If you are a Small Business Owner you understand long hours, the stress of trying to do too many things and still have time to spend with family or loved ones. If your business is successful and growing, at some point you will want to hire an employee. This is all part of building your business team.
Hiring employees isn’t as simple as waking up one day, deciding you need an employee and sticking a sign in your window. As with most things you have to plan for it and follow some sort of process. Hiring an employee is an investment not only in your business but also in the person you hire.
If you have decided to hire your very first employee then you have a bit more work to do. You will need to have the following in place before you hire that first person:
- Employer Identification Number (EIN)
- Knowledge of the federal and state regulations associated with being an employer.
- Insurance – Workers Compensation, Unemployment and depending on the state, Disability insurance.
- Access to some very simple tax forms (W-4, W-2, I-9) and know how to use and file them.
- Decision on who will manage your payroll
- While not necessarily required, it is always a good idea to have some type of formal policies that impact your employee and any future hires. The larger your business gets, the more this becomes important.
If you already have those things or have just acquired them it is time to begin your hiring process. Each step below is critical and should be completed
- You have to define the position. For example; you don’t just hire someone to run your cash register. What other things do you want them to do? Will they stock product, greet people as they come in the door, help customers make selections, etc. Make a list of EVERYTHING you expect the person in this position to do.
- Is the position necessary? Once you make your list, is it possible that these things can be done by an existing employee? If this is your first hire, is there truly enough work for this person to do on a regular basis. One to four hours a week most likely will not be attractive to someone looking for work. Can these tasks still be done by you while allowing you to do the other things you must do?
- Review what your competition is doing. Why reinvent the wheel when someone else is doing what you do successfully. I am not suggesting anything unethical, I am simply saying if your competitor down the road has had great success hiring employees it would be worth your time to know what they did that made them successful.
If you’ve done these 3 steps it is time to begin the active recruiting process.
How will you let people know you are hiring? You have to have a plan to advertise your opening. Is it simply a sign in the window, an ad on an Internet Job Board, Craigslist or even a church bulletin? You can list jobs with local Technical Schools and Colleges, you can use the state Job Service or even an old-fashioned newspaper ad. Each of these has different levels of cost and effectiveness. Internet Job Boards can be quite expensive for a small business where places like your State Job Service or Tach Schools can be no cost. Research the best way and then, remembering step 3 above, act.
How do you want to receive applications? Do you even have an application or do you want them all to have a resume? You don’t want to have someone not provide you with necessary information and job history. No cost job applications can be found on the Internet with a simple search using the term “sample job applications”. Or, many office supply stores carry blank job applications. Regardless of how you do it, having an application is important. If you use the Internet, then you will want the information emailed to you. That requires a bit of know-how.
How will you interview? It is common today for the first interview for a position to be over the telephone. It is most often called a phone screen and is used to make certain the person meets your very basic qualifications. After that one or more in-person interviews are scheduled until you find the one you want.
The steps above are very simple and brief. Most often for a small business hiring its first employee, this is all you need. If you are hiring a subsequent employee the process could become more involved. I’ll share interview tips in my next article. Often times hiring officials struggle with them and doing the interview effectively helps ensure that there are no problems in the future.