Recruitment: getting it right 

Smaller businesses rely on their staff perhaps more than those further up the food chain. With fewer resources and less time to devote to hiring staff, getting recruitment right the first time is crucial. Especially when you consider that hiring the wrong person can cost you: 

  • One month, for the initial hire 
  • One month to realise they’re not the right person and let them go  
  • One month to hire the next person 
  • One month to settle in the new person successfully 

So given that SMEs often lack the time and internal resources needed to adequately manage the recruitment campaigns, and with the cost of recruiting significant for smaller companies who may not have the means to pay recruitment agency fees, it’s important to avoid costly mistakes 

First, get the job advert right 

Your job advert is not a job description. Instead, it’s a way of selling your business to potential employees – and it’s worth remembering that the most talented job seekers are always looking at a few roles. 

So the ad should explain why someone should work at your company, what the opportunities for development and progression are, what the day-to-day working environment is like, and what makes your company unique and special. 

Second, advertise on the right platforms 

There are many platforms to advertise jobs on, such as,, and On most of these sites, you can do a CV search to see if there are specific people who would be perfect for your role. It’s also worth casting your net wide to try and find the right people and of course, using your networks such as Linkedin to share roles. 

And remember, social media can help SMEs reach their target candidate market at a relatively affordable price, but only if you are clear about what differentiates you from the competition, in terms of perks, development opportunities, and working environment. 

Last, make sure you’re legally ready to recruit 

There are several checks you should run before you sign up a new employee.  

First, you must decide how much to pay someone: In the UK, each employer must pay employees at least the National Minimum Wage. As of April 2019, National Minimum Wage stood at £8.21 an hour for people aged 25 and older – the government refers to this main rate as the National Living Wage. In addition, there are four minimum wages below this amount for younger workers and apprentices: 

  • 21-24 years old: £7.70 
  • 18-20 years old: £6.15 
  • Under 18: £4.35 
  • Apprentice: £3.90 

Check if your new hire has the legal right to work in the UK.

It is your legal obligation as an employer to ensure the “right to work checks” have been completed and documented.  

Check whether you need to apply for a DBS check

DBS, formerly known as CRB checks, are required in specific jobs and industries, check if you work in a field that requires one. This can include anything from working with vulnerable people or children, or anything in the security or law enforcement fields.  

Get employment insurance up to date

As an employer, you need employers’ liability insurance as soon as you become an employer. You can usually obtain a joint employer and public liability insurance policy from a UK provider.  

Send details of the job (including terms and conditions) in writing to your employee.

Under UK law, they will need to be furnished with a Contract of Employment within two months of their start date. If you miss this deadline, an employee can work during that time provided they are working to the terms of the offer letter and the employer is paying them correctly. 

Get registered with HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC)

By registering as an employer - you can do this up to 4 weeks before you pay your new staff. As your accountants, when a payroll scheme is registered we will send the new employee a starter form and ask for their P45. If they do not have a P45, we will require an HMRC starter checklist completed.  

If you’re in need of advice or support in this or any other area, Paul Beare Ltd is right here for all your needs. You can contact us for help from tax and payroll to accounting and banking.