early-stage funding last year, with entrepreneurs accessing more than 700 organisations for help and support.

          This is one reason why people are considering taking the plunge and becoming their own boss, with government-backed loans helping them to go ahead.

          Start-ups in the UK have been growing in popularity since 2022, especially among 24 to 34-year-olds – the demographic with the highest number of hopefuls with ambitions to run their own company.

          Once you’ve raised the relevant funding and set up a business, hiring new employees is the next big step. It’s not just a case of choosing the right applicants initially, as the recruitment process will hopefully be ongoing as part of your growth.

          Planning is the key when starting up a company in the UK, which is why as an employer you should understand how to attract the best people for the job.


          How to handle recruitment

          First, make sure your business is properly set up, which includes being able to take people onto your payroll by having the relevant links with HMRC and an accounting system to manage PAYE. Some new business owners will employ the services of an accountant to ensure this is completed correctly.

          The next step is deciding whether you need part-time or full-time employees and knowing how much the National Minimum Wage is. This will help you determine how many staff you can afford to take on at this stage without breaking the budget.

          Other factors to consider include how much National Insurance you’ll need to pay for your employees, how the tax system works and how much you must pay towards their workplace pension.

          Workplace safety

          Once you’ve decided you can take staff on, assess your workplace to make sure it’s accessible and safe for employees. For many small businesses, finding a suitable start-up space becomes more convenient and cost-effective when you choose shared office space that’s flexible enough to grow your company.

          When you lease traditional offices, you have the headache and expense of buying furniture, setting up the necessary tech, such as internet and phone lines, and handling office maintenance and cleaning. Renting start-up and shared office space in a dedicated business hub gives you the peace of mind that this is sorted on your behalf, so all you need to do is move in.

          You can also keep a handle on your budget, as it’s all included in a set monthly bill, so you’ll know exactly what your expenditure will be.

          Hiring employees

          Once you’ve decided you can afford to hire staff, in a workspace suitable for your business needs, it’s time to start the recruitment process.

          Post job adverts by outlining your needs clearly, including a detailed and accurate job description, so prospective employees are in no doubt whether they have the required skillset.

          Decide what the salary will be, based on a combination of your available budget and the level of expertise you require from candidates. One way of doing this is to check what your competitors in the same sector are offering.

          When the applications start arriving, identify the applicants who have the relevant qualifications and meet the role requirements, discarding any who don’t. Typically, screening includes reading CVs, cover letters and any supporting material. Although it can take a lot of time, it’s worth doing a thorough job.

          Some start-ups use AI tools for recruitment to screen candidates, especially if there are a lot of applicants, but others prefer a more personal touch.

          Once you’ve whittled it down to a shortlist of applicants who will be called in for an interview, think about the best questions to ask when hiring a new employee. A face-to-face interview is a great way of evaluating whether a candidate is suitable for the job, as it tells you so much more than a printed CV.

          Ask questions such as why they left their previous role, what interests them about working for your company and what their preferred style of working is, such as in a team or individually. Other techniques can include psychometric tests which offer an insight into work styles, behavioural traits and aptitude to gain a complete picture of the candidate’s temperament and personality.

          Always consider that a job interview should be a two-way exchange, so give the applicant the opportunity to ask questions about your company and the role to determine whether it’s a place they would like to work.

          When recruiting, always be aware of the law, including the Discrimination and the Equality Act 2010. This states that employers must never discriminate against candidates on the grounds of their race, gender, religion, age, disability and other personal characteristics.

          Before offering the candidate a job, even if they seem ideal, it’s prudent to complete all the interviews and tell them you’ll be in touch very soon with your decision.

          It’s extremely rare for someone to be offered a position at the end of the interview. Timing is important, however, so don’t keep them hanging on indefinitely. Ring when you say you will or you may also face the risk of losing the best talent to another employer.

          Employment contract

          Once you’ve decided on the successful applicants, they must be provided with an employment contract that details the key facts about the job, such as the working hours, salary and any employee benefits.

          You must also carry out a Right to Work check on each new employee to make sure they can legally work in the UK. This can usually be done by verifying the applicant’s passport, visa or work authorisation document online.

          Any role that brings the employee into contact with sensitive information, or with vulnerable people, should be subject to a further check of any criminal convictions through the Disclosure and Barring Service.

          Once the checks are complete and the new employees have signed their contract, make sure their payroll details are completed first, as nothing is worse than someone not receiving a salary at the end of the month.

          Once they have joined your start-up, ensure you complete the relevant training sessions to ensure everyone understands their role in the company and their duties.

          The aim of the recruitment process is to bring success to business start-ups and aid the company’s growth, so the more you put into it, the more you’ll get out.


          © Cheer-J-ane / & © Diki Prayogo /

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