Take on help to lighten the load

If you have launched a business that is going great guns, firstly, congratulations and secondly, don’t underestimate the impact that taking on an employee will have!

It’s an incredible achievement to have created a new business, from scratch and worked at it to the point that it is not only self-perpetuating, but too much for you to maintain on your own, but so many people try to soldier on individually. We think you should give a great deal of consideration to taking on an employee and though you might feel put off by the tax implications and responsibilities that it will bring, there are ways to make the process far simpler.

Everyone that seeks to start their own business naturally hopes that it will, in time, grow and develop into something bigger that generates decent revenue, but it is no cliché to say that you need to speculate to accumulate. Imagine what a relief it would be to have a trusted right hand person, someone who could take on jobs when you are ill or unavailable. That would be worth its weight in gold wouldn’t it? Or a monthly pay packet, at least!

Take a look at our list of considerations to think about before hiring an employee and see if it might be the right decision for you and your business.

Do you really need help?

If you are already thinking about taking on someone, even just part-time, the chances are that yes, you do need someone to lighten the load for you, but even if you haven’t considered it, you may still be in need of support. Do you do a full working day, only to then spend a few extra hours completing admin duties? Do your working hours frequently spill over into your home life? Do you always seem to be working weekends? If you answered yes to any or all of these questions, then you could very well benefit from hiring an extra pair of hands.

There are pros and cons to a decision of this nature, naturally, but increased productivity, a variety of skills, tax benefits and sickness cover make it an extremely attractive proposition and we think will outweigh the potential negatives of having to pay wages and take responsibility for their actions during working hours.

Can you afford an employee?

The real question here, is can you afford to continue the way you have been? If you have little free time and are committing yourself to any and all contracts that come your way, you could be spreading yourself too thin and even putting your quality of service and health at risk. Remember, being an employer can have tax advantages and by hiring an umbrella company or a registered accountant, won’t have any extra responsibility to take on, as they will keep on top of everything for you, including new tax legislation that might seem like total gobbledygook!

Should you take on a permanent employee or a freelancer?

Permanent employees bring with them a host of responsibilities for you to take charge of, such as providing a work-based pension scheme and setting up a PAYE arrangement, so if this all seems a little too heavy handed at the start, why not think about using a freelancer to gauge whether an extra pair of hands is the right move for you? The benefits of doing so include easy flexibility, immediate support, a high level of expertise and fewer direct responsibilities, especially financial ones, as a freelancer needs to take control of their own invoicing. With this option comes potential downsides, such as having to pay for overtime and dealing with unreliable people, but it can be a great interim step for those of you considering a full-time, permanent addition to your team.

How do you find the right person?

This is a question that has plagued employers for many years and the simple answer is that you can’t ever guarantee that you have made the right decision until you work with someone. We know this seems like a vague and unhelpful answer, but you can use this potential uncertainty to good effect, when advertising for help, but including the following in your job listing:

  • A little bit about you, the company and what it prides itself on. If candidates feel aligned to your values and ethics, they are more likely to apply to be a part of the team.
  • A defined job title. ‘General dogs body’ will not attract a wealth of interested, talented people, so always look to really clearly define who and what you need so that the right people can find you and step forward.
  • A description of duties. This is what will allow candidates to demonstrate their suitability for the role. You should look out for individuals that directly address every duty that will be needed, as they will naturally prove to be the most diligent and detail orientated.
  • A list of desired traits. Don’t be shy about being specific about what you want in an employee; this is your company after all. You want someone who will represent you well and with comparable commitment to yourself, so include things like a punctual nature, a good level of education and a smart appearance if these are important to you.
  • How you want people to apply. Be specific here, as anyone who doesn’t follow your instructions should be automatically excluded rom selection. If you ask for emailed applications, as an attachment to an introductory message, only accept those that fulfill the brief entirely.

At interview stage, you will be looking to confirm all claims made by candidates regarding their experience and attributes, so make sure you are welcoming and approachable, as a stern interviewer can sometimes induce a falsely shy response. Trust your instincts and select the person that you felt most connected to and impressed by and remember that you will be spending a considerable amount of time with them, so don’t only look at financial considerations.

With a contract in place to protect you both, you and your new employee can hopefully look forward to many years of productive working together, while your accounting team takes care of all the tax and wages nitty gritty. Never forget that being an employer is a huge responsibility, but when approached with the right attitude and some humble appreciation, it could be the best thing you ever do, second to starting your own company that is!

Article: PayGroup PLC