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Things to Do Before Hiring Your Company's First Employee

Posted by Linda Ross
October 6th, 2020

Your hard work is finally paying off: after reaching milestone upon milestone in your small business, you feel like you are ready to grow and hire your first employee. This is a benchmark that should be celebrated! A successful small business will eventually grow, and you will have to hire someone else to help you run your expanding company.

Hiring your first employee can be nerve wracking. You worry if you are doing things right, about finding the right person to hire, and about on-boarding someone new.

These are all legitimate concerns for someone who spent hundreds of hours building a business. You want to make sure that each step you take brings you forward and does not set you back.

If you’re not exactly sure what to do before hiring your company’s first employee, do not worry. We will discuss some of the important items that you need to consider during this important stage in your business.

If you are hesitant about adding a new person to the team, you may need to evaluate your current situation to determine if it is necessary. Below are some signs that you need that extra pair of hands on your team immediately.

Signs That You Should Hire Your First Employee

  • You are unable to take in new customers – A major sign that you need to expand is when you have to decline orders or accept new customers simply because you are unable to physically fulfill orders in a timely manner. This simply means your business is growing and it may be time to hand some of the tasks off to someone else so you can focus on more important business matters.

  • Quality of service or product is compromised- When you spread yourself too thin, there is a big chance that something is being compromised down the line. Usually, it is the product quality. You cannot do everything on your own and expect to cover everything perfectly. This is a clear sign that you need some help and hiring an employee can allow you to balance things out again.

  • You skip breaks and vacations in favor of your business – Like they say, all work and no play makes the CEO a cranky and irritated person. As a business owner, you need to stay motivated and energized and this is hardly possible if you are not getting the rest and relaxation that you need. Sooner or later, the business is going to feel like a burden, and it could go downhill from there.

What to Do Before Hiring Your Company's First Employee

Now that you are certain about this move, and have identified the type of employee you’re taking in, let us take a look at some key elements that need to be taken care of prior to hiring your first staff.

  • Prepare the Job Description for the Role - Before you hire someone, you need to identify the role and scope of the work. This will not only help you identify skills to look for in a candidate, but this helps to set the proper expectations in both parties.

  • Draft Salary and Benefits - Ensure that you are offering a competitive salary for the role that you are filling. Do a quick market check, and make sure everything is clean on paper. Highlighting growth opportunities and practical benefits can help in attracting quality candidates.

  • Identify the Recruiter - Finalize who will conduct the screening and the interview process. Who will contact prospective applicants? Who will review the applications? Do you need help to figure out if you want to see a functional resume so you know what is standard for your industry? Lastly, you also need to identify who will conduct the job offer. You can either do these things on your own or you can outsource this process to a recruitment professional. The most important thing is to ensure a seamless process. You don't want to leave an applicant hanging or miss out on an opportunity to hire someone great simply because you forgot to call.

  • Prepare On-boarding Process - To make the transition smooth for both you and your new employee later on, make sure you have an on-boarding process in place. Make a list of all the tasks assigned, a time frame for shadowing, and of course discussions on company background, mission, and vision. This way, you and your new staff can start off from the same page.

  • Prepare All Legal Documents - To ensure that both you and the new employee are legally protected right from the start, all legal documents should be in place. Seek legal advice to ensure that all terms, clauses, and pertinent paperwork are in place.

  • Payroll System - Perhaps most importantly, you will need to set up how you are going to pay the salary. You can hire an accountant, bookkeeper, or outsource to a payroll service. You can also learn to set this up on your own. Regardless, you need a system ready before you hire your first employee.

Hiring your first employee is the milestone you have been waiting for. This information will support you through this new and exciting phase in your business journey.


Post written for Jobcast by Linda Ross.