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5 Tips on Hiring Your First Employee

Posted On
Stephanie Davis

There will likely come a time in your small business journey when you are ready to hire employees.

A woman holding a sign that says hiring.

Hiring can be intimidating and overwhelming, especially if it’s the first time you are going through the process. The good news is, with the right planning in place, hiring can be a breeze and only improve each time you do hire. When hiring your first employee, keeps these five tips in mind. 

1. Figure out what you need

As a small business owner, you probably need a little help with a lot of things — from answering the phone to running an advertising campaign to managing your business while you’re out of the office. While it’d be great to have one person who can manage everything, you can’t put out a job description expecting to hire a jack-of-all-trades. Pin down a few key tasks you are expecting a person to do. If you are looking for extra help with your social media and marketing efforts, create a job description for that. If you’re looking for help packing and shipping boxes, maybe you make the description for a part-time worker who could help with a variety of administrative type tasks. Knowing exactly what type of role you are looking to fill makes it easier for both you and your prospective employees.

2. Actively recruit, and don't settle

If you post the position on a national job Web site and wait for the right applicant, you are probably going to end up disappointed. Even the best of times in the job market, finding the right employee can take time, and require you to do some looking. Skim through the posted resumes on career sites like CareerBuilder and LinkedIn. Reach out for referrals from other small businesses in your area or industry. You can also consider working with a recruiting agency and relying on them to send applicants your way. While you want to hire quickly, there are risks to hiring the wrong person just so you have the job filled, so take your time and be patient during the process.  

3. Use pre-employment screening

Unfortunately, there is a tendency for people to lie on resumes and in interviews so that they can get the job. As a small business owner, you have a lot at stake when hiring for your small business, and hiring the wrong person can hurt in many ways. Pre-employment screening may seem like it’s only for larger companies, but it’s also smart for small businesses to use as well. A background check can cost less than $25 and lead to more peace of mind and protection for you in the long run. At SurePayroll, we offer pre-employment screening tests like online background checks, behavioral assessments, and skills tests. While following your gut is crucial to a degree when hiring, having the hard evidence of screening tests can also be extremely beneficial.

4. Don't forget the legal steps 

Hiring a new employee leads to a lot of legal specifics you will be required to follow. For example, there are certain questions you won’t be able to ask during the interview, and rules you have to follow in terms of hiring fairly based on disabilities, veteran status, gender, and ethnicity. Once you make the offer official, you’ll be responsible for the legalities in ensuring your employees are paid correctly, and that as an employer you are withholding the proper taxes from their paycheck. To make sure you're on track, follow this checklist provided by

5. Prepare a few policies

With only one employee, you don't need to write a 50-page employee handbook complete with a dress code and IT policy. But you should at least establish the number of vacation and sick days you'll offer and the employee's schedule, including any flexibility with working from home. Any other rules you want the employee to follow should be understood during the first interview so your new employee knows what to expect.

Bottom Line

Hiring your first employee can be overwhelming, but with a little planning in place you can create a smooth process to follow for all future hirings. While these are all important tips to keep in mind the bottom line to hiring is simple: have a plan, be excited, and have an open mind throughout the process.

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This website contains articles posted for informational and educational value. SurePayroll is not responsible for information contained within any of these materials. Any opinions expressed within materials are not necessarily the opinion of, or supported by, SurePayroll. The information in these materials should not be considered legal or accounting advice, and it should not substitute for legal, accounting, and other professional advice where the facts and circumstances warrant. If you require legal or accounting advice or need other professional assistance, you should always consult your licensed attorney, accountant or other tax professional to discuss your particular facts, circumstances and business needs.