Hiring Your First Employee

Hiring an employee to help with your day-to-day business needs is a big step. It often symbolizes both sides of a complicated situation—your business is likely successful, but you are running yourself into the ground trying to keep it afloat yourself. Proceed with caution: while it is worthwhile to invest in your first few employees, it is a costly commitment. Below are a few ideas to consider when reaching this precipice.


  1. Can you hire a freelancer or contractor instead? Hiring a full-time, or even part-time, employee is a costly commitment. Between a salary, benefits, and guaranteed income, only the most financially secure businesses should go in this direction. If you choose to hire someone for a salaried position, make sure you have their annual salary in the bank before committing.


  1. Do you understand your legal requirements? From large corporations to small start-ups, employers much understand their obligations. Educate yourself about employment laws, tax obligations, the implications of finding an employee, minimum wage, and overtime stipulations.


  1. Who do you want to hire? Your first instinct may be to hire a friend. However, you should proceed with extreme caution; do not overlook a potential worker’s faults or lack of experience simply because you are friends. The best way to find qualified candidates is to network with other businesses in your industry. If nothing sticks, consider using a web tool to find your employee.


  1. What role do you want this person to have within the business? You first employee will likely be your longest hire. Is this a person you want manning the front line with you? Even if your business is relatively new, this person will likely stick around for its duration. Be particular and picky when selecting your first employee.