How to Hire a New Employee in the UK?

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Are you looking to hire a new employee in the UK? Do you feel like you are missing some key skills in your team, and it’s time to bring someone new onboard? Hiring a new employee is a major decision that requires a well-structured recruitment process. In this article, we will guide you through the steps of hiring a new employee in the UK, from identifying your recruitment needs to onboarding your new employee. By the end of this article, you’ll be able to put in place an efficient recruitment process and find the perfect candidate for your business. In addition, we will also be sharing valuable tools and resources to facilitate your recruitment process.

Step 1 – Identify Needed Skills and Resources for Successful Hiring

Before you start the recruitment process, it’s important to identify the skills you need in your team to achieve your business goals. You should consider whether you have the skills in-house or if you need to find them outside of your company. Look at your business plan and budget to ensure you have the resources to support a new hire. It’s important to determine if you are hiring for a short-term project or a long-term position. This will impact the type of candidate you will look for and the recruitment process you will put in place.

Step 2 – Craft a Comprehensive Job Description

Based on your skills assessment, you can draft a job description that outlines the requirements and expectations for the new hire. Be realistic and focus on the most essential skills needed for the role. It’s important to classify the skills into three categories – required, preferred, and desired. This will help you identify what skills are essential to the role, and what skills are optional but desirable. You should also include the expected salary range, benefits, and any other perks that come with the position. Make sure the job description is clear and concise and accurately reflects the role.

Step 3 – Build a Solid Recruitment Budget

It’s essential to prepare a recruitment budget to ensure you have the financial resources to support a new hire. This includes not only the salary but also any other costs associated with employment such as pension contributions, national insurance, and any other benefits. You could read our article on the cost of a new hire in the UK to have a better idea of what should be included in your calculations:
It’s also important to compare the salary range you are offering with what’s on offer in the market to ensure you are offering a competitive package. You can use online tools such as to compare salaries for similar roles in your industry.

Step 4 – Create impactful interview questions and assessments

This is where you design the interview process and come up with the questions that will help you find the perfect candidate for the job. But before you dive into the questions, there are some things to consider. Who will be supervising the process? How many interviews will you conduct?

To ensure a fair evaluation, you will need to prepare interview questions you will ask for each candidate. This will help you evaluate the necessary skills and ensure that all candidates are evaluated using the same criteria.
Pre-screening questions are also crucial to make sure you don’t waste your time. These questions can be asked during a quick call to the candidate prior to the initial interview to check if they meet the minimum requirements, such as the right to work in the UK, relevant experience, and salary expectations.

If the candidate passes the pre-screening phase, you may want to consider sharing an assessment to check their English level or special expertise before inviting them for an interview. The British Council’s tests are highly recommended for assessing English skills:

Now, let’s talk about the interview questions. During the interview process, it’s important to ask a variety of questions to get a well-rounded understanding of the candidate’s skills and abilities. Some questions may be simple administrative ones like “When are you available to start?” while others may delve into soft skills like “What would your previous employer say are your 3 top strengths and weaknesses?” You might also want to assess their expertise by asking questions like “What would you do if a customer complains about one of your team members?” to gauge their customer relationship and management skills. And if you really want to challenge them, you could even discuss a case study submitted prior to the initial meeting. By asking a mix of different questions, you can get a better sense of how well the candidate would fit in with your team and perform in the role.

Step 5 – Write An Effective and Inclusive Job Advertisement

When it comes to preparing your job ad, don’t stick to the traditional ways of advertising a job. In this competitive market, your business needs the right candidate just as much as the candidate needs a job. You need to make sure that your job ad stands out from the crowd and reflects the culture of your business. Be sure to include as much information as possible about your industry and what makes your company a great place to work. It’s important to engage with the candidate and make a good first impression, as your employer brand is crucial to attracting the right candidates. Keep in mind that potential employees may check out your business’ reputation on Glassdoor or Indeed, so make sure your ad is appealing and inclusive, and mention that you are open to diversity.

When drafting your job ad, there are a few rules to follow to avoid discrimination. Discrimination is taken very seriously in the UK, so you can’t state that you are looking for a “Native English speaker.” However, you can mention that fluency in English is necessary for the job. Similarly, you can only specify that you are looking for candidates with a certain amount of experience if it is necessary for the role. Otherwise, you may be discriminating against younger applicants.

Step 6 – Finding the Right Job Board For Your Job Post

To effectively reach your target candidates, it’s important to choose the right job board for your job posting. The most popular generalist job boards in the UK are LinkedIn, Totaljobs, Reed, and Glassdoor, but it’s important to consider other options based on your target audience and industry. If you want to increase your reach, consider using multi-posting solutions such as Join Recruitment. This platform allows you to post your job on multiple job boards for free, including LinkedIn. However, be prepared to receive a high volume of applications if you choose to use Join Recruitment.

When creating your job posting, be sure to include any specific questions you want applicants to answer before submitting their application. You may also want to request additional documents such as a cover letter. By providing clear instructions and expectations upfront, you can ensure that you receive high-quality applications from candidates who are a good fit for the role.

