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.

4 Reasons you Should Hire Recent College Grads for your New Business

Starting a small business, no matter how much experience you have, is always hard. But once it’s up and running, and it’s time to start hiring and building a team, the stakes become higher. After all, the success of your business rides on the people who run it, and starting off with a poor team will surely spell disaster.  Of course, you want your new small business to have a diverse set of employees, but there are definite reasons you should focus on hiring recent college grads, especially if you’re founding a startup related to technology, social media, Internet marketing, etc.

1. Recent college graduates are passionate and not yet disillusioned by the workforce

If there’s one thing that can be said of Gen Y (don’t count this so-called “sense of entitlement”), it’s that they are passionate about everything they do. Most of those in the 22- to 30-year-old set were raised during an era in which parenting was decidedly about raising children to love what they do. This parenting style has produced young adults who have a strong desire to not just get any old job, but to get and excel in a job that they enjoy. Hiring recent grads will give your new business the edge that it needs.

2. They know the Internet and computers like the backs of their hand

If you’re starting a small business now, chances are that, even if it’s not exclusively up and running online, a big part of the business is run by computers and Internet tools. If you hire too many older employees, chances are that you’ll have to spend quite a bit of time training them how to use these tools. With “digital natives” learning most computer and Internet skills is almost instant—if they don’t know it yet, they’ll learn it by the end of the day.

hiring fresh graduate

3. They desperately need jobs

Of course, you shouldn’t hire someone based only on their desperation for a job. But in this bleak economy, those who are hurting the most are those who just recently entered the job market. Some employers may be a little hesitant to hire young people with little experience, but they often have more skills than you would think. And giving a helping to hand to those who are young and full of potential will help you as your business grows.

4. Younger employees are more willing to take risks that are vital to the success of your business

If there is one thing that is common to all small businesses, it’s that they absolutely require risk-taking in order to survive. Recent college graduates are often very keen on taking risks, much more so than those who are older and more experienced. The vitality and innovation-driven spirit of recent grads can only be an advantage for your small business.

Of course, there are problems with hiring recent grads that are specific to this generation. They often need more guidance and desire praise and a sense of purpose. But if you can provide a nurturing environment, your young employees can be one of your greatest assets. Good luck!

About the Author: This is a guest post by Susan Wells. She writes on topics including health/car/life insurance, mortgage, real estate.

Image: Will Folsom / Flickr