Earlier this week, we delved into a few tips to help small business owners navigate the fun (yet often perplexing) world of making that first hire. Below is Part II of the series…here’s a quick guide to hiring your first employee!
Hiring Your First Employee
Determine where your candidates are.
While the big brand name job listing sites are good for certain things, they’re often not the best source of candidates for small business and can result in a mountain of resumes and cover letters that aren’t specific enough. So take the time to find the niche where your potentials are. Say you’re an indie custom print shop in Austin, Texas in need of someone to help with design work. Someone who fits that need might be involved with local Meetups that focus on art, printing, digital media, graphics, etc. Do some research and consider attending one of those Meetups. They’re usually free and are also a great way to strike up new business relationships.
You should also explore regional and industry-specific job boards. In Austin indie print shop case, the Austin Creative Alliance might be a useful resource.
Will there always be that great hire that comes from somewhere unexpected? Sure. But when your making your first hire, save yourself some time by taking the time to identify the right communities comprised of folks who might be your perfect fit.
Talk to an HR expert.
If you’re opting to hire part- or full-time, it’d behoove you to talk to someone who specializes in the nuts and bolts of it. HR experts can be supremely useful in helping you navigate the financial and tax implications of expanding your one-person-show. Best places to find such experts? You might want to ask a fellow small business owner who’s done it. Most are willing to share their experience and can refer to you whoever helped them out (think small business consultant, HR consultant, etc.). Or, if you foresee hiring to be a regular occurrence, talk to a company that provides small business back-office services. Our natural recommendation here is Paychex. (Note: Paychex and Kashoo recently formed a strategic partnership. You can read about it here.) Service providers like Paychex can be great assets not only in helping you figure out the details of making your first hire, but they can also help make everything that goes with it (think payroll, benefits plans, HR, insurance) headache free.
Know your obsession.
No one will ever care as much about your business as you do. That’s just the way it is. But that doesn’t mean you can’t find great talent that is passionate about what your business is out to accomplish. There are a few keys to that. Providing your first hire with mentorship is critical. At the same time, you want to let them work the way they work. (There’s a balance in there somewhere, we promise.) Clear communication is also key. You have a vision of your business—and where it’s going—in your head. And you brought this new hire on for a reason: to get there! Don’t fall into the trap of having a great vision that’s poorly communicated. Be clear at a high level all the way down to the day-to-day tactics and your first hire will work out just fine.