Becoming an Employer: Essential Checklist

Whether you’re run a retail business, hotel, pub, café or consultancy firm, taking on your first employee is always a big step. To help you get the recruitment process right, The Insurance Octopus has put together a checklist outlining the key aspects to focus on when becoming an employer.


1. Decide on the role


The first step is of course decidingwhat role needs to be filled. You’ll need to think about what kind of position is required for your business. Will the job be part-time (up to 20 hours per week) or full-time? Are you looking for a permanent or temporary employee? How much will this position pay (must meet the National Minimum Wage)? What’s the job title? What are the key responsibilities? Is there a minimum skills requirement?


2. Advertise the job


Once you’ve established exactly what you’re after from an employee and have the title and details of the role fully outlined, it’s time to seek the right person for the job. While part-time positions that don’t require specialised skills can be advertised locally in newspapers and at the job centre, you’ll need to widen the net by using national recruitment websites when trying to attract highly-skilled employers for management positions and specialised roles integral to business success. It’s also important to decide whether you want applicants to apply via CV and cover letter or with an application form.


3. Arrange interviews


After receiving the applications, it’s time to sift through and decide which candidates you want to interview. If you’re not happy with the response rate, it’s better to go back to the drawing board, rethink the role or re-advertise the job elsewhere than to employ somebody half-heartedly who isn’t really suitable for the position. Once you’ve decided who you want, you’ll need to offer them the role to see if they accept it. Have a second choice prepared just in case they’re no longer interested or have been hired elsewhere.


4. Provide a written statement of employment


If employing somebody for more than one month, you’ll need to draw up a written statement of employment. This is essentially a contract outlining the terms and conditions of the position being undertaken. Important items to include are the business name, the employee’s name, title, job description and start date, the salary and when they’ll be paid, hours of work and any expected overtime/weekend shifts, holiday entitlement, where the role is located, grievance procedures, notice periods and pensions.


5. Get registered with HMRC


Before you start paying your new member of staff, you’re legally required to register as an employer with the HMRC. Bear in mind that it can take up to two weeks to be registered. If you’re especially organised, you can get the ball rolling on the paperwork up to four weeks in advance.


6. Update your business insurance


As an employer with one or more members of staff, you must have employers liability insurance included as part of your business insurance cover. This can be added on to your current policy or, if you’re preparing to launch a venture, be included as part of your new policy. By law, you must have this type of insurance to protect you financially should an employee make a claim for compensation after being injured or becoming ill as a result of their job. Employers without employers liability cover run the risk of facing considerable fines and even prosecution.


7. Keep your employee happy


It’s one thing managing to attract a top-quality employee that enhances your business, but it’s another thing altogether keeping them. If you’re eager to hold onto staff, it’s important to invest in aspects such as training and development along with providing decent wages and employment benefits.



If you’re planning on launching a small firm and want to ensure you’ve got adequate business insurance in place, contact The Insurance Octopus for details on bespoke policies tailored to your specific type of business.