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HR hacks for start ups and scaling businesses

by Girl Tribe Gang HQ

Each month, Girl Tribe Gang leverages our collective voice and empowers our members to upskill each other by exchanging their knowledge in a series of blogs, FB and Instagram Lives.

February 2019 is our #KnowledgeExchange Legal month. In this guest blog, Rachel Lamsley our Chester Tribe Boss and co-founder of Evans Lamsley Employment Law & HR Solicitors, highlights some of her top tips when thinking about taking an employee on to help you grow your business.

Rach Lamsley Chester Tribe Boss

HR hacks for start ups and scaling businesses

I know what you’re thinking… am I ready to take someone on? How can I be certain that they will love my business as much as I do? I’ve got to get help though, otherwise I am going to drop one of these spinning plates!

Making the decision to employ someone is a big one. Perhaps you have already taken the leap and have started to realise that you didn’t really think about what you needed to do from an employment law and HR perspective.

Whether you are about to take the plunge or have already done so – never fear, it’s not too late to get your house in order. Here are my HR hacks for start-ups and scaling businesses.

Female business owner self employed


It sounds scary, but it really isn’t.

You are not expected to put your potential recruits through tedious psychometric testing or have a very complicated interview process.

It is really important though to think about the type of person that you would like to work with you. Do you need someone creative, analytical, great with numbers or perhaps an all-rounder? Investing some time before getting started with recruitment can save a lot of heartache in the long run.

You want to make sure that the person you recruit is going to align with your values and the direction of your business. You will be able to explore this in an interview with them. Don’t download questions from the internet – use your business goals and values to come up with a handful of questions to see if you are both on the same page.


Did you know that someone can make a claim for discrimination during the recruitment process – even if you don’t offer them a role. When compiling your list of questions or preparing your process make sure that you don’t inadvertently discriminate against them. Asking someone about their plans for having children can be considered discriminatory. This can be a costly mistake before you have even taken anyone on.


Don’t just plug a gap and get the first person that comes your way. If they aren’t right for your business, it will take up far too much time trying to make a square peg fit a round hole.

HR hacks for startups and small businesses


I know, we all hate paperwork but I can’t begin to describe how important it is to get things in writing! Setting out the job description in a document and having a signed contract can save you a lot of hassle in the future.

When taking someone on you want to make sure that both parties are aware of what is expected of them. Even if someone is being employed to take on a whole host of duties, it is still important to try and cover generally what they are going to be doing. Otherwise, how will you measure if the role is working or not?

When it comes to a contract of employment, I would advise against simply downloading one from the internet as you need to make sure that it works for your business. For example, would a flexible days and hours contract work better than a strict 9-5 or perhaps a zero hours contract is more suitable as you have peaks and troughs with the work you receive.


It is a legal requirement to provide a ‘written statement of employment particulars’ which includes things like pay, dates of employment and holiday entitlement amongst a long list of other things. This needs to be provided if the employee is going to be employed for at least a month or more and it needs to be provided within 2 months of their start date. Failing to do that can give rise to a claim!


Get your paperwork ready during your recruitment process – trust me, you will thank me later.

HR hacks for startups and small businesses


As a start up or scaling business, it’s important to think about what your business genuinely needs to meet its goals. Gone are the days when the standard Monday to Friday working week fits all. Consider if more modern working practices would work for you such as employees working from home, flexible hours, evening work, split shifts or simply weekend work.


Record these types of things within the employment contract or a letter so that if there is ever any confusion about what was agreed you can look back at your letter or their employment contract.


All employees who have been employed for more than 26 weeks have the right to make a request for flexible working – not just parents or carers. There is a statutory process you need to follow to deal with the request so make sure you handle these properly!

Employment Status

Employee, worker, self-employed are different types of employment status. Perhaps the biggest issue for new start ups and scaling businesses is that they use consultancy arrangements or engage people on a self-employed basis to try and limit their risk. Whilst this can work very effectively, if the relationship is more like that of an employer and employee or worker, then individuals can claim additional rights such as holiday pay, sick pay and unfair dismissal.  


Make sure that you don’t treat your consultants or contractors as workers or employees by doing things such as integrating them in to your business or exercising too much control over them.


There has been a lot of publicity about these sorts of arrangements in the press with cases such as Uber, which means that everyone is much more aware of their potential rights!    

Connect with Rachel

Rachel Lamsley is our newest Chester Tribe Boss who co-founded Evans Lamsley Employment Law & HR Solicitors. Evans Lamsley focus on taking away the stress and time that can be associated with employment law issues for businesses and individuals, giving their clients the freedom to do more.

Girl Tribe Gang’s #KnowledgeExchange

Girl Tribe Gang’s #KnowledgeExchange has been designed to recognise that ALL of our members have knowledge to share and that we’re ALL experts in the stuff that we know. Each month, we leverage our collective voice and empower our members to upskill each other by exchanging their knowledge.

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