Hiring your first employee can be a terrifying proposition for a small business owner. The questions fill your head and the horror stories from other employers may haunt your dreams.
Will they be a good fit with the culture you want to establish? Can you trust them? Will you hire the wrong person?
It can be a challenge to relinquish some control over your business to a total stranger. However, the advantages of an employee can definitely outweigh the fear and anxiety.
Employees can take over the menial or repetitive tasks that you hate, freeing you up to focus on what you enjoy most about running your business. This may provide you with more time to focus on the big picture and expanding your business.
Here are some of the things to consider before hiring your first employee to ensure the process goes smoothly.
Your job ad matters more than you think
All good landlords know that how they advertise their property determines the type of tenants they attract. The more professional it is will tend to attract higher quality tenants who recognize that professionalism. The same thing goes for job ads.
Take the time to fully consider the responsibilities, qualifications, requirements, and other aspects of the position. Time and careful attention upfront will be rewarded when your ad attracts a variety of highly qualified, professional candidates.
Research the tax and legal implications before starting to hire
Nothing is worse than hiring an employee and then realizing you have to scramble to work throw all the paperwork related to that employee. Before starting on a job description research your insurance, how to withhold/ report income to the IRS, get an Employer Identification Number, and learn about all the required notices and benefits that you now have to provide.
It is less scary and complex then it sounds. All it takes is a bit of time and research as the information is readily available. Start by contacting your local SBA office or read up on the IRS website about laws for employees and business owners.
Don't put all your faith on their resume
Some statistics say that up to 40% of resumes contain false, misleading, or bogus information. When hiring your first employee, their intangibles are likely much more important than their technical skills or formal education. Remember you can mentor or teach them the ins and outs of your business.
It is much more important to focus on their personality, communications, critical thinking skills, energy, and other intangible but important qualities when hiring your first employee. Technical skills and knowledge can be learned; however, drive, ambition, and teamwork are much harder to teach.
Use resumes and past experiences to help narrow down your search but take time in the interview, asking deep of questions to provide insight into the candidate.
Consider an independent contractor or freelancer
If your budget is not large or you just don’t know if you have enough work to justify the expense of an employee, consider starting out with a freelancer. The employment market is changing rapidly today and many full time employees have started out as freelancers for an employer. With a freelancer, you will be able to examine the person’s work ethic and abilities, without the initial costs of hiring the person as a full time employee. The freelancer may choose to either work with you as an employee or remain a freelancer. In fact, a large number of employees today are choosing to work several part time or freelance positions, as it gives them more time to focus on other personal activities. There are some great places to search for a freelancer such as the online sites Upwork or Outsource.com. These sites feature thousands of qualified professionals in areas like writing, video editing, data entry, and others