The right person for the job

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We look at identifying whether you even need to recruit a new member of staff and, if you do, how to begin identifying the right type of person for the role. All the advice in this article is drawn from our Employment Guide which contains far more detail and practical guidance than we can feature in this short article – call us on 0845 130 1722 to find out more.

Do you need to recruit?

It may seem an obvious question, but it is worth considering whether you actually need to recruit. It might be possible to find a different solution by:

  • Increasing the hours of existing employees. This may work well in the short term if the increased demand is expected to be only temporary. It could also be a solution if you have part-time staff that would be willing to move up to a full-time role.
  • Paying incentives to encourage greater production. This assumes that workers are not already working at full capacity. Do you want to pay incentives for work they should be doing already?
  • Investing in new machinery. This tends to require high initial costs; however, there are obvious long-term benefits if the new equipment makes it easier to cope with future periods of high demand.
  • Sub-contracting. Can you pay an external source to get the work done for you? Using self-employed or home workers to deliver the work.

Know their status

Having taken someone on to do a job, they can either be deemed as your employee or self-employed. There are significant differences between the two categories and it is important to be certain into which category your new worker falls.

Case law provides a multiple test model, whereby if a number of criteria are fulfilled (for instance, you supply the tools of the trade and choose where and when the work is to be done), the worker will be deemed to be your employee.

If you deem a worker to be self-employed, you will not have to deduct PAYE or National Insurance from his/her pay, but you remain responsible for his/her health and safety in the workplace. It is worth noting that, in many cases, agency staff will be deemed to be your employee.

For further details, members can refer to sections one and two of the Employment Guide.

Full or part-time

OK, so you have decided that you need to recruit, but there is another key question – should you hire a full- or part-time employee?

Most firms will tend to automatically settle on hiring full-time employees, but there are significant advantages to part-time employees, who:

  • have lower absenteeism rates
  • tend to be more flexible in terms of working hours
  • can be used to cover for holidays, absences etc.
  • may be able to job share

However, contrary to what some employers believe, under the part-time workers directive, part-time workers have full employment rights. For further details on this and how it impacts on your business, refer to our Employment Guide or call the Forum member helpline on 0845 130 1722.

The next stage

Having decided on these basics, that is when the real fun starts. You now need to draw up a full specification of the type of person you want to employ, the key skills they will need to have, the level of experience and even personality type.

And after that, there is advertising the job, getting people in for job interviews, selecting a short list, conducting second interviews and, finally, making a decision as to who to employ. The Forum can help you through the whole recruitment process, plus our advice to members is backed up by comprehensive legal expenses insurance. Call us on 0845 130 1722 to find out more.


Hiring the right employee for the right job can make or break a company. Large firms can probably get away with making a few recruitment mistakes, but smaller businesses, where a new employee might represent 50% of the workforce, can afford no such slip-ups. Here, we take a look at how you can get the right person through the door and ensure that those wrong-uns never even make it to the door.