Staff Interviews, Questions

Taking on Staff and Interviewing

When buying a business the Vendor must provide details of all staff that will be taken over by the Purchaser also their redundancy committment in terms of long service.

This payment can be substantial and should be built into the purchase price of the business.

If practicable, it pays to close for two or three days to refurbish and advertise for staff, which any existing staff can apply, ensuring that all existing staff have been paid redundancy etc, where applicable.

It is not always possible to do this with key employees, in which case you need all the records of their job titles, when they started, how much accrued redundancy is due should they leave etc.

Your Accountant should be able to give you a comprehensive list of these requirements and your responsibilities.

Check for any employment disputes during the Vendors ownership or any possible pending disputes regarding existing staff.

Do not ignore Employment legislation, it can be extremely costly if you get it wrong.

These are the basic questions that you may be asked and need answers to whilst interviewing staff.

1. The normal working hours

2. Starting times and finishing times

3. Breaks times

4. Opportunities for paid overtime

5. Bank holiday working, will I be paid more than my basic wage, or be given time off in lieu?

6. Probationary period

7. Permanent  or  temporary position i.e. Six months, One year

8. Who to report to, team leader

9. Responsibilities

10. Holiday entitlement

11. Notice period

12. Are uniforms provided or own clothes acceptable?

13. Payment Day, weekly or monthly?

14. Payment by cheque, cash, bank credit

15. Are meals subsidised or free, whilst on duty?

16. Do I qualify for a pension? If so, what is my contribution, and what is the employer’s contribution?

17. Do you provide further training after the initial training?

18. What specific skills am I expected to demonstrate?

19. Will I be assessed that I’m doing the job well after the probationary period?

20. Why has the job become vacant and why has the last person left, if they have?

21. What opportunities are there for promotion/advancement?

22. What are the Health & Safety guidelines for lifting heavy items and what precautions am I required to take?

23. What arrangements are there to ensure my personal safety when leaving the premises and going home, late at night?

24. What is my actual job title and description?

24. Do you have a sickness scheme

24. There are books available on staff responsibilities and due diligence for many types of businesses.

The questions may appear obvious, but if you don't have the answers, when interviewing, you may appear a naive employer.

A manual of all staff jobs and responsibilities is always worth writing for your individual business, it may be time consuming but a loose leaf file with updates, will solve an awful lot of problems and ensure that your staff staff sign that they have read and understand it.

Good staff are harder to find that bad staff.

There are other questions that may arise, but these are the standard ones that we have come across.

Finally ensure that you have all the correct Inland Revenue forms, do not pay anyone cash in hand, if they are on benefits or have another job and cannot produce a P45, you will be penalised more than the would be employee.