Hiring Staff? Make Sure Your Business Is Fully Prepared

Hiring your first staff member is an exciting and crucial point in the development of your business. It’s important that you make sure that you have all the necessary processes and structures in place before you take that step to ensure that your business is fully prepared, and you create a positive environment for your new staff member.

1.       Stick to your strategic plan

Before you think about hiring staff, you should already have a strategic plan in place. Growing your team should be done in line with your strategic plan, to make sure that you’re always working towards your ultimate objective.

With your strategic plan in mind, create a position description and a job title for your staff member. This will cover what their purpose within the business is, as well as their specific duties and objectives. Include this position description in the ad for your new employee, so they clearly understand their role right from the outset.

2.       Make sure your policies are in place

Usually, before you hire any staff, you may not have any set policies surrounding leave, working from home or a dress code. It’s important to cover these points in a set of formal policies, both to provide your new employee with clear expectations and to set the tone for your workplace culture. These policies must be readily available to your staff at all times and expressed in clear and precise terms.

3.       Set your terms and conditions

The terms and conditions of your new staff member’s employment must also be clearly defined before they start work. These terms and conditions will cover their hours, as well as whether or not your employee is going to be covered by a probation period, or if it’s necessary to consider how any intellectual property developed will be handled.

Depending on the nature of your business, your new staff member may be covered by a Fair Work Award. It’s essential that the role you’re offering meets the minimum requirements of the relevant award. Use the Fair Work Ombudsman’s online resource to ensure that you’re compliant. You may also need to register for WorkCover insurance – check your eligibility and obligations here.

4.       Collect all necessary payroll/HR details

If you don’t already have a payroll system, make sure that one is established. You should pay your employee consistently, whether it’s weekly, fortnightly or monthly. Make sure your employee has provided you with their Tax File Number and their bank account details, as well as their superannuation fund. You’ll need to ensure that you’re paying tax and super at the level the law requires. It’s also useful at this stage to establish how often you will review your employee’s remuneration if they’re not covered by an award.

5.       Prepare them for day one

An employee’s first day can be a nerve-wracking experience. You can help to mitigate those nerves by letting them know what they need to bring to start their first day. If they need to bring any equipment or documentation, call them at least three days prior to starting to let them know exactly what’s required.

Cover practical considerations like if they need to wear a uniform, where they should park and what time they are expected to start work. All technological requirements for the role should be covered at this stage. Do they need a business email address? Do they need to have downloaded particular software? The more you can prepare ahead of time, the more comfortable and confident your employee will feel as they start their new role.

6.       Keep appropriate records

All of the above should be formally written down and recorded in a place that you can easily access, particularly for accounting and tax purposes. This will ensure that you are operating in a fair, organised and effective manner, meeting all of your legal requirements and creating a positive and constructive work environment.