Step 7 – Screen and Shortlist Candidates

After preparing a shortlist of desired skills, it is important to check whether the candidates meet your criteria. We recommend preselecting a list of candidates from the applications received and calling them to assess if they meet the pre-required criteria set in Step 4. This will give you a chance to assess if there is chemistry with the candidate and avoid wasting time on those who don’t meet your requirements. To ensure you are tracking all candidates, use a project management or HR SaaS or the platform provided by the job board. This will prevent you from missing out on any candidate and help you maintain a respectable and professional image for your company.

Step 8 – Conduct Engaging Interviews

As you prepare for the interview, it’s essential to create a comfortable and professional environment for your candidate. Let them know what will be discussed, how they will be evaluated, and who will be participating in the interview. Make sure to send a calendar invite with all the necessary information, including the time limit for the interview. It’s also crucial to ensure that everyone involved in the recruitment process is aware of the evaluation criteria for the candidates.

If you’re conducting the interview online, choose a reliable technology and consider using a professional version if the time is limited. For larger companies, it’s common to have the first interview with the recruitment manager and a follow-up interview with the hiring manager. If there will be a follow-up interview, inform the candidate and provide an expected date for follow-up communication.

Before concluding the interview, it’s also important to ask the candidate if they have other interviews in progress and when they expect to receive a reply. This information will help you make informed decisions and ensure that you don’t miss out on hiring a great candidate who has opportunity elsewhere.

Step 9 – Select The Right Candidate

Congratulations! You have now all the qualitative and quantitative data to make an informed decision on the candidate you might want to hire. However, you might hesitate between a few candidates. Before doing the final decision, we would recommend doing some reference checks to see what their past employers think about the candidate.

In the UK, an employer does not usually have to give a work reference, but if they do, it must be fair and accurate. A reference can include details about the candidate’s performance, whether they were sacked or not, or can be brief, such as job title, salary, and employment dates.

If after receiving all this information, it is still hard for you to make a decision, you could invite the remaining candidates to a last interview. You could potentially add an extra person from your team to feel the chemistry. We recommend this stage as good work relationships are paramount for the success of a company. Alternatively, you could decide on objective criteria such as salary or availability if it is still hard to choose one candidate.

Once you have made your decision, notify the selected candidate, and ensure to sign the contract in the following days. Make sure it is signed before informing the remaining candidate that they have not been selected. Ensure to stay in touch through social media or email, and ask for permission to keep their resume as you might need a replacement during the probation of the selected candidate, or a new position might come up in the following months.

Ensure to send a gentle rejection letter to those not selected through the process. Remember that rejection is hard. We also encourage our clients to empower the candidates they have not selected. Tell them that you were impressed by their strong interest and skills in the field, you appreciate the time they took to speak with you, and that your decision does not reflect their abilities or potential in any way. Encourage them to continue to pursue opportunities that align with their interests and goals. Remind them that rejection is simply a stepping stone towards their eventual success.

Once all done, don’t forget to close every job post but archive them in case you might use them in the future. This will ensure that you are not inundated with applications for a position that is already filled, and you can quickly repost the job if necessary.

Step 10 – Prepare Your New Employee Onboarding

As an employer in the UK, you are required to prepare a written statement of employment particulars for your new employee. However, most companies prepare a broader version of this written statement called the employment contract. This contract outlines the terms and conditions of their employment. According to ACAS (the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service), this document must include certain information such as the employer and employee names, start date, job title or description, pay, working hours, holiday and sick leave, notice period, and more. The contract could be signed digitally, and even if it’s not signed, the terms are deemed accepted by both parties if the employee starts working for the company.

It is crucial that the employee understands all the terms of the contract before signing it, and you should check their right to work in the UK and retain copies of any supportive documentation such as a passport and/or a visa. You must also declare the new employee to the tax office HMRC and require them to provide a P45 form, which contains details of their previous employment and tax paid.
It is also recommended to take proof of address and bank details for payment and have the employee sign a next-of-kin document in case of emergency.
Finally, the staff handbook, explaining the company’s rules, should be shared with the employee, and it must be signed.

Before the employee’s first day, make sure all their equipment is ready, and IT and building access is confirmed. On the onboarding day, prepare a schedule with the respective teams, starting with a meeting with HR to go over the company’s rules and documentation. Next, have a meeting with the IT team to show them how to access different systems. Then, have a meeting to introduce them to other stakeholders in the company. Make sure to provide training on the job and ensure the employee understands their role, responsibilities, and KPIs.
If any training needs to be done, share the schedule and expectations with the new employee. Don’t forget to schedule half-probation and end-of-probation meetings and keep records of their performance.

In conclusion, hiring a new employee in the UK requires a well-structured recruitment process that ensures you find the right candidate for your business. This involves identifying your recruitment needs, preparing a detailed job description, setting a clear recruitment budget, designing the recruitment process, or writing an effective and inclusive job advertisement. By following these steps, you can ensure that you find a suitable candidate who can help you achieve your business goals. If you need any help with your recruitment, feel free to contact operviser, who can provide expert guidance and support to help you find the perfect employee for your business.






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