As a small business owner, hiring your first employees can be a stressful thought -- what kind of people do I want to work with? Who can I trust with my vulnerable new business? Where do I look? And though it will at first seem daunting, with a process in place, you can have a stress-free hiring experience that will lead your business to bigger and better things.
1. Hire for Potential
As a new employer, you might want to instantly hire whoever has the best track-record to increase your chances of success. However, evidence of past success may not necessarily directly correlate with individual potential to grow with your company. When hiring your first employees, it's important that you hire for enthusiasm and potential rather than simply judging on experience.
- Look for someone who has passion for what they do. If they seem invested in seeing your business succeed, it is more likely that they'll try their hardest to make it become reality.
2. Look Within the Industry
A great place to start when looking for potential employees is by examining other businesses in your industry or area. You'll want to hire someone who is relatively familiar with the industry, even if they aren't necessarily experienced.
- Post job listings to sites specifically for your industry, or make them as specific as possible if you are using sites with larger-reach.
- If you exude your employee brand clearly, you are more likely to get employees best for your line of work. Read more in: Employer Branding: If You're Recruiting, You'd Better be Marketing.
3. Don't Cut Corners
Every business should strive for professionalism, so you shouldn't cut corners in any area of your business. Starting out on the right foot can help you grow your business efficiently and help you avoid possible problems in the future.
- Be sure you have a contract or set of terms that have been discussed with advisors and lawyers. If you do not know the specific terms of your employment, it could leave both your employee and your company unprotected if the agreement doesn't work out.
- Make sure you have a clear understanding of employee/employer tax obligations and have an efficient payroll system (including time and attendance software) before taking on your first employees.
4. Do Your Research
When hiring any employee, it is important that you do your research and properly assess each candidate. This is even more important when hiring your very first employees. They will be dealing closely with the inner-workings of your company, and you want to be sure you are employing individuals who are trustworthy and credible.
- Performing a background check or a pre-employment screening will help you to get a clear vision of your candidate, and make sure that they are as accomplished as they claim to be. It's interesting to know that nearly 40% of all job application and resumes include false or inflated facts.
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5. Try Them Out
A good idea when hiring your first employees is to try them out before hiring them full-time. Allow them to work for you a few days a week so that you can ease into the process of being an employer. Consider using a temp agency to find potential candidates. In this way you don't have to worry about screening for basic qualifications or about payroll laws, reporting or taxes.
Considering that 22% of staff turnover occurs in the first forty-five days of employment, and the cost of losing an employee in the first year is estimated to be at least three times their salary (The Wynhurst Group), you want to be sure you are making the right decision when hiring your first employees. Consider best practices before getting started.