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The Ultimate Checklist For Hiring The Best Employees

Written by on December 05, 2022

As a business owner, scaling your team by hiring employees for your small business is a new stepping stone that can bring both benefits and challenges. Recruiting a new member for your team isn’t as easy as it looks, especially if you want to hire the best employees for your business. 

The recruitment process for your business requires planning if you want to sort the best potential employees for your business. This post will share the ultimate checklist for hiring the best employees, including the criteria you need to look for and some recruiting steps to hire the best people for your team. 

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So, what do you need to know before hiring the best employees for your small business? Let’s find out!

Checklist for hiring the best employees for small business.

3 Criteria to Evaluate the Best Potential Employees

When you’re a small business hiring employees for the first time, your aim can be quite ambitious to grow your business and scale. However, small business owners also often make the same mistake as they scale their business too fast due to a lack of planning. 

When hiring your first employee for your small business, it’s important to create criteria points to ensure that you evaluate the best candidates for your future employees. Create a profile for your ideal employees, and here are some essential criteria that you need for the best employees for your team!

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Their Honesty & Integrity

Honesty and integrity are essential when looking for the best candidate to be a part of your team. No business ever succeeds when there is no trust within the team. 

When you’re building a team, you need to trust them when delegating some of the tasks you used to do on your own. At some point, you also need to trust them to deliver without having to micromanage what they do because the main reason why you hire an employee is so that you can focus more on things that matter for your business. 

Maintaining transparency in the work environment is essential, as it motivates all stakeholders to build a two-way conversation to grow and improve, both individually and as a team. The best employees won’t hesitate to give suggestions if they find it effective to improve your business system and operations. In return, they’re also open to feedback so they can improve themselves in the process. 

Communication skill is essential when you work as a team, and what’s better than having honesty and integrity as a part of the team? 

Their Professionalism & Teamwork

When your team member is professional, you will most likely be able to rely on them regarding the responsibilities assigned to them. On top of that, the best employees also have a good reputation when it comes to teamwork. 

While micromanaging your employees is a red flag, hiring an employee with a high sense of teamwork is also important as it gives you more benefits that may lead to better outcomes for your business. When you work with an employee with good teamwork skills, you can hold each other accountable to accomplish your business goal. 

best employees usually work well in a team

As a small business hiring employees, you also need to prioritise looking for the best employees who meet these criteria. Having professional employees who know how to work in a team can lead your business to success, especially if you can start early while your business is still growing. 

After all, it’s important to establish a professional company culture in the early stage of your business, and it is easier to do so when you’re still managing a small team. 

Their Problem-Solving Ability & Willingness to Learn

When you decide to start hiring an employee for your small business, chances are you need an extra hand to tackle some of the challenges you have regarding your business. 

Maybe you struggle with managing your time and need an extra hand so you can delegate some tasks to ensure your work-and-life balance while growing your business. If that’s the case, you will need an employee with excellent problem-solving ability. 

When looking for the best employees, you also need to identify how they will add value to solving the challenges you encounter as a business owner. For instance, if you’re looking to hire a social media manager but have a limited budget to hire an experienced one, you may want to delegate it to a newbie who has the willingness to learn and grow their skills as one. 

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Checklist for Hiring the Best Employees

Now that you know the criteria you need to look for in a team member, it’s time to create a checklist for hiring the best employees for your small business. This section will list some ultimate steps to optimise your hiring process to land the best potential candidate and welcome them to your team.

So, what’s on the checklist to hire the best employees for your business? Let’s find out!

hiring employees as a small business checklist

#1 Create a relevant job description 

A great job description will help you land the best employee who knows their responsibilities and what you expect from them. Not only does it clarify your employee’s roles when you hire them, but a good job description will also sort out the best candidates with the relevant skills and abilities you’re looking for in an employee. 

To create an engaging job description to help you land the best employees for your business, you need to highlight some essential components, including: 

  • Job title to briefly indicate their job roles and responsibilities.
  • Job duties and responsibilities to clarify the scope of work you expect from the employee when you hire them. 
  • Required qualifications to help you shortlist suitable applicants in the early stage of recruitment based on their CV or resume. 
  • Preferred qualifications allow the best candidates to showcase their advantages over the other applicants. 
  • Working conditions to highlight whether the job is remote or their physical presence is required. 
  • Salary and benefits to attract potential candidates who are willing to work within your budget range, so you can minimise the negotiation process once you find the best prospective employee for the role. 

When you include all the necessary information in the job description, you will most likely attract the best candidates who are capable of fulfilling the duties assigned to them. As for you, it will make the recruiting process easier to find the most suitable candidates to hire for your business!

