In your first year of business, you should be looking for ways to grow. You want to find the right team members who are a good fit and will help you reach new heights. Hiring the wrong person can lead to an expensive mistake and even cause harm; so make sure you hire only those people with whom it is worth spending your time and money.
If you are a sole proprietor, it is important to hire employees. This will help you grow your business and make sure that you have enough people to cover the workload. To hire an employee as a sole proprietor, there are two main options: you can either hire them yourself or find someone else who already has employees and ask them to hire on your behalf.
It’s tempting to see the road to business as a solo trip.
I don’t know about you, but I see one lone person doing it all: late-night brainstorming sessions, planning, and research (fueled by a seemingly bottomless mug of coffee).
Hey, if it works, it works—innumerable businesses have been founded in this manner.
However, all successful companies will ultimately need to hire workers, and that’s when the real fun starts.
That is, at least, the presumption. However, before you get there, you must finish the interviewing, hiring, and onboarding processes.
This may be intimidating for novice business owners.
How do you go from a solo business to one that requires you to locate and depend on people to help you develop and manage your company?
To find a solution to this issue, I went to the members of the Young Entrepreneur Council and sought their counsel. Their suggestions varied from recruiting advice to what to look for in a first employee.
Check out their advice before you grab that stack of resumes.
On the thirteenth edition of The Bcast, Bplan’s official podcast (at 22:32), Peter and Jonathan discuss human resources and hiring your first employee. Subscribe to The Bcast on iTunes by clicking here »
Also read: Is It Time to Hire a Worker?
What is one piece of advice you would offer to another entrepreneur who is about to recruit their first employee?
1. Find someone who is enthusiastic about your product or service and hire them.
BiggerPockets’ Joshua Dorkin emphasizes the significance of recruiting workers that are passionate about your product, service, or business goal.
“When recruiting a first employee—or any early employee,” he adds, “the single most essential thing to look for is that they love your product and believe in your mission.”
[pullquote] “Passion will always overcome any disparities in intellect, experience, or communication skills.” Dorkin, Joshua [/pullquote]
Joshua claims that employing individuals that are passionate about your business and dedicated to it would benefit you more than hiring for other characteristics alone.
He adds, “I don’t care how clever the next man is, what his degree is in, whether he’s more attractive, or if he’s a pro golfer.” “Passion will always overcome any disparities in intellect, experience, or communication skills.”
After all, once recruited, a passionate, teachable person can be brought up to speed and taught the ins and outs of the job—but enthusiasm is difficult to teach.
Your new company will benefit from having someone on your staff who genuinely believes in your product or service.
2. Put potential ahead of experience.
Similarly, rather of searching for the most highly trained and qualified individuals, recruit your initial workers based on the potential you see in them.
Market Domination Media’s Jonathan Long adds, “If you just concentrate on experience, you will be dissatisfied.” “Look for potential: Do they have drive and a burning desire to be a part of something extraordinary?”
Why does this have a higher value?
There are a few causes for this. To begin with, it may be more difficult to recruit the most highly qualified workers while you’re just getting started since you lack the long-term commitment that larger businesses have.
Hiring someone with potential, on the other hand, enables you to work with their desire to succeed. This symbiotic connection of working with your new employee to help them reach their full potential will result in an employee that is dedicated to not just caring about your business, but also to giving it their all and being a part of your new endeavor.
“That kind of person may be much more useful to your business than someone who just seems to be qualified on paper,” Jonathan adds. “Any day, I’ll pick someone who displays promise over someone who just looks nice on paper.”
Also see: Five Things to Keep in Mind When Hiring Friends and Family.
3. Don’t hurry and take your time.
Don’t allow a desire to locate assistance quickly cause you to make rash recruiting choices.
“Your first employee will be extremely essential in the growth of your business, and it is vital that you spend the time necessary to choose the appropriate person,” says AlleyWatch’s Reza Chowdhury. “Verify and screen all applicants thoroughly.”
Due.com’s Murray Newlands agrees. “Desperate for assistance, entrepreneurs may hurry to recruit an employee, but this is one of the biggest mistakes an employer can do, particularly when employing the first employee.”
