When you first get your business off the ground, you’re wearing a lot of hats: from marketing to coffee making, every little task falls to you. Once work starts to pick up, things get more official. You get a business phone line. Your website is up and running. Then one day, you reach the point where you can’t do everything yourself.

Time to hire your first employee! If you’ve never hired before, the process can be daunting. These tips will help you go about the hiring process like a boss.

Be Sure Your Business is Ready

While you might feel busy enough to justify taking on an employee, that does mean that you can afford one. Before you rush to hire someone, it’s important that you thoroughly assess your finances. Hiring an employee is a big responsibility, especially if your chosen candidate has a family to support. The last thing you want to do is hire them and then have to let them go because of a cash flow crisis.

Know When to Wait

If on closer inspection, you realise that you can’t afford an employee, that doesn’t have to mean you can’t get any help with your workload. Consider a freelancer to cover your overflow or handle specific tasks like accounts or marketing. When you need extra hands but can’t afford them, see this as an opportunity to asses your own workflow and productivity. If you reorganise your day and work out your priorities, you may find that you can use your time better and don’t need an employee after all.

Clearly Define The Role

Many small business owners make the mistake of hiring because of general sense of having too much to do themselves. Once they’ve got someone to help, they don’t know what they want them to do, and in what order. This disorganised approach can lead to a whole lot of time-wasting. Your employee will be unsatisfied with the work, and you’ll probably end up doing everything yourself, just like before. When you decide to hire someone, it’s vital that you understand exactly what it is you want your new employee to do. Describe the role in as much detail as possible, including key performance indicators where possible. To save yourself time in the hiring stage, make sure the job description highlights the key skills you want your candidates to demonstrate.

Finding the Needle in the Haystack

If you’ve cast your net widely and written a killer job description, chances are you’ll have a large pile of CVs to sort through. Reading through them can be fatiguing unless you have a system. Whether you’re looking for key skills or persuasive cover letters, it helps to read with an eye on what matters to you as an employer. If you decide to engage a recruitment specialist like Silven, this first wave of employee screening can be done for you. Once you have your shortlist, it’s vital that you validate your candidates’ skills. A well-planned interview and even a skills-based test are both effective ways to assess whether the best candidate on paper is in fact the right person for the role. 

Whether you need a little extra help, or you’re run off your feet, hiring your first employee is a daunting task. These tips will help you do it right. 

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