Roll Up! Roll Up! Hiring Your First Employee

It’s one of the big steps in running your own business. If you’re someone that works at home for yourself, the chances are that you have got into a sturdy working routine. Once it gets to the point that your business becomes more successful than your original endeavours, it’s time to start branching out, and hiring an employee is one of the first steps. It can be quite an intimidating prospect, not least because you are used to operating everything just so, but also, you may very well need to adjust your relationship practices, not to mention the fact that you need to motivate them so they get along with the customer, clients, and represent the business in the way that you want. But before all of this, how do you go through the process of hiring your first employee, and what can you do to ensure that you’ve made the right decision?

Defining The Role

What is so crucial at the very outset is that you determine what the role will involve. Because you may feel that because you need an extra pair of hands the role encompasses pretty much everything. But when you go through the hiring process, you could find that you won’t be able to get the “perfect” employee. After all, it’s so important that your employee (as well as yourself) need to know what they are being hired for. This brings into account other factors, like their wage, and what they need to do to earn a specific amount of money. Your budget is crucial, because you need to find how much you can realistically afford, and as the saying goes, “you pay peanuts, you get monkeys.” You have to look at the job market, and once you have identified the duties of the role, see how other companies in the market pay. You have to be competitive, but at the same time, you’ve got to be realistic in terms of your budget. It’s far better to have a part-time role advertised so you are able to get a good quality candidate, rather than getting a full-time role advertised which doesn’t pay as much and run the risk of hiring a below-average worker. Quality is the name of the game.

Crafting An Appropriate Procedure

You need to decide on an ideal procedure for the role that you have created. This doesn’t just include the hiring process, the criteria of the role, but it’s also about documenting each step of the process. From a legal perspective, it’s important that you cover your back. It’s not about paying lip service to the idea of legality, but it’s about getting into the habit of having a process in place for you to follow to the letter. It’s common sense to have an infrastructure in place because when you decide to hire more people, you’ve already done the hard work. This is most definitely the hardest part of the process.

Advertising For The Role

The great thing about advertising for a role in the modern job hunting landscape is that you can go pretty much anywhere to post your role. But if you’re looking for good quality employees, it’s important that you find the platform that can help you out with the vetting process, which is one of the more difficult aspects of hiring a candidate. You could very well go on social media to post the job, but will you get a good response, and will it be the calibre of employee you really want? There are numerous components to think about when you go down the job advertisement route, such as the candidate attraction rate, which is the number of candidates that look at the advertisement in comparison to those that actually apply. And while there are fantastic platforms out there, like LinkedIn, that help to bridge the gap it’s definitely worth looking at social media in the round as a supplementary tool to hiring people. Some people have had fantastic results purely from social media. But there are others that realise how much of a minefield social media is to get to the right candidate.

The Sifting And Interview Processes

Once the deadline has passed, or you have started to receive applications, it’s time to start sifting through them all. A lot of people have a simple vetting process for this, and it comes in the form of the application. A lot of companies, on their job postings, request something specific as part of the application process, purely to check if the applicant has read the description properly. As far as the vetting process is concerned, it certainly takes a lot of time out of the sifting, but will you end up with the wrong type of candidate as a result? This is something only you can answer. When you’ve got the list of potential candidates down to a worthy number, it’s time to interview them. One of the best ways to do this is to give them a task that tests their skills in relation to the job they are doing. Because the interview process is, in many ways, something that can be learnt and fine-tuned, if you really want to understand if someone can do a job, give them the tasks.

Hiring The Person

This is all about the right contract. You can find many contract templates online, but it’s essential that you have one in the first place. When you have found the right person, it’s about ensuring you cover your back as well as theirs. By having an official document that sets out in detail what the employee’s responsibility is to your business, you are not obliged to constantly refer back to it. Conversely, it’s important that people know the legal standing of their role. Once you have dealt with this, you need to integrate them into the business. By putting them into a role where they can find their feet, it will give them a lot more confidence. It’s important that you give them time because as with any new person coming in, they’ve got to figure out their own method of doing things. When it’s just the two of you, it can be quite intense, but you have to ensure that you have chemistry with this other person.

Learning How To Be A Boss

This can be a trial by fire in some ways. Ultimately, you want to get the best out of any employee, but it’s not just about finding the right person, the chemistry has a lot to play in the role, but it’s also learning how to motivate them effectively. You might have got working at home down to a fine art, but when it’s time to motivate others, you can’t necessarily use the same tools that motivate you. It’s a case of trial-and-error, but it’s also about using this opportunity to find out the type of boss you are. You can find all of the motivation techniques under the sun, but if they aren’t getting the results, it’s not fair to just purely point the finger at the employee. It could very well be that you are to blame. Learning how to be a boss is quite a process, as this will give you the opportunity to learn a lot about who you are, how you lead, but also what your misgivings are. If you’re used to working on your own so much, and now there is someone else, it could be quite a shock to the system.

Your first employee is a big adventure, and it’s proof that your business is on the up. But it’s quite a process. Make sure you do it properly.

Image: StartUpStock

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