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Where can I hire new staff for my trade business?

Reading time: 4 minutes

If you want to grow your team, you might decide you want to employ people rather than using subcontractors. Here’s what you need to know…

Employing people rather than using subcontractors can be quite daunting. It’s a big commitment that will see you become a full time boss and manager on top of all your other responsibilities.

Get your admin sorted

There are a lot of hoops to jump through to make sure you’re employing someone properly - it’s not just a handshake arrangement.

  • You’ll have to set up an employment contract that clearly outlines their role and resposibiltiies.
  • You’ll also have to set up a payroll system to comply with PAYE.
  • Employees also have a number of rights they’re entitled to, including: national minimum wage, statutory paid holiday, equality rights and protection against discrimination as well as statutory sick pay and maternity pay as well as a workplace pension.
  • Remember insurance - If you have anyone working for you, you’ll need employers’ liability insurance to cover yourself in case they’re injured or fall ill as a result of the job.
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Finding the right people

Getting the right people is one of the most challenging parts of becoming an employer, but there are some things you can do to try and find people who’ll fit your business.

  • Finding people through word of mouth or using reputable platforms can help you find the right people for your team. There’s a lot of networking in the trades and you’re bound to meet people who you think you’d like to work with.
  • Advertise on social media if you’re looking to take people on and pass on the word to other trades who can recommend people.
  • You might want to take on someone with relatively little experience - it means you can teach them to do things the way you want them done. You might want to speak to local colleges who will have students who will be looking for work.
  • Make sure you ask for references, and ask plenty of questions when you interview them. What’s their experience? Are they up to the job?
  • You can include a probation period in their contract of employment to make sure they are the right person for the business.

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Advantages of employing people

Many tradesmen looking to grow their team will start with subcontractors rather than employing people. But employing people does have its benefits:

  • You’ve got the peace of mind of knowing that person is here to stay - at least within the terms of their contract. While subcontractors have much more freedom to walk off a job if they don’t like it, any employee will have a minimum notice period.
  • Employees are a long-term fixture in your team, which means they might have more loyalty to you and be more invested in your business, helping you grow in the long-term.
  • If employing people is part of a long-term strategy, you can train them to do things the way you do them and encourage them to build skills that will benefit your business as well as them.
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Disadvantages of employing people

There are pros and cons to everything and this is no exception, which is why people don’t always want to take on full-time employees and opt for subcontractors instead:

  • Employing people comes with a lot of admin and paperwork.
  • Finding the right people is a challenge and will take up your time - which means if someone you employ leaves quickly after they’ve been hired, it can feel like a waste.
  • Having employees is a big investment, as you’ll have to bear not just the cost of their salary, but also any employment benefits like sick pay and pension contributions.
  • If things slow down, you’ll still be paying an employee unlike a subcontractor who you can use just for bigger jobs or when things are busier.

Taking on employees is a big step for any business, and it’s not a decision you can make lightly - but if you want to grow and are in it for the long term, it might be right for you.

Growing your business