What To Do When Hiring Your First Employee

You’ve been running your own business, maybe hiring a few people for quick jobs here and there, but for the most part it’s been all you. You are finally at a place where you feel you need an extra pair of hands to take over some part of your business, allowing you to stop dividing your focus. It’s a big step, and you need to make a thorough plan to ensure you find the right person and are prepared to put them to work as efficiently as possible.

Here are some questions to ask yourself when deciding who is best suited to fit your needs and help you grow.

1. What kind of work do I need done?

Are you running a store and simply need someone to help stock shelves and keep the place looking nice? Do you need someone to run the register? Are you running a tech start up and need a specialized and skilled individual to fill a niche you cannot do yourself? Or maybe you need someone to take over your accounting? There are many roles you can fill by bringing a new employee into your business, and each one is going to allow you to focus less on those tasks, and hopefully more on what you enjoy. It is important that you take the time to define the position you are looking to fill, and ask for advice from other professionals who have been in a similar position. If you are looking for someone to fill a position as your accountant or secretary, you may find it difficult to find the right person for the job, so be sure to hire an experienced or qualified individual that will help you make progress, not hinder it.

2. What kind of person do you hope to draw?

Depending on what you advertise, you will draw very different groups of people. For instance, asking for more years of experience will limit the amount of candidates you receive unless you are able to provide a competitive offer to draw them from their current jobs. Finding more experienced people will also mean you need to do less managing because they will likely understand what is required and will be able to jump into the position with a little less assistance. If you bring on people who are new to the field, it’s going to take more work on your part to make sure they are up to the task. They are untested, and may be brilliant or simply average. When they are your only employee, they may end up being something closer to an apprentice than a partner. That being said, it’s going to cost less as far as their salary goes. And, they may be more open to new ideas and learning! Just be sure you treat them well because you may be their first venture into the field. They’ll be talking about their time with you for the rest of their lives!

3. How much can you offer to compensate them?

You are going to need to know what you can offer a potential employee before they send in their resume. No one is going to work with you simply for the opportunity to do so. Figure out how much money you can offer, with the general rule being the more money the more applicants you’ll get. With any luck, that will amount in more skilled applicants as well. You can offer more than a salary, however, and in some cases, having a good location is sometimes enough to make people want to apply. Being able to offer real experience and guidance can also draw people looking to get ahead in the field. Money will only get you so far. Finding ways to add substance to your job offer will help bring in the people you need.

4. How can I help bring them into their new position?

Once you find your employee, it’s up to you to make sure that they get the training they need to be a valuable employee. Simply sitting them at their desk isn’t going to cut it! Make sure they understand your company and your goals, even if you feel like it might be a little irrelevant to their job. They are a part of your team now, and no matter what role they fill, they now represent what your company stands for to everyone else. Also, make sure to develop a close relationship with the employee to make sure they feel all their needs are being met. Down the road, you might hire specialists to follow up with employees, but now you have to take on the new responsibilities of both CEO and HR Head!