Taking on Employees: Hiring Employees for the First Time

Hiring someone for the firsttime can be stressful, especially when you haven’t done it before. Taking on an employee for thefirst time can be even more daunting when you don’t know exactly what you want out of them. But there are some simple steps you can take to make sure you get off to a great start.

1. Know What You Want Out Of Them

This seems like a no brainer, but many people find themselves struggling with this step. If you’re unsure of what you want out of your first hire, consider taking a look at our guide to the most common interview questions and how to answer them. There’s no reason why you can’t ask yourself some of those same questions before you begin interviewing candidates.

2. Get To Know Their Skillset

Once you’ve got a better idea of what you want out your first hire, it’s time to think about what skills they might bring to the role. Are they strong communicators? Do they excel at problem solving? Or maybe they’re best suited to working behind the scenes. Whatever the case, it’s worth getting to know what each candidate brings to the table.

3. Understand How They Work

One of the biggest mistakes employers make is assuming that because someone works somewhere else, they’ll work just fine here. While we understand that life isn’t always black and white, there are certain expectations that come with every job. Understanding how your potential hires approach their jobs will help you avoid any surprises down the line.

1. Before you ever consider hiring someone, you must consider the following factors:

Employers are legally required to provide basic employment insurance (EI) cover for every worker employed in the UK. This includes both temporary and permanent employees. The EI system provides benefits such as sickness pay, maternity/paternity pay, bereavement pay, injury compensation, and funeral expenses. In addition, there are certain tax advantages associated with having employer’s liability insurance (ELI).

The law says that every employee must receive EI cover unless they specifically opt out. If you employ someone, make sure you check whether they already have ELI cover. You can do this online via the government’s Mygov portal.

If you don’t know whether your current employee(s) have ELI cover, you can find out by contacting the insurer directly. Alternatively, you could ask them during recruitment.

You might want to consider offering additional benefits to attract new recruits. For example, some companies offer free uniforms, while others give discounts on gym membership.

Checking the rules before you take on any new workers is important too. There are rules around how much notice you need to give people if you change jobs. Also, it’s illegal to sack someone without giving them proper notice.

Finally, make sure everyone knows what the policies are. Ensure that your contracts clearly state what happens if something goes wrong.

2. You must verify that personnel have the legal permission to work in the United Kingdom.

The government says it wants to crack down on employers who hire foreign nationals without checking they are allowed to work here. So what does the law say about this? And how do you make sure you don’t break the rules? We explain…

3. Get your tax right

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) says it wants to make life easier for small businesses. To do this, it is offering a range of online tools and resources to help people understand what they owe and how much they are owed. These include:

• A new guide to making sure you pay the correct amount of National Insurance Contributions (NICs) each month

• An online calculator to work out whether you’re entitled to claim certain benefits

• Online information about how to register for VAT

• Information about how to use the eTax system

• Resources to help you manage your finances

• A toolkit to help you prepare your accounts for audit

4. Ensure you are protected by your work agreement.

Employment contracts should clearly state what the new employee’s responsibilities are. They should also make it clear whether the employee is entitled to holidays, sick pay, maternity/paternity leave and other benefits.

Make sure you know exactly what the new employee’s rights are – including how long he or she needs to give notice of resignation or termination, and what happens if the employee resigns without giving proper notice.

Ensure you cover everything in your agreement before starting an employee. You don’t want to find yourself having to explain something later down the track.

Your employer must provide a written copy of the contract within two months of hiring the new employee. If you fail to do this, you could face an unfair dismissal claim against you.

Final thoughts

The following is a list of things I’ve learned over the course of my career, and some final thoughts on what it takes to succeed in today’s digital world.

1. Be yourself

2. Don’t give up

3. Learn from mistakes

4. Stay humble

5. Work hard

6. Have fun

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a payroll identification or number?

If you have more than one person working for you, it may be helpful to give them a unique payroll number. Your employees might be called something like ‘Employee A’ or ‘Employee B’. Or maybe you want to make sure they know who they work for, so you can call them ‘John Smith’ or ‘Jane Doe’. Whatever you choose, it needs to be unique.

Wherever possible, you should try to include a Payroll Number or Identifier (PNID) in your payroll data. This is usually found in the form RT2, which is sent out to HMRC every month. You can find the PNID in the section labelled “Payroll Information”. This includes a Payroll Reference Code (PRC), which is used to identify the individual employee.

The PRC is just a number; it doesn’t mean anything. However, it does need to be unique – i.e. it cannot be the same as another PRC already existing in HMRC’s database.

So how do you generate a unique PNID? Well, you can either use the PRC itself, or you can add a prefix or suffix to it. For example, you could call Employee A John Smith 0001, or Jane Doe 0002. Obviously, you don’t want to use the full name of the employee, because that would be too easy to guess. But you still need to ensure that the PNID is unique.

In addition to the Payroll Reference Code, the RT2 also contains a field for a Payroll Identification Number (PIN). Again, this isn’t meant to be used as a personal identification code, and it won’t tell anyone anything about what your employees look like. Instead, it simply identifies the individual employee within the organisation. And again, it should be unique.

You can find the PIN in the section labelled “Company Information”, under the heading “Payroll Identification Number”.

To avoid duplication, you’ll probably want to keep track of the PNIDs you’ve assigned to your employees, so that you can refer to them later on.

How frequently should I pay my new hire?

The term ‘pay period’ refers to the number of weeks it takes for employers to make tax deductions from employees’ wages. This is usually either 28 days (once every four weeks), 52 weeks (every six months) or 52 weeks plus one day (twice a year).

Employers can essentially choose which type of pay period is most suitable. For example, if you are an online filers, a monthly pay period might work best for you because it means that you only have run payroll and submitted information to HMRC once each month. However, if you are paying weekly, there is no reason why you could not use a monthly pay period.

Here are the two main types of pay periods and what they mean for employers and employees:

• A monthly pay period:

This is the simplest option. You simply set up a monthly pay period and you don’t have to do anything else.

• A weekly pay period:

With a weekly pay period, you must calculate how many times you want to deduct taxes from your employees’ wages.



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