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5 Things To Consider Before Hiring Your First Employee

Hiring your first employee is a monumental step in the lifecycle of your small business. Until this point, you’ve never really believed that your business would take off. You hoped it would happen, but everything has felt so surreal. It started off as a hobby, which you made profitably and transformed into a genuine business idea. But, you managed to handle things entirely on your own, so it always felt very small and contained. 

Now, things are different. Your business has become so successful that you’ve entertained the idea of hiring someone to help you out. They can take some of the work from your shoulders, allowing your business to keep growing. Who knows, they could be the first employee of many!

Nevertheless, before you hire your first employee, there are some pretty important things to consider…

How much will it cost?

Probably the most important consideration, and one that could stop your plans in their tracks. How much is it going to cost to hire this employee? Well, that depends. Firstly, you have to account for the cost of actually advertising and interviewing candidates. Will you do this by yourself? If not, you have to hire an agency, which obviously costs more money – but can result in you finding a better candidate. 

Secondly, you have to figure out how much you’ll pay them. This will relate to the work they’re doing, so do your research to see what the average wage is for their role. Then, you have to take into account the cost of any benefits – not to mention insurance you may need to get. Add everything up, make fairly accurate estimates, and then see if your business can afford to do this. You might discover that it isn’t viable right now, but maybe you can hire someone in a few months or a year if things continue on an upward trajectory. 

How are they going to work?

This kind of coincides with another question; what work will they do for you? If they are your personal assistant, you need to figure out how they are going to work for your company. Will they work with you at all times, in person? Or, can they do all of their work from home? Do you need them to work full-time or part-time? 

So many questions need to be considered here! Moreover, you have other things to think about relating to this. For instance, how do you track employee hours if they work remotely? You need to come to a decision, so at least you understand how this person will conduct their work for you. 

How will you pay them?

Are you going to pay your employee per hour or with a set salary? This is the first thing you need to worry about. Figure out which method is better – it depends on the job they’re doing for you, and how often they work. 

The second thing to worry about is how you will pay them. Okay, this sounds like we’re just repeating the same question. No, what we mean here is how will you pay them in terms of the payment method. Are you going to directly deposit the funds in a bank account? Are you going to send them money via PayPal? Will you pay them in cash? Usually, a bank transfer is the best and most convenient approach for everyone. 

Thirdly, you need to think about the payment frequency. Do you pay them weekly? Every two weeks? Every month? In truth, the best thing to do is ask the employee when you hire them. They are currently your only worker, so you may as well choose a method that suits them the best. Most people will opt for either monthly or every two weeks.

What are you looking for in an employee?

To phrase this another way; what are the key characteristics you want from a worker? This can’t be answered by me or anyone else; it is entirely down to you and what you deem the most valuable employee traits

For some business owners, loyalty is a major trait that can’t be ignored. Experience is something you may want above everything else. Or, there could be a set of soft skills you desperately want someone to have. 

Naturally, what you are looking for in an employee also depends on their role. You may expect less from a personal assistant than you would from an accounting or finance manager. Take that into account, but also think about what you – personally – want to see from an employee. 

Do you actually need them?

Finally, before you go ahead and decide to hunt for your first employee, consider if you actually need them. Is your business in dire need of extra support? If you are drained and can’t keep up with your workload, then you definitely need some help. 

However, have you considered outsourcing? You can outsource many different jobs in your business to other businesses or freelance individuals. The benefit of this is that outsourcing is more cost-effective, so it helps you save money. You can get the help you need without needing to go through the costly hiring process. 

Having said that, it is completely up to you. You might already outsource some services, but you really feel like you need someone to help you in-house with a lot of stuff. If that’s the case, then you can start looking for your new hire. 

It is super critical that you get the hiring process nailed down as well as possible. Ideally, you want this job to be listed for a short period, finding the ideal candidate as quickly as possible. As such, much will depend on your ability to create an eye-catching job advert that’s seen by many. You also need a good way of vetting candidates to find the best few for interviews. It is so so so important that you make the right hiring decision on your first attempt. Hiring, firing, and re-hiring employees is way too expensive and stressful.