#2 Determine the pay rate and adjust it with your budget

Hiring the best employees is super competitive these days. As an employer, one thing you can do to attract the best candidates is to pay attention to what you can offer and how it will benefit the employees when you decide to hire them. 

Once you decide on the type of job you’re looking to hire, you can research the typical rate to adjust it with your recruiting budget. If you’re looking to hire locally, you can find the standard pay rate for the same role by looking up some job advertisements for similar roles. 

If you prefer hiring a remote employee, you can also sign up for an account on some talent marketplace platforms like Upwork or Fiverr to search for the best candidates that fit your criteria and your budget for the role. 

#3 Set up the recruiting timeline

Developing a recruitment plan is a must if you want to ensure success in hiring the best employees for your business. Setting up the recruiting timeline will help you streamline the hiring process so that you can execute your recruiting plan accordingly. 

To create a timeline for your recruiting process, you can follow the following steps: 

  • Determine how long you want to put the job advertisement for the vacant position. It’s also crucial, especially if you’re looking into advertising the job opportunity on some paid platforms, as the length of ads will also determine the budget you need to spend on the ads. 
  • Set a limit for how long you can accept applications. Apart from job advertisements, you may also be open to referral candidates from colleagues or friends. If you think you have an adequate number of candidates, you can start to go ahead with the interview stage instead. 
  • Block your calendar to prepare for the interview session. Dedicate a few time slots to clearing your schedule and focus on the candidate interview during this period. 
  • Take a thorough review of the interview. You want to be more vigilant before deciding which candidate is the best potential employee for your small business. Depending on how many interviews you conducted for the job, it is up to you to decide how long you want to limit the review process. 
create a recruiting timeline

#4 Double check the hiring procedure to ensure that all necessary documents are in place

This point is essential, especially if you want to hire an in-house full-time employee. Hiring employees with various backgrounds is encouraged as it promotes inclusivity, but verifying their legal working status is also important so you can minimise any risks that may come with it. 

Once you’ve done the background check, you can now focus more on the necessary documents before hiring an employee for your business. One of the essential documents is the employment contract template that you can modify as soon as you find the best candidate for the position. This employment contract should include the following: 

  • Job information
  • Working schedule
  • Salary and benefits
  • Employee responsibilities
  • Termination conditions 

#5 Ensure your company’s hiring policy will be compliant with the employment rights

Before hiring an employee, it is also important to understand the employment rights you must comply with before starting the recruitment process. Make sure that you can afford to provide the minimum wage set along with the other employment requirements as an employer. 

Apart from the minimum wage, all employees are also entitled to some additional employment rights in the UK, which include: 

  • Rest breaks in between work.
  • Paid holiday. 
  • Protection against discrimination and also protection for whistleblowers. 
  • The right to work no longer than 48 hours per week. 

On top of the regular paid holiday, you also need to take into account some statutory pay for several conditions, including sick and parental pay.

#6 Streamline your recruiting system

Whether you want to do DIY recruitment or hire a recruitment agency to streamline your recruiting process, it is important to know step-by-step, from crafting the job advertisement, and posting it on the relevant platforms, to the final selection. 

As a small business, there is a chance that you only rely on yourself without anyone’s help during the hiring process. The chance of human error is bigger in that case, so it might help to find a suitable HR vendor on a platform like Shortlister to set up an automatic pre-screening assessment if needed. 

Otherwise, you can also take advantage of survey platforms like Typeform or even Google Forms to create a form with the information needed to fill in by candidates. In this form, you can include all the personal details and add a section where they can upload their resume or add a link to their portfolio. With this form, you can also add a section to assess their skills related to the job duties, so it will be easier for you to shortlist the best candidates for the next stage. 

#7 Choose the right channel to advertise your job vacancy

Once your recruiting system is in place, it’s time to pick the best channel to advertise the job opportunity!

There are some paid platforms where you can post your job advertisement in a certain period, such as Indeed or We Work Remotely. However, if budget is an issue, you can also use social media to promote your job vacancy. 

As a social media full of professional personnel, LinkedIn is one of the most popular platforms employers use to recruit new employees. You can also take advantage of other social media channels like Twitter or Facebook groups. 

best channel to advertise job vacancy

#8 Take some time to review all job applications

It may sound overwhelming to review all inbound job applications once you publish your job advertisement. The good news is that you can use AI-powered recruiting tools to streamline the screening process and find the best candidates for the job.

If not, an additional set of eyes can help so you can hire a virtual assistant to review all the incoming applications. Be clear about what you’re looking for in a candidate to avoid hiring the wrong employee for the job

#9 Set up the interview system for the potential candidates

After shortlisting the potential candidates, it’s time to set up the interview system for the next stage. Will you host the interview at your premise? Do you have to book a meeting room for the interview? Or will it be easier to conduct an online interview instead? 

