As your business starts to grow and more clients/customers turn to you, the amount of work will become unbearable. It’s at this point you’ll probably start to consider finding help. However, there’s a lot you’ll need to keep in mind as an entrepreneur before hiring your first employee.
It may seem no different than hiring employees to a huge company that already has thousands of employees, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. With so many fewer people working at the company, there’s a much smaller margin for error. That’s why it’s imperative to find the best match. We’ll help you find the best employee with a few tips to consider when hiring for the first time.
Can You Support New Employees?
Let’s start with the most important question: can your business support more employees. Most of the money a company makes should go back into the business. That means you need to make enough money to support an employee’s salary and every other cost that goes into having more people at your company.
If you hire too soon, you could end up with a huge problem on your hands. If too much of your money goes into their salary, you can’t put more money into improving your company’s products/services. If more money isn’t going into the business, it can’t improve. Unless you’re in a very young, less competitive industry, your competitors are going to pass you up very quickly.
Make Sure You Offer Fair Salaries
We’re absolutely not advocating that you short change your potential employees with low wages. That’s not the way to motivate someone to go above and beyond for your company. In fact, if you don’t offer a competitive wage, no one will accept offers at your company. Most people with skills and experience won’t be looking for an entry level salary.
Not only do you need to worry about actual money that you pay your employees, but you need to consider their benefits. Many companies offer health, vision, dental and life insurance. If you don’t offer any of these, most people will walk away from the offer.
Most people also want retirement options. Having a 401k program so your employees can prepare for their retirement is crucial to drawing top end talent. Another huge benefit that many companies are doing is offering a 401k match program. That means the company matches what the employee puts into their 401k up to a certain percent. While this isn’t necessary, it’s important to note that many of your large competitors are offering it.
Finally, you need to consider PTO and work from home options. After pay, vacation days are typically the next thing people look at when receiving an offer. A work-life balance is very important to many employees. While a startup company doesn’t typically have the ability to have 25%-50% of its workforce out on vacation, it’s something you may want to offer. 2-4 weeks is pretty commonly offered from medium to large companies.
Hire the Best (Both Skill and Personality)
We’re sure you read the heading and thought, “well of course you should hire the best”, but there’s more to it than that. Sometimes the best isn’t the person with the most experience, but it’s the person with the best specialised skills. You want someone who is an expert at what they do. Many times, especially with digital and tech jobs, someone with a lot of experience could be stuck in there ways. You need to dig deeper into your interviewees current skill set. How specialized are they in the specific skill set you’re hiring for?
You also can’t focus solely on skill. Personality plays a huge role when hiring a new employee. If they don’t mesh well with you or your business model, they’re not going to fit well. An interview is typically short (30 minutes to 2 hours). If you’re seeing problems now, that’s a clear red flag that this isn’t the employee for you.
Make it Clear to the Applicant What You’re Looking For
When you’re interviewing someone, you want to know more about them and how well they fit with your company. However, they’re interviewing you just as much. They want to feel comfortable working for your company.
It’s very important that you are very clear for the type of employee you’re looking to hire, the culture of your company, the amount of growth you expect over time and your goals moving forward. Lying about any of these questions could cause you to hire an employee that doesn’t fit well with your company. The last thing you want is to spend time interviewing someone, hiring them and training them only for them to leave a few months later.
They Need to Share Your Passion
The goal when finding an employee is to find someone who will grow with your company. Obviously, there inclusion will take work off your plate and give you more time to find more clients/customers. If they do their job well, your company will grow and they can get promotions and raises.
However, none of this will happen if they don’t share your passion. It should go without saying that startups and small companies require buy in from all their employees. It’s not going to be a 9-5, 40 hour per week job. Some weeks may be slow, but other you may need to put in 70 hours. Having someone who shares your passion for the industry and the company’s growth is going to make a huge difference in the long run.
Take All Precautions to Get the Best Employee
It’s exciting to find another passionate person to work with you and further build your company. They’ll probably bring a ton of amazing ideas to the table. However, it’s not all fun and games. You need to protect yourself and your company from poor employees finding their way into your company, especially while its young.
What can you do to ensure you’re getting the best employee? You just can’t learn everything is a 2 hour meeting with specialized questions. There are a few things you need to do in addition to the interview to ensure you’re finding the right person for your company.
Test for Drugs
It’s very obvious but you need to make sure that all people pass a drug test before any job offer is valid. The last thing you want to find out is that your new employee has a drug problem that can affect their work.
A little less obvious than the drug test is having all employees fill out a personality screening. These are tests that are scary accurate when it comes to defining a person’s strengths, weaknesses and characteristics. This gives you an idea before you even have an interview if this is a person that’s going to work for you.
While these are typically pretty accurate, it’s not the law. If the potential employee isn’t extreme in any direction, that’s typically a good sign. Really, a personality screen is more of a guide to understand how someone things and if there are any red flags.
Interview Multiple Applicants
Never, ever should you settle on an employee after one interview. You want to make sure you have multiple applicants come and interview each person several times. This helps you get a better idea of the personality over multiple dates. It also allows you to compare multiple people to one another.
Hiring the Best Employees is the Key to Have a Successful Business
The hiring process is way more important than most people think, especially as an entrepreneur. Finding someone who gels well with the company, shares your passion and has an understanding of the industry is more important than words can express. However, with the tips from above, you’ll be able to find the perfect employee for your company.