This is because your initial workers will assist to determine your company’s future. They’ll establish the tone for the company’s culture, and they’ll play a key role in your success—or failure. As a result, it’s critical that you choose workers who share your vision for your new company.
“When it comes to workplace culture, fitness is critical,” Murray adds. “Make sure they are compatible with your personality and the requirements of the business, since imbalance leads to lost productivity.”
4. Hire to cover your flaws
It’s easy to slip into the “jack-of-all-trades” position when you’re first starting out in company.
After all, when your company is simply a concept, you’re very much on your own. Hiring your first employee, on the other hand, gives you the chance to alter that.
[pullquote] “Hire your first employee to help you balance out the things you don’t do well so you can learn to delegate more easily.” Nicole Munoz is a writer who lives in New York City. [/pullquote]
Nicole Munoz of Start Ranking Now adds, “We all have strengths and limitations.”
“Hire your first employee to help you balance out the things you don’t do well so you can learn to delegate more easily.”
“Do you despise picking up the phone? Look for someone who can work as a pleasant receptionist. Every day, do you spend hours on proposals? Nicole suggests looking for a “sales contract wiz.”
5. Check for cultural compatibility
Recently, the focus has moved away from recruiting someone with a particular skill set and toward employing people who fit with your business culture.
Before you start the recruiting process, think about what sort of business culture you want to build.
When you’ve decided on the kind of company culture you want to create, keep that in mind as you go through the recruiting process. This will help you gauge how well potential workers will fit into the culture you want to nurture in your new firm.
Swyft’s Jonny Simkin adds, “You clearly need to make sure a prospective employee has the appropriate talents, but equally essential, you need to make sure they have the correct personality for your business.” “Ask them questions about themselves as individuals, not as employees. Make sure they’re a good match for the culture you’re trying to create.”
Also see SWOT Analysis: Identifying Your Weaknesses.
6. Hire someone who is trustworthy.
Recognize that, although you want to employ someone who will fit in well with your business right now, you must also consider the long term.
Is the individual you’d want to employ someone you’d feel comfortable entrusting with important decisions?
According to Everlaw’s AJ Shankar, “you’ll want to make sure [your new employee] does the right thing rather than the easy thing.” “Your first employee will have a significant effect on the culture of the business, and having integrity is a fantastic place to start.”
“No matter what position the individual fills, you’ll be working with [them] extremely closely, perhaps for years,” he says. So, although it may be difficult to tell right away, make sure you feel comfortable standing behind your new employee’s choices.
7. Decide on a trial term.
However, it’s difficult to judge abstract qualities like “integrity” or “resourcefulness” based on a single encounter.
According to Marcela DeVivo of National Debt Relief, “it’s extremely difficult to evaluate character or performance after a few interviews.”
What is her solution? New hires are given a trial period.
“I soon learnt to set up a test/observation period before making an official employment decision. This allows you to get to know the individual, see them in action, observe how they collaborate with you, and decide whether they are a good fit,” she adds. “If they don’t work out, it’s simple to replace them with someone else without causing too much damage.”
8. Recognize that they can’t possibly be your best buddy.
Or, at the very least, make sure you have a lot of legal paperwork in place before becoming too comfortable.
When there’s only you and one other employee, it’s easy to get into a peer connection, says Priori Legal’s Basha Rubin. “It’s critical to have legal paperwork in place as soon as possible, both to protect your business and to establish expectations.”
Consult your attorney before hiring someone new since the legal papers may differ depending on your company (Basha advises creating an employment agreement, a proprietary inventions and innovation agreement, and an equity plan).
We’re not saying you can’t be friends, but you should first establish the business side of things.
9. Before you begin, talk to your stakeholders about the recruiting process.
If you have outside investors, don’t go into the recruiting process alone; they’ll almost certainly want to have a say, and that’s just OK.
