Pioneer Chicks

Are You Looking For Your First Employee?

Ruth Buckley is a fully qualified member of the CIPD, a true HR Generalist with 20 years of experience helping businesses to grow through their people. As well as advising micro and small businesses on functional aspects of HR, such as writing policies and procedures, Ruth takes a strategic approach when working with her clients, supporting them to make the right choices for the future success of the business.

Ruth started Truth HR Solutions in April 2019 after taking a short sabbatical from corporate life. She found there was a demand for her advice in the small business sector, an area often not well served by larger consultancy firms.

Ruth’s aim is to grow her business alongside her clients, offering an affordable hourly rate and fixed price project work rather than restrictive retainer agreements.

Check out her article below for some tips on hiring your first employee…

You run your own company and things are going well but you are finding it hard to keep up with the business you are winning? It’s time to ‘get some help’.  So…where on Earth do you start?

Take time to really consider what it is you need help with and who you might want to work with.  You need to ensure you carry out a ‘job analysis’ – this is often overlooked which ultimately leads to recruiting mistakes.  Is the work likely to be ongoing?  If so, a permanent employee may be the right choice but if it’s not guaranteed it may be worth looking at hiring a subcontractor.  Subcontractors are self-employed, so you avoid the need to run payroll, but you have less control.  Perhaps a temp via an agency would meet your needs? They remain an employee of the agency and a good option if the work is likely to last for 12 weeks or less.

Write up the tasks that you need help with into a job description, this can be used to advertise the role, making it clear to the employee what is expected of them.

Next you will need a person specification; again, write this up. Ask yourself: what skills, knowledge, experience and qualifications does the employee need to have? Split this into two groups – essential and desirable. 

Basic Documentation

If you have decided an employee is the route you will be taking, you will need some basic employment documentation. 

a. An offer letter

b. A statement of the main terms and conditions of employment

c. A handbook of policies. 

Employment legislation documentation is available online.  ACAS is a good source of free advice or you can sign up to become a member of organisations such as the FSB. Care should be taken if you are using free templates as they require editing to your business’ specific circumstances.  If you would like to seek advice from HR consultants these can vary in cost but with this will come expert advice and guidance.  You can expect to pay £250 – £500 depending on your specifications.


Check with your accountant if they can run the payroll for you, employees come with holiday and pension entitlements and it is far easier to pay a small fee each month to ensure you are complying with legislation in this area.


Advertising the role can be free!  Use the job description and person specification you have written to write an advert.  Ensure you ‘sell’ your business by including a few lines about the company and why they should want to work for you.  Ensure you include your logo, website and social media links so they can research you and your brand.  Ensure you don’t make any potentially discriminatory statements e.g young and enthusiastic can elude to age discrimination. Indeed is a very popular site for free advertising, you can ‘sponsor’ your job but I recommend trying the free option first. Make sure you include the job advertisement on your website and share it across your social media platforms.

Shortlist the applications using a scoring system to leave you with a smaller group to interview.


Anyone you interview should have the right to work in the UK, you must check their identity at this stage and keep records to prove you do.  More information can be found on the .GOV website.

Move quickly, candidates have plenty of options and employment is at the lowest level since the 1970s. You will probably be competing with other employers for the same person.

The Offer

Once you have decided on a suitable candidate, you need to produce an offer letter. This should include the salary and expected start date.  Make sure you get an answer in writing!

First Day

On the employee’s first day, you will need the following:

a. Bank details

b. Emergency contact information

c. Any health issues you might need to know (you cannot ask this before offering the role)

Record an induction, emergency procedures, first aid arrangements, canteen etc and set out a plan of review meetings.

Let The Training Commence…

In the tasks you want them to complete, it is essential to train and communicate clearly what you expect. Always keep progress under review.

Truth HR Solutions offer straightforward HR advice to Small and Medium businesses.  

We recommend taking professional advice before employing someone for the first time.

You can contact Ruth via the following:

Company Name: Truth HR Solutions


Facebook: @TruthHR

When not working in her business, Ruth keeps herself busy as a volunteer with Eco Ely, the Royal British Legion and as a School Governor as Personnel Champion. Oh and she runs the Ely Swishing group, a ladies clothes swapping concept that also fund raises for various local charities!

What a truly fabulous woman!

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