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Hiring first employee - what are the main considerations and is it worth hiring a HR consultant for advice/documentation?

(21 Posts)
Saffra Mon 16-May-11 17:45:08

I'm looking to hire my first employee for my business who will be working part-time (approx 17.5 hours a week). This person will be doing admin/customer service type work, and will be supporting me while I am on 'maternity leave' (ha!) when my baby arrives in September. I'm 5 months pg at the moment and I work by myself currently.

My accountant will be dealing with PAYE and tax.... so I'm happy that will be done correctly. It's more compliance with employment legislation etc. that I'm concerned about. I want to make sure that I do everything correctly to avoid unnecessary headaches and stress further on down the line.

Is it worth paying for a HR consultant to help with this? (e.g. with documentation, advice etc.) I don't want unnecessary expense as finances are tight, but I can't afford loads of hassle and stress if things go wrong either.

Any advice would be much appreciated.

Watersign76 Mon 16-May-11 23:55:59

Good to see you are able to find a solution, saw your other thread.

What about putting the paperwork together yourself and then paying for an a HR law specialist/HR person to check, you'd probably only then pay for an hour or 2. There are lots of model contracts on line - first google brought this selection up - http://www.lvsc.org.uk/Templates/information.asp?NodeID=90166 - you could amend them.

If you are a member of the Federation of Small Businesses you have access to a HR helpline as part of membership.

I think the main issue with what you have described is term of the contract, working conditions/terms - how flexible do you need them to be etc. As with any employee make sure you take up references.

I would also consider a self-employed person, you'd be suprised how many are knocking about. There are rules about what is a job/what is freelance work, but it would take away some of the HR issues.

Good luck.

Helenagrace Tue 17-May-11 10:20:48

I've used a freelance HR consultant before and found it helpful. We drew up our associate agreement and had her check it over. We use her on a pay as you go basis. I can give you her details if you like.

Peninsular HR consultants are currently offering one hour free consultancy. They will try to sell you their package but you can stand firm and ignore them.

I have a virtual PA who is fab - but that might not work if you need to actually see them to hand stuff over.

Saffra Tue 17-May-11 15:16:17

Thanks Watersign76, the solution seems to be an ongoing journey. Not that I'm complaining about it, that's part of the fun...

I will take a look at the model contracts - someone else I know as since recommended this to me.

I am a member of the FSB, and had forgotten that they have a helpline. Brilliant, will take a look and see what their service offers.

"I think the main issue with what you have described is term of the contract, working conditions/terms - how flexible do you need them to be etc. As with any employee make sure you take up references."

Yes, I think this is certainly the case. I think once I have the terms sorted, and I know it's all in line with good practice, etc. then I know where I'm up to. It's getting there that is the unknown at the moment.

Thanks so much for sharing your comments.

Saffra Tue 17-May-11 15:23:35

Helenagrace - I think if I were to use an HR consultant (if the FSB doesn't offer anything suitable either free or as a low cost bolt-on), then a freelancer would probably suit me better for ad-hoc work. e.g. looking over initial contracts.

I have come across Peninsular before at one of their events, and I didn't really get a good vibe from them. But, that might just be me!

If you could PM the consultant that you used, that would be great.

I did look into the virtual assistant thing before, but think I need a more dedicated person to handle things for, say, 3 continuous hours would make more sense. Besides, there is a lot of packing/unpacking/manually checking things to do, that can be done remotely.

Saffra Tue 17-May-11 15:28:10

... that cannot be done remotely

is actually what I meant!

Thanks for your comments too.

Finbar Thu 26-May-11 21:27:07

I do HR consultancy work - but at the risk of doing myself out of future contracts (!) may I recommend the Businesslink website which will take you through all the basics.
Good luck.

mrsbaldwin Fri 27-May-11 10:07:11

There is an freelance HR consultant on here called FloweryBeanBag.

She used to be very active. Maybe she name changed. I will PM you her website if I can find it.

mrsbaldwin Fri 27-May-11 10:11:41

OK I can't find her site by Googling. I expect MNHQ would know tho. If Finbar is not suitable of course grin

Finbar Fri 27-May-11 16:45:14

I am vair suitable Mrs B !!!

HugoFirst Sun 29-May-11 17:19:59

use finny
shes ossom

flowery Thu 02-Jun-11 09:38:16

ahem here's me, namechanged a bit. smile

mranchovy Thu 02-Jun-11 17:39:33

Like the new site flowery grin

MrsDime Fri 10-Jun-11 18:20:23

I would recommend Business Link too - we got our employment contracts from there and they work really well. At the risk of upsetting the HR consultants - I would not use one for one, part time employee. I would also recommend the HMRC site as they do an excellent job of getting new employers started. You probably wouldn't even need the accountant!

mranchovy Fri 10-Jun-11 18:37:37

? Business Link don't provide contracts of employment. They tell you what must be included by law in a Principal Statement and also a Written Statement, but this doesn't include many things which may be necessary in a given situation, for example:
Confidentiality
Anti-moonlighting
Anti-competition
Grounds for summary dismissal
Duties (wording of this clause is important so that the employee can't say 'I'm not doing that, it's not in my job description')
etc.

That's the thing about professional advice, you don't know why you needed it until you have had it!

MrsGuyOfGisbourne Fri 10-Jun-11 18:40:48

Flowery - fab website!!! Will forward to DH who hasa small buiness and I keep nagging advising him to get more formal HR in place

breadandbutterfly Sat 11-Jun-11 23:04:09

Wow, liked your site and you sound great, flowery - but sadly I cannot afford you. sad

flowery Mon 13-Jun-11 14:43:41

thanks mranchovy smile

MrsGuy do pass my details on to your DH (presumably he would be Sir Guy...?winkgrin), happy to have a chat with him if he would find that helpful.

breadandbutterfly you will have seen the cost of my retainer ask-me-anything-whenever-you-like service, but I do one-off/ad hoc advice, documents and other work as well, so I might be able to help you with whatever it is you need, you never know. You know where I am anyway smile

Saffra Thu 30-Jun-11 13:28:22

Just a little update on this.... The FSB sent me contracts templates and their legal team were quite helpful in terms of advising on specific points I was unclear on. So, thumbs up to FSB - I've ended up using their services more than anticipated actually!

I start interviewing next week, so fingers crossed.

HRCrowd Fri 01-Jul-11 14:22:01

Hi there smile
Apologies for crashing your thread but I wonder whether I could get some feedback from you all?
I am a fully qualified HR Manager and am embarking on my first business venture after watching quite a few friends struggle trying to get cheap, quick HR advice.
I am setting up an online service whereby small businesses can post HR and training projects they need completing free to verified human resource and training professionals who then bid to complete the work either remotely or face to face (if you choose someone local).
I wonder what you all think of this type of service - whether you would use it and what would be your main reservations of using a site like this?
Your thoughts very much appreciated! Thank you indeed for any replies.
Lorraine

flowery Fri 01-Jul-11 17:20:25

HRCrowd would it be like People Per Hour?

One problem is the lack of personal connection. Most of my clients have either 'seen me in action', come across me personally, met me at an event, been recommended me by someone else or a combination.

I think most people prefer to buy services from someone who has been recommended in some way - I know I do. I always ask contacts at networking or on Twitter or whatever for recommendations if I need something and don't know a provider personally.

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