If you’re a small business owner, the idea of hiring the right employees may feel both exciting and scary. Before you do anything, take a moment and celebrate that your business has grown enough to need employees—that’s a big step! It means you have the budget and the capacity to grow your team and business on a larger scale.
However, we know that the hiring process can be nerve-wracking because you want to choose people who fit right into the business, and can contribute to its success. So whether you’re hiring your first employee or your tenth, this guide aims to help you onboard the right team members who will be crucial to your expansion.
Be Sure You Need An Employee
Did you know that according to a study done by Toggl, on average, it costs a little over $4,000 to hire a new employee? Another study done by Monster shares that 62% of small business owners have felt that they have made a poor hiring decision before. You don’t want to become part of these statistics.
There are a few questions that you can ask yourself to determine whether hiring an employee is something your business needs and if it’s something worth exploring:
- Do you have tasks that you need to attend to but don’t have the time for?
- If so, how many hours a week would these tasks take? Do the hours add up to be considered a part-time or full-time job?
- Do you need permanent or temporary help?
- Could the job be completed by an independent contractor rather than an employee?
- Can you afford and sustain the costs of hiring an employee?
Set Up An EIN
If hiring an employee is the best action based on your answers above, the next step would be to set up your EIN—a.k.a. Employer Identification Number. This nine-digit number helps the IRS identify your business. It functions like a business social security number. You will use it on all the forms that you fill out whenever you pay your employees. You can apply for one here.
Recommended Reading: 7 Tips For Your New Hire Checklist
The Interview Process
Create A Job Description That Exudes Your Business’ Personality
Writing job descriptions can be tricky—and many small businesses fall short in this area. Far too often, descriptions are vague and hype up the position without any insight as to what the job requires. None of these will be helpful for applicants.
The job description is a chance to show off your brand’s personality while also attracting candidates that match up with your company values. The more you’re able to show who you are, the values you uphold, and the job needed to be done, the more likely you’ll find people who fit with what you are looking for.
Don’t be afraid to talk about how exciting your company is, and even how you’re changing the industry that you’re in. Keep in mind that your applicants are most likely scrolling through hundreds of job postings every single day, so as an employer, you want to stand out and leave an impression.
Recommended Reading: The 8 Best Job Posting Sites For Hiring The Right Employee
Use Social Media
Social media is a tool that can be used for anything and everything—including scouting for employees. Take advantage of LinkedIn. If you find people you want to reach out to, consider doing a social media sweep before messaging them to ensure that there are no inappropriate Facebook shares or offensive tweets. This will save you from headaches down the line.
Watch Out For Red Flags
While this may seem like an obvious piece of advice, we can’t recommend it enough. Some red flags to look out for include:
- A non-professional email address
- Ignoring directions when applying (i.e. not including mandatory information needed in their cover letters)
- Non-professional language or slang
- Grammatical or spelling errors
- Inconsistent or volatile career path
- Arriving late to the interview
- Gaps in employment (however, many people may have reasons for this, so don’t write them off right away)
Pay Attention To Passion
While skills, talent, and experience are relevant, you also want to look into how passionate the employee is about the job, or the industry field your business is in. You can tell whether or not an applicant is enthusiastic by the information they share regarding past experience, if they’ve researched about your business prior to the interview, and how they present themselves when they meet you.
Ask Specific Questions
Many businesses ask blanketed questions such as “tell me about yourself.” While there is nothing wrong with this, it may be a better idea to ask open-ended, unique questions. For example, ask about favorite projects they’ve worked on, previous work environments they’ve delved in, and what they perceive as their strengths or weaknesses. These questions can give you insight as to how they will perform should you decide on selecting them to be part of your company.
Now, if you’re unsure of what questions to ask, consider the following:
- What interests you in working for this company?
- Give me an example (or two) of a time when you assisted in an area that was outside of your normal role.
- What has been your biggest learning experience and why?
- Do you work best as a team or alone?
- How would your coworkers describe you?
Make A Job Offer
Once you have found a candidate that’s a right fit for you and you’ve decided on their pay, it’s time to draft an offer letter. If you can, break the good news over the phone. This allows you to both experience each other’s excitement over the decision. However, it’s also imperative that you follow up with a formal job offer letter to protect you as a business owner should you run into any issues later on.
An offer letter covers their salary, benefits, paid time off, conditions of employment, at-will employment, and a “respond by” date. Once they’ve signed the letter, it implies that they’ve agreed to all of your terms and free themselves of previous employer’s agreements.
Final Thoughts On Hiring The Right Employees
We know this seems like a lot of information, but it gets easier as you go along. Having everything in place before hiring, and following these tips, will help out in onboarding the right candidates for your company so you can grow and succeed.
And don’t forget to check out our tips on how to train employees effectively!