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  • Kimberly Stone

How to Hire Your First Employee

Is your business growing, and there's just too much to do? You find yourself working long hours and still not keeping up. It may be time to make your first hire. The process of hiring employees has two key stages:

1. Define your employee needs

Long before you start interviewing, think carefully about why you need an employee and how you're going to work with the new hire. Do you need someone to bring new skills that the business is lacking? Or are you looking for someone to share your workload and free up your time?

If you're looking for specific skills, consider whether or not you'd like to use a consultant, a temp agency or another outside source. Remember that hiring an employee will bring up plenty of new issues to take up your time — payroll, employment regulations, tax reporting, benefits, etc. Make sure there's no way to get the help you need without these complications.

Then there are other questions to ask: Will your new employee be part-time or full-time? Will he or she work under your direct supervision, or will you delegate responsibility to your new hire?

Think hard about these issues until you have a very clear idea of what you want from your new employee. Then write it down. Know the skills you need and the role you expect the new person to play.

2. Find the right employee

Once you've defined your needs, how do you find the right person? Not everyone can function well in the fast-changing world of a small, growing business. You and your employee may be working together closely, so good personal chemistry is essential.

There's no magic formula for choosing the right person. Think about possible candidates whose work you know, perhaps employees of your suppliers or other businesses you deal with. Interview thoroughly, check references, and above all, trust your intuition.

Making your first hiring decision is seldom easy. Contact our office if we can be of any assistance with updating your business tax plan as you add to your team.

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