What to do and what not to do when hiring a new employee

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What to do and what not to do when hiring a new employee

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Bringing on a new member of staff can be a really exciting time for businesses - not only does it show you’re heading in the right direction i.e. growing and flourishing as a business, but it means you’ll have an extra pair of hands to take on some of your workload.

That being said, there’s plenty to consider when it comes down to the details of bringing someone on board, and it’s super important you put in the effort required as hiring the wrong person can be a costly mistake.

On the flip side, if you get it right and hire the perfect employee for the job you’ll be rewarded with boosted productivity, a happier work environment, and ultimately more success.

Wondering where to start? We’re here to help and in this article, we’ll cover the dos and don’ts of hiring a new employee, next steps, and more, but first...

Do I need to hire a new employee?

Before you take the plunge and begin the hiring process, it’s wise to take a step back and work out if it’s the right thing for your business at this time.

Are you overwhelmed by the workload involved in a short-term task? Or is it continuous and ongoing processes and jobs that need to be done you need to delegate? 

Quite a lot of time, effort, and money go into the hiring process, so while it might be tempting to pull the trigger and bring someone on board right now, it’s important you work out if it’s the right decision long-term, after all, you’ll be committing to paying their wages for the foreseeable future.

Remember, you’ve always got the option to bring someone in on a short-term contract or freelance basis which will cover you in the interim and save you a pretty penny in recruitment.  

Things to remember 

It’s not just your new hire’s wages you’ll be committing to paying, but the likes of pension contributions, maternity, paternity, sick, and holiday pay too.

Do the maths and make sure your business is in a position financially to cover these costs before adding another staff member to the books.

You can brush up on all the information you’ll need to know relating to employee rights here.

The dos and don’ts 

If you’ve come to the conclusion hiring a new employee is the right decision for your business (congratulations!) it’s time to dive into the hiring process. 

We’ve put together an eight-step guide covering what to do and what not to do, to ensure hiring success for your business.

The dos

1. Do craft a clear job description

Let’s face it, as a business owner you don’t have time to be sifting through hundreds of applications that don’t cut the mustard. Being crystal clear in your job description can help as it’ll clearly outline to candidates what’s expected and who should apply.

A top-notch job description will also attract the best possible talent pool and reduce the chance of bringing on the wrong person.

2. Do work out your recruiting strategy

Armed with your job description, it’s time to plan out your recruiting strategy. It’s a good idea to do this alongside other employees who’ll be working with your new hire as not only will they be working together but they’ll know exactly what the role entails - this can help guide the selection process.

Put together a hiring checklist detailing desired and essential traits and refer back to this during the recruitment process. It’ll help you stay focused, and ensure you don’t overlook anything important during what can be a busy time. 

3. Do get a second opinion 

Once you’ve started the interview process and whittled your candidate pool down to a select few, turn to your trusted employees for their opinions on who to hire.

Those working on the ground day-to-day will have insights you might not and may have spotted things you’ve overlooked. Hiring in this way will also contribute to a harmonious workforce and teams that work well together.

4. Do map out the onboarding process

Making a hiring decision is not the end of the process, you also need to work out in advance how your new employee will be onboarded to your business.

Who’ll train them? Who’ll show them the ropes? Who will be their mentor and the person they turn to for help and advice?  These are really important questions to answer as whoever it is will need to clear time in their schedule to accommodate the new hire.

Not only that but work out if there’ll be any sort of probationary period and how they’ll be assessed, deemed fully trained, and signed off to work independently.

The don’ts

5. Don’t waste anyone’s time

Job hunting can be a super stressful time - particularly for those who aren’t moving positions - so it’s important you take steps to make sure you a) aren’t wasting any prospects’ time (or your own), and b) aren’t giving false hope.

Conducting pre-screening before inviting candidates for an interview is a great way to achieve this. A prescreening interview whereby you ring applicants for more of an informal chat before deciding to invite them in can tell you:

  • If their qualifications are truly a fit for your job
  • If their experience stacks up, and
  • If their salary expectations are realistic.

Remember: This will also save you valuable time and prevent you from inviting ill-fitting candidates for time-consuming face-to-face interviews. 

6. Don’t forget to check references

A candidate’s CV might make it seem like they’re perfect for your job, but remember they could embellish their credentials to their heart’s desire and it’s your job to check it adds up.

Reach out to former employers, especially those in supervisory roles, and verify the sterling credentials presented, as well as experience and skills, are actually true of your candidate. You can even ask for proof of education and qualifications if they’re important to the role.

On the subject of background checks, make sure your new hire has the right to work in the UK before signing on the dotted line, you can do this here

7. Don’t overlook culture fit

The culture within a business plays a really important role in workforce satisfaction and productivity which have serious knock-on effects on success.

If a candidate isn’t a good fit for your business’s culture it’s unlikely their hire will lead to a high level of job satisfaction either for them or your existing employees, so it’s important to identify this upfront. 

Review your mission statement and have open conversations with your staff to discern and pinpoint the business culture, and then ask questions that will help you weed out if a candidate is a good fit or not during the interview. 

8. Don’t let personal biases sway the decision

It can be very tempting during the hiring process to let personal feelings influence the outcome. For example, if a candidate comes in and you get on like a house on fire, you chat like old friends, or it turns out you both support the same football team and have heaps in common.

Beware of making hiring decisions based on anything other than a candidate’s suitability for the role in question or you could end up out of pocket with an employee incapable of conducting the role they’ve been hired for, and find yourself picking up the pieces.

Refer back to your job description and hiring checklist throughout the recruitment process to keep yourself in line, and be cognizant of any personal biases creeping in.

Next steps

Follow our eight dos and don’ts and you’ll be well on your way to hiring success. Before you and your new hire stroll off hand in hand into the sunset, there are a couple of important things to remember.


As soon as your job offer has been accepted it’s time for you to add them to your payroll. If this is your first hire and you’re not familiar with the ins and outs of payroll you can learn everything you need to know here.


You or a delegated member of staff will need to bring your new employee up to scratch on using your equipment so they can hit the ground running in their new role.

Remember: at takepayments we’ll provide you and your staff members with training and support in using all our market-leading payments equipment.


As a business owner, you won’t always have time to observe how your new hire is getting on but there are tools at your disposal to help like our EPOSnow and move systems.

Using EPOS you can add individual staff logins and permissions and it’ll provide you with heaps of data on how they’re performing which you can access from anywhere you have access to the internet thanks to the handy app.

For more guidance on growing your workforce check out our guide to hiring your first employee, or head over to our dedicated blog where you’ll find heaps of articles designed to help small businesses succeed. 


Bryony Pearce

Bryony Pearce


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