Recruiting and hiring

Last updated: 8 January 2019

When employing staff you must:

Ways of employing staff

There are a number of different ways to find and employ staff for your business.

The following will give you more information on the different options available to you.

Find guidance from Business Gateway on:

  • recruiting full or part-time employees
  • fixed-term contracts
  • agency workers, freelancers and outside contractors

Employers using agencies to find temporary or permanent workers have certain responsibilities. Visit GOV.UK for more information on:

  • employer's responsibilities
  • additional rights after 12 weeks
  • transfer fees
  • complaining about an agency

Jobcentre Plus has a range of recruitment services that can help you as an employer.

Visit GOV.UK for information on:

  • recruitment advice and support
  • work trials
  • Work Choice
  • work experience and apprenticeships
  • other employment schemes

When you advertise a job with Universal Jobmatch, you can:

  • post jobs
  • review CVs
  • get updates on job seekers who match your requirements

Visit the GOV.UK website to find out what you need before you start, and how to use the service.

Apprentices undertake on-the-job training that's relevant to your business. You can encourage your apprentice to progress through several levels of qualifications. In some cases it is possible to achieve a degree through an apprenticeship.

The apprenticeships.scot website gives information on apprenticeships, how they work and how to take on an apprentice.

Adopt an Apprentice is funding where you can get £2,000 (£5,000 in the oil and gas industry) for hiring a Modern Apprentice who has been made redundant from another employer.

You can employ a graduate or undergraduate for a specific piece of work through ScotGrad.

The projects supported through a placement must be important to the business but not currently being delivered because of a lack of resources or time. Graduates will work in your business for three to 12 months.

If your business is based in the Highlands and Islands, ScotGrad delivers the scheme on behalf of the Highlands and Islands Enterprise.

The Certificate of Work Readiness is a work experience programme from Our Skillsforce that can help you to cost-effectively recruit young people with the right skills for your business.

It also gives young people the opportunity to demonstrate the value they bring to the workplace.

The Certificate takes around ten weeks to complete and includes a minimum of 190 hours work experience. This helps them earn an SQA qualification which proves they have the right experience. You then have the reassurance that you're hiring a young person who knows how to perform their role.

The Our Skillsforce website gives information on other ways to help you recruit, train and pay young people, from short term work placements and internships through to financial support to create full time jobs.

Equality monitoring

You don't have to track how many job applications you receive from different groups of people, or the characteristics of the people working for you.

If you collect personal information (like ethnicity, gender, faith, sexuality) about job applicants or staff, you must protect their data.

You must not discriminate against a candidate based on their personal information.

Checking 'right to work' documents

You must check that a job applicant is allowed to work in the UK before you employ them.

Visit GOV.UK for more information on:

  • checking the documents
  • taking a copy of the documents
  • what to do if the applicant can't show their documents

Recruiting disabled people

The job specification (or requirements) of a vacancy can't exclude disabled people from applying.

However, some jobs may have an essential requirement which can't be met with a 'reasonable adjustment'.

Visit GOV.UK for more information on:

  • job specifications
  • encouraging applications
  • reasonable adjustments
  • the Work Choice programme

Employing ex-offenders

Employers shouldn't turn someone down for a job because they've been convicted of an offence if their conviction is 'spent'.

Job applicants also don't have to tell potential employers about spent convictions.

Visit GOV.UK for more information on:

  • what counts as a spent conviction
  • cautions
  • exceptions

Criminal record checks in Scotland are carried out by Disclosure Scotland.

Child employment

The youngest age a child can work part-time is 13, except children involved in areas like television, theatre and modelling.

They can only start full-time work when they reach the minimum school leaving age.

Visit GOV.UK for more information on:

  • the minimum ages children can work
  • paying children and young people
  • performance licenses and supervision for children
  • restrictions on child employment
  • local council rules for child employment permits