Employing People

New Job While naturally this is a broad issue, overlapping with many others, this page will give a brief overview and list a few points of good practice for employers to keep in mind when reviewing or constructing any policies related to the act of employment. Other pages on this site with information relevant to employing people and managing employees include: 

Since employees are invariably the most important asset of any business, good employment practice is crucial. If employment is managed badly, the business can suffer greatly due to problems such as:

  • Poor training
  • Lack of motivation and morale among staff
  • Unsuitable employees
  • Need for excessive disciplinary action or even dismissals
  • Ineffective management and supervision

Small businesses often suffer from the belief that a lack of resources or time means that they are somehow ill equipped to deal with issues regarding employment when compared with larger businesses. However, smaller businesses are in fact at an advantage with issues such as recruitment and employee management as their reduced size allows for a higher degree of intimacy and personal involvement with staff and with the recruitment process. Other benefits include:

  • The ability to react quickly to any internal events or issues
  • Increased face-to-face contact with staff, allowing for both a better understanding of them, and from their point of view, the opportunity for higher levels of respect for a more personable management.
  • A tighter community ethic, which can both attract potential new employees, and strengthen the loyalty and trust of existing employees.

Avoiding bad recruitment practice

Before hiring new staff, you, as an employer, should ensure that: 

  • There is a genuine need for new staff; that is, it is not sufficient to simply train existing staff to take on new duties
  • New employees are necessary, rather than part-time or temporary workers
  • It is clear what duties will be expected of any new employees, and thus what type of person would be most suitable for the position

Employment contract 

New employees will need to be provided with a contract of employment, but importantly, this need not be in written form, it can be simply a verbal agreement. However, it is required by law that a written statement of the terms and conditions of employment are given to the employee within two months of starting work. More on employment contracts can be found in the article linked to at the top of this page.

Rule and procedures 

It is important to have any necessary rules and procedures in place and made clear to all staff. Their existence helps the company run smoothly, ensuring that everyone is doing what they are supposed to be doing. Their clarity ensures that all employees know what is expected of them, and minimises the risk of disputes over misunderstanding of what is and is not considered appropriate conduct.


As an employer you should be clear on the difference between misconduct and gross misconduct, as it affects disciplinary procedures directly. Simply, the two are defined as: 

  • Misconduct: Some misdemeanour requiring disciplinary action other than dismissal. For example, unauthorised absence or persistent lateness.
  • Gross Misconduct: Some more severe misdemeanour which may warrant dismissal without notice. For example, theft or violence.

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