Recruiting staff

Recruiting new staff and the alternatives


Before spending time and money on employing someone new, you should weigh up whether you really need to recruit new staff. To do this, look at your staffing needs in relation to the wider objectives of the business.

You may need extra help immediately or you may simply be thinking about your future staffing requirements. In both cases, it's valuable to plan as far ahead as you can.

What to consider when recruiting staff

You should consider why you're looking for extra help and how long you will need it for.

When considering staff recruitment ask yourself the following questions:

  • Are you considering taking on your first employee to help you grow your business or handle an increasing workload?
  • Are you replacing an employee who has left? If so, why did the previous employee leave and what skills and experience have you lost? Do you need to control staff turnover?
  • Do you need to bring in a new skill or skills to your business that none of your existing employees possess?
  • Has your workload increased? If so, is the workload likely to continue or is it just a temporary increase?
  • What will be the impact of taking on a new staff member? Do you have somewhere for them to sit? Will you need to buy new equipment for them?
  • Do you need cover for yourself in the long term?

Registering as a new employer

If you are taking on your first employee you may be required to register as an employer with HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC). Employing someone: step-by-step guidance. This guidance provides information on what you will need to register as an employer and takes you through the registration process. Alternatively, you can call the HMRC New Employer Helpline on Tel 0300 200 3211.

You can register as an employer online with HMRC.

You are also required to check whether any potential employee is eligible to enter, stay, and work in the UK. Read more on ensuring your workers are eligible to work in the UK.

Alternatives to taking on new staff

Since recruitment can be expensive and time consuming, other options you could consider include:

  • re-organising the company structure
  • sharing work among existing employees
  • promoting existing staff
  • training existing employees so they attain the skills you require to grow your business - see staff training.
  • asking part-time employees if they would consider full-time work or some additional hours
  • improving the efficiency of the business, perhaps by rearranging tasks
  • offering overtime
  • adopting flexible working arrangements, eg allowing some staff to begin earlier/later to provide cover for a longer part of the day
  • hiring temporary workers from an employment agency
  • offering short-term apprenticeship or school work experience opportunities through Connect to Success NI