As a small business owner, it’s likely you’ll be hiring your first employee at some point. While hiring employees is a core part of running a business, the process can be intimidating — especially since the wrong hire costs both time and money. But the right hire will be a boon to your business, and play a pivotal role in your success. There are many unknowns in the world of small business, but hiring doesn’t have to be one of them.
The hiring process can vary from industry to industry, and even from role to role. However, there are best practices to put into place before, during, and after the process. Let’s take a look at the questions you should ask yourself, legal obligations that come with hiring, and how to welcome your new hire to the workplace and ensure they have a great experience moving forward.
1. Determine what kind of employee you need
Employees are a significant responsibility for any employer. To avoid hiring someone you can’t afford or don’t need, you must determine what kind of employee you need in the first place.
Take a step back and think about the tasks you have that require extra help. Track the amount of time you’re spending on these tasks to determine which are the biggest time sinks. If you realize there are a few related tasks taking up 30 hours of your week, you might need a full-time employee. But if you’re only spending 10-15 hours per week on select tasks, a part-time employee or independent contractor could work.
Next, classify the work. Ask yourself if you’re busy because your business is new or because you’re swamped with sales and you don’t have enough time to multitask. If you have numerous one-off tasks that come with launching a new business, short-term help from a contractor is ideal. If you have multiple tasks that aren’t going away anytime soon — like stocking shelves and selling to customers — long-term help is likely a better fit.
2. Take care of the legal stuff
Now that you know what kind of employee you need, it’s time to get your legal ducks in a row. Doing so involves paperwork and filing, but rest assured it’s not something you’ll have to do all the time. To avoid legal issues when hiring your first employee, take care of the following:
- Obtain an employer identification number
- Set up unemployment taxes
- Look into health insurance
- Register for workers’ compensation insurance
- Establish new hire reporting
Make a list with the above items and simply work your way through it. It might seem like a lot, but much of it only needs to be done once. Plus, it’ll become easier the more you do it.
3. Get your finances in order
Having your finances in order is essential when hiring your first employee. New employees cost money, require tax withholdings, and entail some paperwork.
Before you hire anyone, you need a payroll system in place. You should also have a business bank account set up, as this allows you to separate your personal and business finances and track spending more easily. Along with a business account, consider a business credit card. Getting a card will make it easier to send your new hire on any kind of work-related trips, or even a simple supply run.
4. Craft quality interview questions
Your interview questions should help you weed out job candidates who aren’t a good fit. Dig deep and think about any necessary skill sets you’re seeking. Depending on the type of job, a test is a reliable way to determine if a candidate has the required skills. For example, if you’re looking to hire a writer or design-oriented role, ask for samples or a portfolio of previous work.
If you’re having trouble coming up with questions, ask your professional contacts who have experience with this role. The goal is to craft questions that help candidates demonstrate their skill set during the hiring process. Interview questions shouldn’t be vague — focus on the applicant’s experience and how it relates to the role you’re looking to fill. You also want to get a feel for their personality during the interview, so don’t hesitate to include a fun question or two.
5. Post the job listing
When hiring your first employee, it’s crucial to get the job title right. The wrong job title will lead to the wrong job applicants. Job listings aren’t always free, and the last thing you want to do is waste your time going through applications that will never result in a job offer. Research other listings similar to what you’re looking for and make sure you’re using the right title and language within the job description.
Make sure your job description and job title are thorough — specify the exact skills and kind of person you’re looking to hire. Mention if you’ll be performing a background check and other basics, like salary range, whether it’s in-office or remote, and benefits. Once the job listing is live on your site, you can promote it on social media or job boards.
6. Prepare an enriching onboarding experience
Create an employee handbook that lists employee benefits, company culture, brand guidelines, who to talk to for help, and other necessary information that gives the employee a clear idea of what to expect. You want them to comfortably adjust to the company and answer any questions during their first day and early weeks.
This Content has originally written by Brex Team and published on October 15, 2020. No Copyright/IPR breach is intended.