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Employing Staff

How to employ staff for your growing business

As your business expands, you’ll need more capacity to produce or provide your product or service, and a wider range of skills. The easiest ways of achieving this are usually by taking on new staff, or training your existing workforce.

By taking on new staff you can spread your workload, expand production and take advantage of new and different skills and expertise.



If you’re new to Human Resources, whether working as an HR assistant in a large organisation or managing staff in a small business, Acas can help you in your role.

Our guidance, tools and resources can help you keep up-to-date with employment law and good workplace practice. We can show you how to get the best from staff and help you avoid costly mistakes.

We can help you recruit, deal with workplace contracts, manage absence or deal with flexible working or parental leave requests. Our full range of advice is available through our handy advice A-Z.

Employers for Carers

As an employer you will be all too familiar with the need to retain skilled experienced staff to remain competitive. But for the 1 in 7 in your workforce who are caring for someone who is older, disabled or seriously ill, juggling paid work and caring can present real problems.

By recognising the needs of carers, you can hold on to your experienced staff and reap the rewards of creating a supportive working environment for carers.

The Carer Confident benchmarking scheme supports employers to build a positive and inclusive workplace for staff who are, or will become, carers and to make the most of the talents that carers can bring to the workforce.

Employing university graduates and students

Graduates can help your business grow. Step is the UK’s leading provider of paid student and graduate internships, placements, and permanent opportunities. We connect enterprising students and graduates with smaller, innovative businesses. Find out more about how graduates can help your business grow.

Step’s Employability & Business Engagement Resources page contains links to various reports about graduates in SMEs, including survey results, CIPD advice and recent insights into the graduate recruitment landscape with SMEs in mind.

Follow the link below for more information and advice from Step, including its most recent insight into graduate recruitment in 2019 and its business blog, which includes advice on paying interns, the new GCSE grading system, how to write attractive job adverts and numerous examples and discussions about the value of internships.

Taking on your first employee

Taking on your first employee to help build up your business will entail additional responsibilities; it is important to have an understanding of your legal obligations as an employer. You should define the role you would like the new member of staff to complete and recruit for this role specifically. When recruiting for a new role, consider:

  • Whether it will be a full- or part-time role
  • What the salary will be and whether there will be any benefits to working for you
  • Whether you want to receive a CV and covering letter or application form from candidates
  • Where you will advertise the role
    • Channels include the Job Centre, career fairs, recruitment agencies, newspapers and recruitment websites
  • How you will shortlist candidates once you have received applications for a role
    • When shortlisting your candidates, ensure that you are not discriminating against any grounds that are protected characteristics which are inclusive of:
      • Gender
      • Race
      • Age
      • Marital status
      • Disability
      • Religion
      • Transsexuality
      • Sexual Orientation
  • How you will interview candidates
    • When interviewing, remember to ask each candidate the same set of questions and take notes on their responses. This will help you to consider each candidate carefully and make the best choice for your business
    • It is important to contact references.

Once the successful candidate has been chosen, a contract must be drawn up and a start date chosen by both yourself and the candidate.

Training your staff

You can improve the range and level of skills in your business by training up existing staff. Giving staff training opportunities can increase their loyalty to your company and their productivity – as well as your profits.

Schemes and organisations that can help you to grow your business through training include: