For many entrepreneurs, hiring their first employee is the definitive proof that they have “made it”. It means your business has grown from being a labour of passion to something that has a viable future. While hiring your first employee might be an exciting step, it’s important that you take the time to make a considered decision as this could make or break your business. Before hiring your first employee, make sure you consider the following…
Be clear about your expectations
While a vague job description might make it seem like it would widen the candidate pool (not to mention make things easier for you to write it) this can actually have the opposite effect. People are often deterred from applying for jobs with a unclear description as they feel like they might be underqualified. If you are clear about your expectations from the start, you will be able to choose from a much more qualified selection of candidates.
Define your culture
When you’re the only person working for a company it can be difficult to envisage a future office culture, so take your cues from your business. If you are offering professional services your company culture might be more formal, while creative industries might value creative thinking and unstructured work. The culture fit is also essential to ensure that you can work well with the person you hire.
Broaden your horizons
It’s a well-known fact that, when hiring, it is always more tempting to go for the person who looks, thinks and acts like us. While this can be useful for ensuring people work well together, you might be missing out on valuable insight by hiring someone who thinks just like you. By broadening your horizons, you will be much more likely to be able to encourage innovation and to spot new opportunities for your business.
Make sure you can afford it
While you might have a short-term need for extra help in your business, you will have to make sure that you can afford to sustain another salary. Hiring someone to work for your business means that you will be responsible for their livelihood. Making sure you will always be able to pay them on time and that you can afford to keep paying them, even during a slow month, is essential. Not only is this good business practice, but letting someone go just a few months after hiring them can also lead to some bad press for your business.
Don’t skip the boring bits
While it might not be as fun to trawl through contracts dotting the I’s and crossing the t’s, this part is just as essential to ensuring success in your business. Business contracts don’t just protect your employee, but they also protect your business. If you will be revealing sensitive information, a non-disclosure agreement might be required, while others will prefer a non-compete to prevent companies from going straight to your competitors. To take some of the stress out of it, you can consult with employment solicitors to ensure you have covered your bases.