Are you thinking to expand your teams but not sure where to start and have pressing questions? Check out this article which answers frequently asked questions.
When to start hiring?
You will usually start hiring when the workload increase and becomes unmanageable or a demand for a specific professional arises. You may find you have current employees wearing several hats or they are having to do low-value work.
Furthermore, tasks that you previously outsourced, as your company grows you will want to bring that in-house in order to increase efficiency and improve the cohesiveness of your processes.
Below are a few other reasons why you may want to grow your team:
- overwhelmed with demand
- negative customer feedback
- employees are feeling worn out
- news skills are needed
- you say no to new projects or partnerships
Ethical issues when hiring employees
Making sure that the job role is presented fairly and the job description aligns sets out accurate expectations. Having a misleading job ad will lead to disappointment for candidates, and high staff turnover will increase the cost of hiring.
Discrimination involves treating someone differently based on characteristics such as age, sex, gender, disability, race, religion, marital status and other factors. These are referred to as protected characteristics and are a common issue that frequently arises in workplaces and during the recruitment process. Discrimination is illegal and those who have been impacted can take action under the Equality Act 2010. There are often more subtle forms of discrimination where a clear link to the discriminatory behaviour cannot be made and it can leave the candidate
What are the legal requirements when hiring employees?
There is guidance in place which every employer should know about whether you are hiring your first employee or 100th employee.
- Right to work check
You must conduct the necessary check to make sure your employee has the right to work in the UK. This can be done by checking the employee's original documents and a share code which the employee should obtain from the government website. The penalty for employing candidates who do not have a right to work in the UK can result in a 5-year prison sentence and an unlimited fine.
- Background checks
You will be required by law to conduct a DBS check on your employees if they are working with vulnerable individuals. You may also want to complete a basic check to check that the candidate doesn't have any unspent convictions especially if they have a high degree of responsibility.
- Employers Liability Insurance
Under the Employers' Liability (Compulsory Insurance) Act 1969, employers must get Employers’ Liability insurance as soon as they become an employer and the policy must cover the employer for at least £5 million and come from an authorised insurer.
- Written statement of employment particulars
You must provide employees with a written statement of employment particulars. The statement should be made up of two documents, the principal statement which is to be provided on the first day of employment and the wider written statement, which can be provided in the first 2 months of employment.
The principal statement must contain the employer's name as well as information about the job. Check out government guidance on what a written statement of employment particulars should contain.
Enrol employees on a pension scheme
If an employee is over 22 years of age and earning more than £10,000 a year, an employer must automatically enrol their employee into a workplace pension scheme. The employer is obligated to pay a minimum of 3% of their employee's salary into their pension scheme, on time. Employees have the right to opt out of auto-enrolment but this will mean that the employee will not make the minimum 3% contributions.
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How long does it take to hire a new employee?
Depending on the role you are recruiting for or the industry you operate in will determine how long the hiring process takes. A survey by LinkedIn last year found that recruiting engineers took an average of 49 days whereas administrative staff took the lowest time to recruit at 33 days. There are of course variables that can affect these findings such as the size of the company as well as the specificity of the role.
Generally recruiting for a skilled professional can take a lot longer as the supply of the workforce is not as readily available. Furthermore, your hiring process can also impact the number of days it takes to hire a new recruit.
Your current recruitment process can entail a test for the candidate, a virtual interview (or a few) and an in-person meeting prior to offering the job. If you do require an interview with various members of the team, consider rearranging availability and having this all in one day to save time for both you and the candidate. Panel interviews, where a candidate is interviewed by a number of employees, can be a useful time-saving technique however it might be an intimidating experience for the candidate as many candidates prefer one on one interviews.
When to check references?
References are important aspects of the recruitment process to ensure your new employees are who they say they are. A study by Cifas found that 1 in 12 individuals lie on their CVs, this was even more common among those under 24's with 1 in 6 admitting to lying. If you hire someone who has lied on their CV or during interviews, you may be under the impression they have a certain skill or attribute. If they don't possess this, your business can be at a disadvantage. Furthermore, having a dishonest employee on your team can impact trust and your relationship with that person which is bad for business.
Usually, once you finish conducting the interview process, you can make an offer to the new hire conditional on successful referencing. Assuming everything the candidate has said checks out and their previous employer confirms this, you will have peace of mind to proceed.
The cost of hiring an employee in 2022
An Employee's salary is not the only cost incurred when taking on a new hire. There are other expenses related to hiring a new person.
The average UK Depending on the role you are hiring for as well as the experience of the candidate will determine how much you pay them. In some cases, when you make an offer, the candidate may try and negotiate higher. You can reject and stick with your original offer however this may portray that you are inflexible and that you don't value the candidate's knowledge and skill, especially if their proposal for a higher salary is reasonable. The lack of budget can result in you losing a potentially valuable employee to a competitor. You can set aside a budget for negotiation to accommodate this and avoid losing your desired employee.
You may choose to reward staff with bonuses or other compensation in which case this should also be budgeted for and ideally capped so you can properly
You are entitled by law to enrol your employees into a workplace pension scheme. Currently, this is 3% of the employee's monthly salary. In some instances you may wish to contribute more as a benefit to your employees however the minimum set out by the government is 3%. A pension is considered a significant benefit in the UK and a lot of employers pay over the minimum to remain competitive.
National Insurance contribution
As an employer you as required to pay towards national insurance. For the tax year 2022 to 2023, this is at 15.05% on employee earnings over £758.01.
Employee costs include benefits to which they are entitled to. If your company provides health insurance, with benefits this also contributes to the cost of hiring the new employee.
The average cost of health insurance can equate to £45 per month per employee.
You may pay for your employee's subscriptions and professional fees, eyecare vouchers, gym membership or other perks.
A sickness absence policy is a common benefit provided by employers. The cost of illness is something that should be anticipated by most employers in the UK, some accommodate this by having a sickness absence day policy. Some, however, don't have a sickness absence policy and instead the employee would receive Statutory Sick Pay from the 4th day of sickness for up to 28 weeks.
The Office of National Statistics reported that in 2021 employees took an average of 4.9 days of sick leave. Sick days can translate into reduced productivity as projects and workload can get delayed, it is also a financial loss for the company if they have a policy which allows employees to take paid time off during sickness.
Hiring candidates with disabilities
Under the Equality Act 2010, disability is one of the 9 protected characteristics, meaning that if an individual has a physical or mental impairment the law protects them from any type of discrimination. It might be visible or not but some considerations you can take as an employer are listed below:
- ensure employee benefits cater to all, if not consider having alternatives
- make candidates aware that reasonable adjustments are available
- educate staff about different disabilities and adjustments required for candidates
Neurodiversity is the idea that people experience and interact with the world around them in many different ways, this means that having an individual on board who has had a unique experience gives your company a competitive advantage. They may have a different point of view when it comes to your product or service and can add value by helping to improve features and processes.