How do I go about hiring an employee?

Employee blog header

Hiring an employee, especially your first, can be quite daunting.  It feels like such a huge step, but a necessary one to help you to grow your business (and probably to stop you working such long hours!).

If you’re feeling snowed under you may think that hiring quickly will be a solution to this – but please, if you take nothing else from this blog, do not hire in haste!

Baroness Karren Brady CBE said “Businesses know they’re only as good as the staff who work for them”.  And this is so true!  If you hire the wrong person, then this can impact your business massively, and cause soooo many problems!  But, hiring the right person can springboard your company higher than you ever thought possible!

So how do you go about finding the right person?


You are selling your business 

But to a different audience than normal.  So you need to make sure you treat it in a similar way to how you market to your customers.

You know who your ideal customers are – so now it’s time to think about your ideal employee.  What qualities do you want in your employee?  How do you want them to live out your values?  What skills and experience do you need for the role?  Do they need certain skills or is a values match and attitude the most important for this role?  

Spoiler alert – skills can be taught – values and attitude cannot 😉 – however I appreciate some roles will require a certain level of skill.

I’m assuming you’ve already done the work and established your values for your business – but if you haven’t then this would need to be done first, it’s the grounding point of your culture as you start to employ and grow as a business, so this needs to be nailed down sooner rather than later.  We’ve done a lot of work on this over the years, and more recently with Danielle Heath of IES Culture, who we can highly recommend to get you started on this journey.

Employee quote

Job Description

Once you’re clear on who it is you’re looking for it’s time to get clear on what is involved in the role – what they’ll be doing on a day to day basis.  What will they be responsible for?  

You will then need to put together a killer Job Description – selling your business, and this role to potential candidates.  Just like you’d sell a service/product to your potential customers.

We use the following format:

  • What you will experience
  • What you will be doing
  • What we will give
  • Who you need to be

This puts the focus on them, the potential candidate, rather than just saying how great you are.  You want potential candidates to be “hell yeah, I want this role, I want to work for them!”

Here’s one of our current Job Descriptions for some inspiration!


How to advertise the role

Where does your ideal employee hang out?  Just like marketing to your ideal clients – you need to know where potential employees would hang out, so you share your job advert in the most effective places.

Obvious places are your website and socials.  Potential employees quite often will like your social pages waiting for an opportunity to arise to work with you.  Plus it’s easy for these posts to get shared etc.

But like your ideal clients – you need to concentrate on places your ideal employees would hang out.  This could be the normal online job boards – like Indeed, Reed, Monster and so forth.  But think outside the box!  We recently discovered that our supervising body ACCA have job boards – in fact, so do many accountancy bodies!  So we would share our advert here.  Do you have something similar you can use?

How about your local school – if you’re looking for someone part time a parent who wants to work around their children could be ideal – so many untapped skilled people will be in that playground at drop off and pick up – get the feelers out – is there a community/group/notice board where you can share any details?

Just as you do with potential customers – it’s time to get creative and share the fact you’re looking for someone to join your business.


How do you want them to apply?

This is another part of the process where you can get creative.  I think it’s pretty fair to say the days of sending in your CV and you going for an interview are slowly ebbing away.  It’s not effective, and can mean you spend far too much time sifting through CVs, and actually what do they say?  The standard bunch of these are my skills and these are my qualifications – boring!!!  Everyone looks the same on paper – it is hard for good candidates to stand out, and easy for not so great candidates to make themselves look amazing!

At PPF we do something a bit different.  It’s taken us a few rounds of hiring to find the best process for us (and I’m sure we’ll still tweak it in the future).  Here’s our process:

PPF Hiring process

Read more about our hiring process and all the steps here.


Red Flags

Now, you’ve got what we call pink flags – these are little niggles, or questions that need to be resolved or answered.  Just little things that you think “oh, we’d need this to be in place for it to work”.

But red flags are your absolute no’s!  Things that stand out, and maybe one on their own isn’t a deciding factor, but 2 or more can make you think no, they’re not the right person for you!

They could just be a gut feeling, or something a lot more obvious.  But it’s good to keep an eye out for these and really look at why you think they are a red flag.  And then go back to what you want in an employee, and do they fit your values and goals for your business.

I’ve ignored these before and it’s come back to bite me, so now we’re pretty hot at spotting them and dealing with them.  Even if it means your favourite candidate no longer progresses.  I’ve learnt my lesson, and I hope I can spare you from going through this!


What next?

So you’ve found the right person, and what do you need to do next?  Well then it’s a case of agreeing terms and getting all the legal bits in place.  And the good news is we can help you with all of this.  Check out our HR Services to ensure you’re compliant with all the rules and regulations!

Any questions?  We’re happy to help!  Drop us an email on and we’ll get back to you!