Small Business Tips

Tips and Best Practices: How to Find Employees Online in the UK

Andre Spiteri
a group of business people using their smart devices while waiting to be interviewed

As a business owner, getting more work than you can handle is a good problem to have. But only if you have the help you can rely on. Here’s a guide on how to harness the power of the internet to find good employees online for your growing business.

Where do I find good employees online?

The easiest way to find good employees online is to post your vacancy on an online job board. This will allow you to reach thousands of potential employees with a single ad. The four most popular online job boards in the UK are:

Can I find employees only for free?

Yes, you can. While the “big four” online job boards all charge a fee, Indeed also has a free tier. The downside is that free postings are less visible than paid postings. This means fewer eyeballs on your ad.That said, Indeed’s free tier isn’t the only way you can find employees online for free. Here are four other ways you can let people know you’re hiring online:

  • Add a careers section to your website and post the job there.
  • Use Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn. Social media giants Facebook and LinkedIn charge for ads. But you can add a "jobs" tab to your Facebook page or post the job as a status update on your LinkedIn page for free.
  • Ask Jobcentre Plus for help. You can post your ad for free on the government’s Universal Jobmatch job board and get free help and advice into the bargain.
  • Use a free job board like UKStaffSearch or JobToday.

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How to find good employees: Tips, tricks and best practices

  • Start by assessing your needs and budget. If money’s tight (or you’re just starting out), working with an independent contractor may be more cost-effective than hiring a full-time employee.
  • Make your ad as specific and detailed as possible. You’ll spend less time combing through applications from people who aren’t a good fit. Plus, you’ll have a better idea of the kind of person you’re looking for.
  • If you need someone with a specific set of skills, consider posting your ad on a specialist job board. For example, LocateADriver specialises in driving jobs while caterer.com focuses on hotel, restaurant, and pub jobs.
  • Spend some time chatting with applicants, either on the phone or in person. This will give you a better sense of their personality and whether they’d fit in. But do watch what you ask, as some interview questions are illegal.

Before you hire your employee: A legal checklist

You’ve gone through the application process and found your ideal employee. Congratulations!Before you go ahead and hire them, don’t forget to do the following. Otherwise, you might be breaking the law:

  • Pay them at least the national minimum wage. The rate changes every April and varies based on age. The current national minimum wage for employees aged 25 and over (also known as the national living wage) is £50 per hour and will go up to £8.21 per hour in April 2019.
  • Check that they can work legally in the UK. HMRC has a handy online tool you can use.
  • If you haven’t done so already, get employers’ liability insurance. Your policy must cover you for at least £5 million.
  • Tell HMRC about your new employee. You have up to four weeks before their first paycheck to do this. Depending on their income, you may also need to enrol them in a pension scheme.