How to hire staff for your business

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Hiring franchise staff

Recruiting employees is a big moment for you and your business. The staff that you employ will play a big part in your franchise development and may mean the difference between success and failure. So, you want to make sure you get the right employees on board to help things run a lot more smoothly.

If you want to get your business off the ground by hiring staff, here are some of our top tips to help you get through the recruitment process:

1. Promote your staff vacancies

If you want to maximise your chances of recruiting the best talent, you need to make sure that your job listings are seen by as many people as possible.

To help you spread the word, here are our top tips for promoting staff vacancies:

Use social media. Nowadays, social media is the best way of capturing people’s attention. Jobhunters are always keeping an eye on Facebook jobs pages for local vacancies. Consider posting your listings in these groups if you want to fill the role as quickly as possible.

Advertise on job sites. Job sites have become the modern-day jobcentres for those seeking work. On sites like Indeed, you can inform all interested applicants of the specifics of your vacancy, including required qualifications, job responsibilities and the length of the contract.

Consider partnering with a recruitment firm. If you are recruiting for more senior roles in your company, it can pay to solicit the services of a recruitment firm. With their specialism in headhunting, they can find you the right fit for your vacancy in no time at all.

2. Hire the right staff

After you have gathered plenty of CVs, the next step is to work out how you are going to interview those with the right qualifications. It is important that you choose a selection process that tests the skills that are required in the job description.

To keep your options open, have a read through some of the different ways that you can select the right candidate for your vacancy:

Individual interview. For some roles, there is no replacement for a traditional one-to-one interview. This is a good way of assessing an applicant’s communication skills and their ability to think under pressure. If you really want to get to know your applicant personally, this is the best way of getting to know their character.

Group interview. If there is a heavy emphasis in the job vacancy on collaboration and teamwork, a group interview might be the right choice. By encouraging interviewees to work together on a challenge, leading personalities emerge naturally.

Trial shift. If you are more interested in an applicant’s practical skills, it might be more useful to invite them in for a trial shift. This would be suitable if you were recruiting for a restaurant or bar business, as employees have to be able to perform tasks to the best of their ability under pressure.

3. Get Employers’ Liability insurance

When recruiting staff, you need to make sure that you protect yourself and your new business with Employers’ Liability insurance. This can cover you against any losses accrued from staff that have to miss work through illness or injury.

Getting Employers Liability insurance is a legal requirement. By law, the policy must cover you for up to £5 million in losses and be purchased from an authorised insurer.

If you’re found to be operating your franchise without adequate Employers’ Liability insurance in place, you can be fined up to £2,500 for every day that you’re not properly insured. That can result in a sum that could destroy your business.

Once you’ve bought your insurance, you’re required to display your policy certificate in a place where your staff can view it. It needs to be physically or digitally accessible for all members of staff.

4. Ask employees for ‘right to work’ documents

If you find the perfect prospective employee for your franchise, you’ll need to check that they own the documents required to work in the UK before you hire them.

This may sound daunting, but you just need to follow three simple steps to verify that your new employee has all the necessary papers.

Obtain the documents

When taking on a new employee, you need to ask to see your new employee’s right to work documents. These include:

  • A passport for UK or EEA (European Economic Area) and Swiss citizens
  • An immigration document
  • A certificate of permanent residence

A full list of suitable documents can be found on the GOV.uk website.

Check them out

When reviewing the documents, your main aim is to confirm that they are genuine. The first step is always to check out the likeness between your prospective employee and the document photographs.

It’s also important to check expiry dates and restrictions on work. To make sure that everything is above board, you need to request updated documents if a candidate has changed due to marriage or divorce.

Make certain that you perform all of these checks in the presence of the applicant. That way, you can make sure that the identification that you are checking really does match up with the candidate that you are employing.

Take copies of them

Once you’ve done this, you need to take a copy of the documents for your files and make sure that you keep them for a minimum of two years after the employee has left your franchise. To make sure they do not get thrown away prematurely, make a note of the date that the checks were carried out.

If the checks are performed incorrectly, or aren’t completed at all, you could be liable to a civil penalty of up to £20,000 per employee that isn’t permitted to work in the UK.

Simply following the process and retaining copies of the documentation can stop you from landing a heavy fine. A £20,000 penalty can be potentially fatal for a business or franchise that is just getting off the ground.

5. Always pay the minimum wage

When starting a business or franchise that requires employees, you need to decide how much you will pay them. Regardless of whether you are a franchisor of one of the world’s biggest of global brands or a small independent business owner, the same rules apply.

The National Minimum Wage (NMW) specifies the legal amount that you must pay your employees. This varies depending on the age of the employee. Let’s have a look at the different legal rates for different age groups:

  • Under 18s - £4.35
  • 18 to 20 year olds - £6.15
  • 21 to 24 - £7.70

Workers over the age of 25 are entitled to the higher rate of pay known as the National Living Wage (NLW), which entitles them to an hourly wage of £8.21.

If you decide to recruit apprentices as part of franchise development programme, then they’re entitled to an apprentice rate if they’re under 19 years old, or over 19 and in the first year of their apprenticeship.

You must take your employees’ pay seriously. Not only is it against the law to pay under the minimum wage, but it is also a business cost that’s worth investing in. If your staff are sufficiently paid for their work, then they are more likely to remain loyal to your business.

6. Finalise staff contracts

The contract of employment that you agree with is just as important as the deeds that you sign when starting a business, or a franchise agreement that you sign when starting a franchise.

The document must include a range of information relating to the employee and the employer. This includes, amongst other details:

  • The names of the employer and employee
  • Employment commencement date
  • Specified wages
  • Hours of work
  • Length of notice required to terminate employment

It’s recommended that your employees are presented with contracts before their employment starts. Having everything confirmed in writing before employment begins helps to make everything clear and transparent right from day one.

If this isn’t possible, then you’ll be given a two-month grace period to get the contract to your member of staff. Make sure to keep a reminder of this date, or you could end up being in breach of employment law.

7. Check staff employment rights

Any employee that you recruit into your franchise business will have certain legal rights. This includes the right to not be discriminated against on the grounds of sex, race, disability, sexual orientation, age or religious belief.

The rights of your employees come into play if they believe that they have been unfairly dismissed. Once your staff have been working in your franchise for more than 12 months continuously, they have the right not be unfairly dismissed.

Whatever the reason for dismissing the employee, you need to follow a documented disciplinary procedure. It’s also very important that you can prove that are firing the employee for a genuine reason, such as poor performance or misconduct, and not because of discrimination.

There is a lot to consider when hiring staff for your business. If you can tick everything off, you and your business can benefit from the knowledge that its employment procedures are totally above board.

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