Running a small business is a fulfilling passion. You get to delve into what you love with full-force while sharing your gifts, expertise and talents with the world. If things are going really well, you are probably reaching the point of expansion. This means hiring your first employee, onboarding someone to your team to help out with some of the responsibilities it takes to run your business.
This is a great place to be but it can be daunting. Now you are in charge of things like payroll and MEWA insurance. If you are about to start or are currently in the process of hiring your first employee, here are some tips to follow that may make the decision-making process much easier.
Do Not Procrastinate on Hiring Someone
As soon as you can afford it, even if it may be stretching your resources at first, you should hire someone the second you realize you need help. You do not want to be overworked, tired and totally beat. This is not good for your business. You will be too concerned with one area of your business and not able to focus on the other parts of your business that are just as important. Having an extra person to help out with even small administrative things will free up your brainpower and creativity. Things that would take you weeks will now be done over the course of a few days. That alone makes it worth it even if it is a struggle financially at first.
Seek Out Potential and Track Record
Of course, you want to hire someone that can do the job you are asking for, but you also want to keep a sharp eye out for someone who has great potential to advance in the business. You want to be looking for someone who is very passionate or at least interested in the same causes or missions as you. At the same time, you want to look at what he or she has done in the past and how good they were at it. By combining someone’s skills and passions, you have found the keys to unlocking that person’s potential.
Showing Is Better Than Telling
Anyone can sit in an interview room and answer questions right all day long. The test really shows up when they are put in a situation that requires their actions to match their words. If you want to make sure you are fully vetting someone for this job, it would be a good idea to have him or her complete a test task for you. This will put your candidates’ money where their mouth is. You will be able to see if they demonstrate skill or aptitude which is crucial in determining if someone is the right fit for a position or not.
Make Sure They Are a Cultural Fit
This is crucial to a healthy work environment and could potentially aid in retention. When you find someone who both looks good on paper and they demonstrate the skill to do the job, you want to make sure that they are a cultural fit. This sometimes requires doing extra interviews with other people around the office, even after you have made your decision of going with this candidate. Some companies interview someone three to four times until they are fully confident they are a perfect cultural fit. Do not shy away from this method. Right now it is just you, so you want to make sure you gel well with this person.
Invite Them to the Team, Do Not Hire Them
There is a difference between hiring someone and asking someone to be a part of a team. When you think about “hiring” you think employee, someone that you have to boss around, evaluate work and pay someone for their time. When you think about “inviting someone on the team” you think of this person more as a partner, someone that has willingly decided to give you his or her time to make your dreams come true, someone who is learning alongside you and someone who is living through the startup experience with you. When you do one over the other, it determines how you treat and approach that person. All of this goes into creating a great work environment or a poor one.
Have an Onboarding Process
Create a series of sessions with your new hire that will explain the culture of the company, the company history and the strategy of the company. When you do this, you ensure that everyone else who joins the company thereafter will have the experience. This makes seamless transfers of positions between different employees and better training.