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The hiring process: how to hire staff


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Small business guides > A complete guide to hiring staff > The hiring process: how to hire staff

The hiring process: how to hire staff

Are you ready to hire your first employee? Or maybe you have a few employees but want to improve the hiring process and find more good ones? Congrats, hiring staff is a huge milestone for your growing business.

But before you get started, you need to understand each step in the recruitment process. It’s so much more than just job descriptions, interviews, contracts, and pay. Hiring is also about finding good employees, getting the best out of your team, and understanding your responsibilities as an employer.

The hiring process in a nutshell

Hiring is an exciting process, but with quite a few steps along the way, it can get overwhelming. This guide will take you through it step by step so you can find employees who fit perfectly with your business.

The hiring process

First, create a hiring strategy

A carefully crafted hiring strategy can set your business up for success as you hire your first employee now and continue growing your team in the future. Your hiring strategy gives you a clear idea of what your employment needs are and how to achieve them. It’s a plan of action that helps you get through each stage of the recruitment process.

Here are three essential questions to ask when creating your hiring strategy:

  1. Who do you need?
    Choose the type of person you need for your business. It can be one, some, or all of these: someone to fill in the gaps in your expertise, someone to do the things you could if only you had time, or someone to do the things you don’t enjoy doing. This helps you get a good sense of the skills, experience, and other qualifications to look for in an employee.

    Once you’ve decided on the type of person you need, work out a balance between attitude and skills. It might be easier to train a hard worker on the skills you require, rather than hire someone with all the right skills but without the go-getter attitude you’re looking for.
  2. What can you afford?
    Find out what the market rates are in your industry so you can offer a competitive salary that’s within your budget. Other costs to consider include employer pension contributions, any benefits or incentives you want to offer employees, advertising fees for job postings, and more. Use these costs to plan your budget and see what you can afford.

    Visit the gov.uk page on getting your business ready to employ staff, which has more information on employee costs in the step, ‘Check you can afford to take on employees’.

  3. What type of employee do I need to hire?
    Figure out what kind of employee is right for you. Whether it’s an independent contractor or an employee, a part-time or full-time worker, each type has its own pros and cons. Do your homework to find the best fit for your business.

    Visit the gov.uk page for more information on contract types and employment status types.

Check out our guides How much should I pay my employees? and Hire an independent contractor or employee.


Chapter 2: Make it official – register as an employer

Register as an employer before hiring. Learn about the rules around employment and understand hiring best practice to stay on the right side of the law.

Read chapter 2