Taking on your first employee can be daunting for a small business and the following 5 tips may help you in preparing for the next stage in business growth. 
1. Get the basics in place – prior to employing someone give some time to consider what you want your employee to do. You also need to think about the skills and experience you want the individual to possess; this may include how you want them to represent your business. This process will enable you to develop a job description and person specification and allow you to assess the potential candidates using these documents to measure their suitability. 
2. Selection methods – most small organisations use the ‘big 3’ selection methods. CV, interview and references and often miss out on a couple of them! This is often due to a variety of reasons such as personal recommendation – I know someone who will be able to help you etc. In those circumstances ‘caveat emptor’ or buyer beware! Even on the basis of personal recommendation you still need to ensure the person is right for the job and right for your business! Spend time analysing the CV, preparing interview questions related to the job. Check up all references and ensure your compliance is in place – right to work in the UK, disclosure and barring service requirements etc. 
3. Offer and contract – make sure you offer your employment formally in writing following a verbal offer. The offer should contain the substantive elements of the contract such as pay, hours of work, job title etc, and more importantly the length of probation period. You may also want to include a full statement of terms and conditions or employment contract. 
4. Probation period – it is important for both parties to have a trial period of their employment and particularly so for small businesses. This means both parties can try out the role and see whether in the employer’s case have made the right decision in offering the role and in the candidate’s case accepting it. The probation period should outline performance requirements within the first 6 months of employment and there should be regular reviews to discuss progress. Employers should include a term in the contract of employment to allow for extension of the probation period. 
5. Induction – yes it is more than tea, toilets and trivia. An induction ensures the new employee is not only aware of your main policies and procedures but is also socialised into your organisation. In the case of a small organisation this may require specific training on your processes and meeting key clients. It is useful to consider an induction plan in line with your probation period. 
By sticking to these 5 simple steps should result in getting the right person into the role as easily as possible. 
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