It’s happened. Your startup has just been funded. You need to go from a group of visionaries who care deeply about your product to an employer. Perhaps you are small business that has organically grown and it's time to get professional people practices in place.

With a host of conflicting advice, it can all be quite overwhelming. Where do you start?

Here is a list of basic HR practices you need in place as an employer:


Welcome New Joiners 

Get people excited and help them to prepare before they join. In addition to sending out standard paperwork, send them a welcome pack with an intro to their team and any other information that will help them settle in quickly. 

Contracts and Offer Letters

Within 2 months of starting at the latest, you need to issue a formal contract of employment which outlines, job title, hours, remuneration, holiday and notice period. To protect your business, ensure you have post-termination restriction, data protection and confidentiality clauses as well. 

The First 100 Days


Research shows that people decide whether a role is right on both sides within the first 100 days. Put a bit of structure around this by clarifying objectives during the first 100 days (or probationary period), have fortnightly check-ins and confirm employment in writing at the end of 100 days. 

Keep Records


You need to record employee data securely for at least 7 years. It is a legal requirement to record sickness absence and any accidents at work. There are excellent, cost-effective cloud software solutions on the market or you can use a secure excel database. 



A well researched benefits package for your industry is key to attracting good people. Standard benefits may include dental, health insurance, life assurance and pension. That said, people also respond well to quirky perks that define a culture of a Company. 


It’s worth investing in data for your industry to understand what pay rates are. Creating a pay model for different roles is useful to introduce consistency. Also, be clear about when pay will be reviewed and what criteria you use.Your contract of employment needs to confirm under what specific conditions, deductions from pay would be appropriate. 



Under UK employment law, you need to offer full time workers a minimum of 28 days holidays per year. Bank holidays be can be included in this. Be clear about the principles about when holidays can be taken and how many can be taken at a time. 

Health & Safety


It’s a legal requirement to provide a workplace free of hazards. At the very least, the workstation needs to be ergonomically designed, you need to have an accident book and a first aid kit. 


Employer's Liability Insurance


You must have employer’s liability insurance (so you could compensate an employee if they were injured or became ill because of their work). Fines for not having insurance can be as much as £2,500 per day. 

Auto-enrol into Pension


It is now a legal requirement to automatically enrol employees into a qualifying pension scheme. Depending on your staging date, you will need to pay into the scheme starting from 1% in 2017, rising to 3% in October 2018. 

Employee Guidelines


A well defined set of guidelines/ expectations about your workplace is vital so everyone is clear where they stand. You can make them as creative as possible and they should reflect your culture and founding values. They do need to outline your approach to confidentiality, working hours, dealing with poor behaviour, performance, complaints, business ethics, etc.