HR · 16 July 2015

Preparing to take on your first employee Getting the foundations right

Finding your first employee can be tricky but it’s crucial to invest some time into recruitment

Before starting a recruitment process it is important to be aware that there are many laws that must be considered. In addition, it is vital that you remain objective at every stage in the process, ensuring that personal opinions, attitudes and prejudices do not influence your choice in any way.

So, what does the law say?

Employment legislation is complex and a more detailed’starting point can be found here. Some of the things to beware of in regards to recruitment are:

  • No one must be discriminated against on the grounds of age, sex, gender reassignment, marriage or civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sexual orientation, disability or trade union membership
  • To advertise for a keen young trainee? would be age discrimination. Similarly, man required for heavy lifting duties? would be sex discrimination. Only Japanese nationals need apply? would be race discrimination. There are however some very limited situations where the characteristic you require is relevant to the post, such as female security officers required to carry out searches on women
  • Salaries must be at or above the minimum wage level
  • Job roles must be designed around the legal requirements for breaks and hours off duty that are necessary between shifts
Once you are familiar with the many laws surrounding employment, you then need to define the requirements of your role.

This includes:

  • Deciding on the terms and conditions
  • Producing a list of the duties and responsibilities of the position
  • Defining the qualifications, experience, special circumstances and competencies required of the job holder
Terms and Conditions:


What salary are you offering? It must be at or above the level of the national minimum wage.

Ensure it is competitive with similar job roles in your area; do research from job boards, newspapers and word of mouth.


Do you want to consider any benefits such as:

  • Health care, dental and vision
  • Enhanced pension provisions
  • Holidays over and above the legal requirements
  • Family friendly areas offering over and above the legal requirements
  • Bonuses
  • Recognition of behaviours and effort
  • Development and career opportunities
  • Free drinks or meals on duty
  • Additional day off on their birthday
  • Discounts
  • Qualifications and experience to be gained
  • Social events
What are the duties and responsibilities of the position?



Margaret Keane is the managing director of Outsourcing HR, an HR consultancy that helps businesses succeed by providing practical, cost-effective human resources management and recruitment services. In addition to being an experienced HR professional, Margaret has a successful track record in general management roles. As a result, Margaret is focused on ensuring that HR contributes to the bottom line.