Getting Started: Hiring Your First Employee

You have started your own business recently and it has begun to pick up speed now. As the associated jobs grow more challenging and numerous, it is time for you to hire your first employees to share the burden. But things can go wrong drastically if you do not hire the right person with the right skills. Here are a few points to keep in mind before you hire your very first employee.

Outline the Job Description

Invest enough time in outlining the job description of your future employee based on the tasks that you need the most help with in running your business. Club the tasks that require similar skills to carry out and determine if short term training can equip a new employee to take on some more. This will help you shortlist applicants who have the kind of skills that will prove most useful to you. This job description can also be used to give the candidate a clear picture of the expectations that he/ she will need to fulfill.

employee hiring tips
Image: David Castillo Dominici

Use Referrals to Locate Good Employees

Advertising for the position is perhaps the only way to get the maximum number of applications for the post. However, giving first preference for referrals from friends or industry colleagues is a smart idea.

Also keep in mind that the candidates who are accustomed to working for a smaller concern are more likely to be flexible about taking on new roles or demonstrating initiative with the job. If such candidates come with referrals from trusted colleagues, they should definitely be given due weightage. Those who have experience with a multinational are more likely to work well when they have well established rules and processes to follow.

Background Checks

Once you have identified a few likely candidates, it is time to carry out the background checks. Never overlook this step because a talk with a previous employer can reveal a lot about your future employee’s work ethics, capabilities as well as weaknesses.

If you have asked for three or four references, take the time to check with each and every one of them. Remember that your time is well invested if the information you uncover helps you make a judicious choice of your first employees. Carry out a credit check too, if necessary, especially if the candidate will be handling jobs where financial transactions will be taking place on a regular basis.

Gain an Idea of Pay Scales

Before you start calling in your shortlisted candidates for an interview, it is important that you have a clear picture of what the industry standard is in terms of pay scales for the position you need to fill. Compare notes with peers or look through employment sites to get a good idea of what others are paying candidates for similar job descriptions. Allow yourself the flexibility to offer an enhanced paycheck to exceptional candidates.

Coming Face to Face

The interview is the time when you and your future employee come face to face for the very first time. Remember that your ’employee’ is forming his opinion of you and your business at this time too. Maintain a friendly yet completely professional approach all through so that he gets an idea of the kind of environment he can expect to work in if selected.

Ensure that your questions to him are designed so that you can gauge his industry knowledge, enthusiasm, respect for the employer, ethical values, commitment and passion for his work. It is impossible for you to accurately measure all of these at one go but you can always call shortlisted candidates for second interview too.

About the Author: Penny is an expert associated with Recruiterbox, an online applicant tracking system that helps companies manage their hiring in one place. Many companies previously using email and excel, reduced their hiring hassles by moving to Recruiterbox. Learn more about creative hiring practices and other interesting stories on the Recruiterbox blog.

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