The True Costs of a New Hire in the UK

Hiring a new staff member costs more than just their salary. Here’s a breakdown of the costs you can expect when bringing someone new into your team.

If you’re running a small business, at some point you’re going to need to hire someone. And while you might think you’ve budgeted for this, with their salary covered in your figures, there are a number of additional costs you need to factor in when adding to your employee roster.

Recruitment costs

Firstly, you need to get the right person. You can go down two routes. You can use a recruitment agency, which can cost around 20-30% of the final salary – on an average salary this would be over £5,000.

Or you could do it yourself on social media and job sites. This usually costs around £200-£400 if you use LinkedIn and one job site.

Estimated average cost: £3,000.


Obviously, this is a big cost. And while it very much depends on what sort of experience you’re looking for, what level you’re hiring at, and the contract specifics, you can assume it’ll be in the tens of thousands of pounds. UK Government figures put the average salary at around £27,600.

Estimated cost: £27,600.


Not all companies pay bonuses, but many are starting to come around to the idea as a way of rewarding good work and boosting employee retention. Government figures put the average bonus payment as 6% of total pay.

Estimated cost: £1,656.

National Insurance

Every employer has to pay towards their full-time employees’ National Insurance (NI). The standard rate of an employer’s Class 1 NI is 13.8% of the total pay. This includes bonuses and any overtime.

Estimated cost: £4,037.


As part of the auto-enrolment scheme, employees are automatically signed up to a basic company pension scheme. This means employers have to pay a minimum of 1% of workers’ monthly salary towards a pension – rising to 3% by April 2019.

Estimated cost: £276 (rising to £828 by April 2019).


Most companies offer either in-house training or funding for external training. Either way, this comes at a cost. It’s a vital cost as training can help improve employee retention rates. The average UK company spends over £1,000 per employee.

Estimated cost: £1,068.

Office space and equipment

Unless you’re replacing someone, you’ll need to provide a new employee with desk space, a computer and more. The IPD Blue Chip Office Index put the total property cost per occupant at £4,800.

Estimated cost: £4,800.

Other costs

It doesn’t end there. There are an array of other costs to consider such as the HR costs to deal with new starters, holiday cover, cover for maternity leave, sick days, company cars, software licenses, and more.

Estimated cost: £8,000.

Total cost

So, for your £27,600 paid new staff member, you’ll actually need to budget for something closer to £50,000 in their first year of employment.

BE Offices HR Director, Nazia Ahmed said:

The total cost of hiring a new member of staff can be higher than it first appears. Companies, small businesses in particular, need to budget carefully when taking on new staff to ensure they are not overextending themselves and creating unnecessary financial strains on the company. However, employees are a firm’s best assets and will underpin its future growth therefore taking on new people is essential for expansion. Companies just need to be aware of the true cost of taking on new staff.

To help guide companies through the associated costs of employing staff BE has produced a simple infographic.

About the author: Andy Issott is the Marketing Director of BE Offices, specializing in online performance and brand growth in the commercial property sector.

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