Whichever way you think is the best, make sure to fully prepare for the interview and create a checklist of things you need for the job interview. You can set up a Calendly account to share with the potential candidates so they can pick the best day and time for the interview when both of you are available. 

If you need to book a meeting room in advance, it’s best to secure the room for the interview at least one day prior to D-day. The same applies to when you choose an online interview through Zoom video call, make sure to send out the link to the interviewee a day before the meeting. The last thing you want to do is leave the candidate a bad first impression since you come across as unprepared during the interview. 

Spare 15 to 30 minutes between interviews if you plan for back-to-back interviews with the shortlisted candidates. That way, you can use this period to review the next candidate’s resume or application before the interview. By doing so, you can highlight the points you need to clarify and make the interview flow to discuss their skills and relevant experiences. 

job interview

#10 Make a job offer to the best candidate

You may have found the best candidate for the job, and the next thing you can do is send a job offer so you can proceed to the onboarding process if they accept it. If not, you can always go to the next candidate based on the interview outcome. 

Once you find the best candidate to hire as an employee, don’t forget to keep the resume in the relevant file so you can always go back to the documents for your next hiring process. 

#11 Onboard the new employee

After reviewing the candidates through the interview, you may find the best fit to whom you can offer the job. Typically, there are three phases of onboarding a new employee for your business. These include: 

  • Pre-onboarding is the period between the time when the best candidate accepts your job offer and the day they officially join your company. 
  • Welcoming the new employee is the orientation period when you can introduce them to the rest of the team. If you’re a solopreneur, you can highlight your daily business operation on their first day so they can easily assimilate with how they’re expected to do within the company. 
  • Conducting training for the new employee. Even if you hire an experienced employee, sometimes training is still required to ensure that they do their responsibilities as per your company’s standard. 

Once you pass these onboarding phases, give some time for them to slowly transition to their main duties and responsibilities. Avoid micromanaging to see how well they can work with limited supervision. By doing so, chances are you’ll also be able to see how they take the initiative when they face any challenge or have questions. 

#12 Create an employee handbook

To streamline the onboarding process, you can also create an employee handbook so they can have a guideline during their transition to grasp their new responsibility as a part of the team. 

Through the employee handbook, you can provide some insights regarding your business and its policy and values to make them easier to adapt to the company’s working environment. An accessible employee handbook will be helpful, especially if you work with a remote team.  

You can upload the employee handbook on Google Drive and share it with all your team members through the project management tool you use to ensure that everyone can access it easily. 

Are you planning to create an employee handbook for your business? The following elements are essential to include in your employee handbook: 

  • Company’s mission statement
  • The ideal working environment that you want to achieve within your team. 
  • Standard operating procedures, both individually per the assigned job role and within the company.
  • Discipline policy if their performance doesn’t meet the expectation. 
  • Additional information regarding employee performance evaluation, including appraisal and when to expect a pay raise or promotion. 
what to include in employee handbook

#13 Set up an employee payroll system

As an employer, setting up an employee payroll system is mandatory to avoid penalties against your company. In the UK, registering your company with HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is required. But on top of that, you also need to set up a payroll system to ensure that all the payroll is recorded, including the salary and any tax applied to the HMRC. 

After registering your company through HMRC, you can register your new employee by adding their personal details through Full Payment Submission (FPS). You also need to include the tax code as well as their salary and deductions applied as an employee in the company. 

Last but not least, you need to set up PAYE (Pay As You Earn) system to start your payroll system as an employer in the UK. 

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#14 Register your employee for the additional benefits

Employers in the UK are required to pay at least 3% of their employee’s salary toward a pension scheme. If you have already put a workplace pension scheme for your company, you can check The Pension Regulator to find out what to do next as an employer. 

While the NHS is provided for all UK citizens, you can also offer extra benefits through a private health insurance plan. For instance, you can offer some perks by adding dental and vision insurance once they’re onboarded as employees. 

#15 Schedule employee performance evaluation

Evaluating your employee performance is essential to ensure the quality they produce through their work. Once the probation period is over, schedule a meeting with your employee to evaluate their transition to their main duties and responsibilities and discuss how you can improve your performance as a team. 

Employee performance evaluation is the best way to maintain open communication between employees and employers, so make sure to add it to your annual agenda to allow your best employees to grow and reach their potential while simultaneously improving your business. 


Hiring the best employees for your small business is quite competitive these days, but with the right planning and hiring strategies, it isn’t impossible to hire the best candidate to help your business grow. 

We hope this checklist for hiring the best employees helps you recruit the best talents in the market to scale your business and achieve your business goals. So, are you ready to start hiring employees for your small business? 

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