Recruiting staff

Employing staff for the first time: eight top tips


When you become an employer for the first time and take on a new employee, there are important checks you must make. Here are eight key steps that you should consider when employing staff for the first time.

Tips for employing staff for the first time

1. Decide how much to pay your employee

Almost all workers are legally entitled to the National Minimum Wage. The National Living Wage is higher than the National Minimum Wage - workers get it if they are 23 years of age and over. See National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage - rates and overview.

2. Carry out pre-employment checks

You should carry out an initial identity check on workers and verify their references and qualifications. You may also wish to include health checks as part of your recruitment process. See pre-employment checks.

3. Check if your employee has the right to work in the UK

You must check whether your employee is legally entitled to work in the UK. See ensure your workers are eligible to work in the UK.

4. Check if you need to apply for a criminal records check

Certain types of employment (eg security or working with children or vulnerable adults) require an AccessNI criminal records check. See AccessNI criminal records checks.

5. Get employment insurance

You will need employers' liability insurance as soon as you become an employer. This insurance enables businesses to meet the costs of damages and legal fees for employees who are injured or fall ill at work through the fault of the employer. See employers' liability insurance.

6. Send details of the job in writing to your employee

Once you have chosen your new employee, you should send them details of the job in writing. This should set out the main terms and conditions of the job. You also need to give your employee a written statement of employment particulars if you're employing them for more than one month.

7. Tell HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) you are an employer

If you employ someone, you will need to register as an employer with HMRC. See registering and getting started with PAYE.

8. Check if you need to automatically enrol your employee into a workplace pension scheme

All employers have to provide workers with a qualifying workplace pension. Read more on automatic enrolment into a workplace pension.