Before beginning the search, Joseph Walla of HelloSign recommends holding a kickoff meeting with all parties. “Unless all stakeholders agree on the job description, duties, interviewers, reporting structure, and other filters, you will almost certainly recruit the incorrect person or go all the way through the process without selecting the right person owing to misalignment.”
This is part of the preliminary dotting of the i’s and crossing of the t’s that may not be the most enjoyable aspect of the recruiting process, but it will guarantee that everyone is on the same page.
10. Check out their work before employing them.
Do you have experience in the position you’re hiring for?
If you’re recruiting for a particular technical role because you don’t have the expertise (see number five), then maybe not, but you’ve probably done the job before or are at least acquainted with the responsibilities you’re looking for.
According to Thomas Cullen of LaunchPad Lab, having a solid understanding of what the job involves will put you in the greatest position to help your new employee succeed.
This way, you’ll know what expectations are fair and what aren’t, as well as how to effectively support your new hire.
“You should perform the job before any hiring choice is made in order to manage the expectations for both yourself and your hire,” he adds. “Work closely with them throughout the onboarding process so they understand the foundation on which you created the company. Your new employee will be well-prepared for success and will be capable of taking the work to new heights.”
Also see: The 5 Employee Types You’ll Meet on Your Startup Journey (and How to Manage Them)
11. Establish clear expectations and provide training.
On the same vein, clearly establish and explain your expectations for your new employee from the outset.
Crisp Video Group’s Michael Mogill advises, “Always clearly outline responsibilities and expectations.” Keeping your new employee in the dark about specific duties you’d want them to do won’t help you, and it may sour the relationship.
“Make sure they understand the outcome you’re aiming for with them, and take the time to properly train and onboard them,” Michael advises.
12. Reward them as if they were a pioneer.
If you’re running a conventional company, you should consider treating your new hire more like a founder than an employee.
Enplug’s Nanxi Liu advises, “When hiring your first employee, I propose motivating them like a founder: modest pay and large ownership.”
According to Nanxi, this may assist you in laying a strong foundation.
“Make sure they have the mindset of being in it for the long haul,” she advises. “See whether they’re ready to make sacrifices and be uncomfortable in the early phases of a company, since it’ll be a rough ride.”
While there will always be ups and downs, this approach may benefit both you and your workers. Nanxi adds, “Our initial workers are now senior executives who completely represent our culture.”
Also see: 10 Employee Incentives That Any Company Can Afford
13. Look for someone who is resourceful and persistent.
“Aside from experience, resourcefulness is the most important quality to look for in your first employee, particularly at a startup,” says Jayna Cooke of EVENTup.
“You want someone at your side who can help you sort things out and solve problems along the road. This will make the road to achievement a bit less stressful for you.”
Employees that are unable to react swiftly to rapidly changing circumstances, which are unavoidable when beginning a new company, will struggle. It’s critical to ensure that your new hire can handle problems and respond promptly.
“You’ll need someone willing to hang on throughout the crazy ride of establishing a business in the early stages,” says Shalyn Dever of Chatter Buzz Media. “If they’ve shown a desire to work hard in previous jobs, you can trust that they’ll be able to manage big, little, and unexpected tasks.”
Recruiting your first employee will, in the end, be a bit different from hiring later on.
Your initial workers help establish the tone for your firm, from corporate culture to how effectively your organization pivots in the face of a new circumstance.
Do you have any suggestions on how to hire your first employee? What worked and what didn’t work for you?
The “how to hire employees legally” is a question that many people ask. It’s important to follow the right procedures and make sure you’re hiring someone who will work out for the long term.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much does it cost to hire your first employee?
A: It depends on the type of job and how much experience an individual has. Typically, it is around $40 per hour.
What do I need to know before hiring my first employee?
A: Youll need to find out their qualifications, such as education and experience. Then you should talk about the candidates personality traits like communication skills or how well they work with others. It will also be helpful to figure out what kind of culture your company wants in order to help decide whether a candidate is right for the job.
How do I hire my first w2 employee?
A: To hire your first w2 employee, you must have an initial investment in the business of $37,500 or more. You are also required to maintain a profit margin greater than 15%.
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