Despite the widespread adverse effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, or maybe because of them, many countries have seen an unprecedented boom in new businesses being opened. In fact, 2021 shattered all previous records in US history, with a staggering 5.4 million new business applications being filed. That is a whole million higher than the previous record of 4.4 million registered the year before. The UK is also enjoying a similar surge in entrepreneurial spirit, with 340,534 businesses emerging in the first half of 2021, for a 32% increase from the same period in 2019.
It is clear that people are trying to find alternative revenue sources or finally having the time to realize their own business ideas. With limited resources and having to comply with the various COVID-related restrictions, one popular option has been to set up a home-based business. In the beginning, things could run great - you are in a familiar environment, your family is in the next room, and you are actually prospering.
However, there comes a time when handling a successful business operation becomes impossible for a single person, and you might need to start looking for your first employee. While the hiring process generally follows the same guidelines, there are some peculiarities when it comes to finding people for a home-based business.
Letting an unfamiliar person into your house could seem like a daunting idea. To make sure that you have picked the right candidate, you should consider doing a background check via a professional service such as uCheck. Depending on the exact nature of your business operation, you could opt for a different level of scrutiny.
For example, positions that carry a lot of authority or responsibilities and who are listed in the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act (ROA) 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975 are eligible for a standard DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check. On the other hand, if the position entails
working with children or vulnerable adults, it may be more prudent to do an enhanced DBS check. Keep in mind that it doesn't matter if the position is going to be remote or not. Performing a background check provides the same benefits in either case.
It is strongly recommended to be upfront and clearly mention that you are hiring for a home-based business. Failing to properly disclose this fact could be detrimental and may put off an otherwise perfect candidate. After all, imagine a potential employee expecting a normal interview but arriving in front of a house in a residential neighbourhood and being welcomed inside.
Such a surprise could immediately put them in a distrustful disposition as they think what else the interviewer could be hiding about the position. During the interview, you should also dedicate some time and ask the candidate about their views on working for a home-based operation. Discuss any potential concerns or specific requirements that they may have.
If the employee is going to work from your home as well, make sure to find a suitable area for their workspace. Try to find the best possible balance between their need for at least some level of privacy and the limited space available in the part of the house that has been dedicated to the business operations. This is one of the essential factors when setting up a home-based business. Just imagine if you were forced to do your job and deal with the inevitable and stressful day-to-day issues while your boss is sitting right next to you and listening to every word you say. Not many people will be able to stick around for long under these circumstances.
Talk with your family members or other people living in the house and explain to them that the office as a whole and the employee's workspace, in particular, are off-limits. While this is still your home, the employee must also be able to feel safe and relaxed in it during work hours. No one wants to have an unfamiliar person go over their computer, desk, or other personal items.
The same also applies to the bathroom facilities. Ideally, you would want to have a bathroom that is dedicated solely to the workspace part of the house and your employee. If it cannot be arranged without significant effort or funds, make sure to talk with your employee about this topic and that they are comfortable sharing a bathroom with your family members.
The reverse is also crucial to establish early on. Your employee must be informed which parts of the house are relegated to the business and which ones are your and your family's personal space. Until you know the person extremely well, you should avoid letting them intrude on your family. Of course, you can't realistically expect the employee to stay in a single room for the whole day, so provide them with at least some additional space to stretch out.
(Photo by Magnet.me on Unsplash)