startup hiring

Are You a Startup Hiring Your First Employee?

By April 10, 2020 No Comments

Are You a Startup Hiring Your First Employee? Here’s What You Should Know

For a startup hiring your first employee, it can be thrilling to hire your first employee. And yet, you might also be hit with a case of nerves, as you ponder on the merits of this momentous decision. This is more pertinent in the present situation, as the entire globe battles the COVID-19 pandemic crisis.

As a result, businesses and individual employers are becoming more judicious in their hiring process. It is also fitting that professionals and potential job candidates have responded with increasing diligence in their job-hunting efforts.

Are You a Startup Hiring Your First Employee?

Given this corporate landscape, here are 5 vital considerations to help you make the right choices to grow your business.

1.     Are you really understaffed, or just less organized?

This tough question is a good place to start. New business owners can quickly get overwhelmed as their startup grows and thrives. But before you decide to bring on a new hire, ask yourself if your business really requires a large setup, at this time.

If you can make do with better organization, a better-managed schedule, and simpler (yet effective) processes, you should. This will also help you be better prepared when you eventually hire your first employee.

Are You a Startup Hiring Your First Employee?

2.     Is your business ready?

When you bring a new employee on board, you will want to tap into the initial enthusiasm they bring to their job. For this, consider preparing your business with the following considerations: 

  • Do you have a clearly documented business statement – vision, goals, and processes – so your employee understands your startup?
  • Do you have a repeatable set of tasks that need to be done every week, so you have enough work for the new employee? (At least 20 weekly hours for part-time hire, and 40 weekly hours for a full-time hire.) This should also leave you with time and opportunity to grow your business.
  • Do you have a clear job description of the skills expected from the new employee? Also, have you set measurable goals on their job, so they understand what is expected?

3.     Are your finances ready?

Yes, this is often the top consideration for many a business owner!

Here, a good measure is to check if you can pay out their salary for a year (at least), with your present setup. Also, if you are a startup hiring your first employee, your first few workers should be able to positively contribute to your finances, by impacting either the top line or the bottom line.

If you do not expect your finances to look healthier after your first hire, consider deferring the hire. Perhaps you could outsource a few routine tasks to a consultant or a freelancer for the next few months until your business and finances are ready for more.

4.     Have you sought an accounting and legal counsel?

The new hire comes with fresh responsibilities for your business. This can include:

  • A defined HR policy in line with the state’s rules and regulations.
  • A competitive compensation package to attract the best talent for the new role.
  • A basic pre-employment screening process to verify their identity, and check for any dangerous criminal history. Again, this has to align with the state’s FCRA guidelines.
  • A legally defined process, in case of pre-adverse action (required when acting on dubious background check results) or job termination.

For this, make sure that you have sought the appropriate accounting and legal counsel before you advertise for the role.


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5.     Startup hiring your first employee, can you advertise in your inner circle?

If you have addressed the above questions, you are mostly ready for your first new hire. Congratulations!

Here consider advertising first within your private network – typically including friends, family, and close professional acquaintances – before you decide to look outside. Their well-meaning feedback can often help you acquire a better understanding of your needs, and thus be better prepared for the hire.

Finally, do not forget to spread the word through social media networks, including LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. This will help your business become social-media savvy, while also saving you money unnecessarily spent on mainstream advertising.


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