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9 Tips for Hiring your First Employee

Hiring your first employees can be an exciting move for your business, but getting new hires on board to learn the ropes and support you can be an intense experience. Regardless of whether you are a brand new start-up hiring ready for opening day or if you are already established and need staff to support your growth and development, getting your first hires can make all the difference.

But how do you get it right the first time, and what do you need to know?

Top Tips for Hiring Your First Employees

It’s not a case of putting out a basic job advert asking for people to work with you; the job market is highly competitive, and the landscape has changed when it comes to what employees want from their employers too. To make your first foray into employing people successful, you need to make sure you are following some guidelines to help avoid some of the more common mistakes.

Establish A Need

Firstly, you need to establish a need for employees. What do you need help with, what can you expect them to do, and what benefits can employees bring to your company at that time?

Bringing employees on board isn’t something you should do on a whim, and while in some circumstances you cannot work without employees, e.g., opening retail stores, gyms, or going into the food and beverage industry, not everyone needs employees at first or even at all. So before you run full steam ahead with your hiring process, establish the reason for hiring and what duties they will perform.

Consider Freelancing First

Starting off with freelancing. While not technically hiring a full-time employee, working with freelancers can give you a bit of breathing space to see what it would be like having someone working for you carrying out specific tasks.

It can help you to see what work is realistically possible in a set amount of time so you can ascertain the level of staffing you need and how it would benefit you.

Think Long Term, Not Right Now

The first employee, or employees, likely won’t be the last, but you also want them to last, too. Think of what you’re trying to achieve with your business and where you are headed.

How you structure your business for growth, the company culture you will be creating, and the benefits you offer all factor into how successfully you will retain your employees. If you don’t want to offer the right packages or incentives, then you might not be able to convince people to join you or to stay the distance. So think about your goals for the long term and then look at what you can offer those willing to work for you.

Flexible or Remote Working

Remote working isn’t for every industry. You cannot run a restaurant or bar with remote employees, but you can look at flexible working patterns incorporating different types of job shifts. The more flexible you are with your shift patterns, the more people will be interested in working for you. Suppose you are able to offer remote working. In that case, you have the ability to tap into a wider pool of talent to help you access those who would benefit your company but don’t live in the vicinity of your location.

Think about what you’re able to offer to help you attract the right people and those who can push you in the right direction.

Determine Your Workplace Culture

Your workplace culture will dictate the type of people that will want to work for you. In the short term, this might limit your talent pool, but in the long run, it can be more beneficial.

Do you want to foster a culture of creativity where people can express themselves, bounce ideas off each other, and collaborate freely, or do you want more of a hustle culture where people work to strict deadlines, have daily targets to hit, and need to be on the grind even in their sleep? Once you know the answer to this question, you can then pinpoint those applicants who would be a good fit.

Create An Effective Job Description

An effective job description is critical to getting you the employee you need. In most cases, the job description will be their first impression of your company. You need to make sure your description is an accurate depiction of your company and represents who you are and what you are.

The advert needs to go into detail about what the job role entails, the need within the company for the job role, and what they can expect. The more information, the better, and the way you word your description is also essential.

For example, if you’re hiring for an HR manager, for example, your description will be completely different than if you’re looking for fun and friendly wait staff for your new ice cream parlor. Think about the type of people you want to attract and the type of content they will connect with, and craft your job ad based on this.

Post on Multiple Outlets

It can be massively beneficial for you to post your advert on as many relevant job sites as you can.

If you are a niche business try to find a niche job board, e.g., if you’re looking for pediatric nurses for a new pediatrician office you are opening up, find nursing job boards, or if you need an insurance agent, find job boards for the type of agent you need be it for car insurance, life insurance, business insurance and so on. The more people are exposed to your ad, the more likely you are to find the best applications to fill the position or positions.

Have Applicants Demonstrate Suitability

What this means is that you shouldn’t just rely on the interview questions themselves, as many people can bluff their way through the standard questions. But if you require specialist skills, then get them to demonstrate their abilities.

You can cut through those who are telling you what you want to hear and find the people who are actually qualified for the role. Of course, this is not always suitable for every industry.

Still, arranging trial days, demonstration sessions within the interview, or role-play scenarios can help you to get a grip on how well they do what they say they can do and be confident they’re the right fit for you.

Design an Onboarding Process

It’s not enough to show someone to their desk or workstation; you need to put together a complete onboarding package that helps your new hires learn more about the company, the culture, and all those little bits they need to know, such as where the break rooms are, the closest place to get lunch, who to call if they experience issues and so on.

This can be in the form of short training modules they access on-site or digitally that they can keep referring back to, whatever works for you. Onboarding also needs to cover their job role, how the company works, your company ethics, and the standards they need to adhere to when working and representing the company.

All of these points can help you to tweak your hiring process and ensure that you make a success of your first employee experience. Take your time, and think carefully about the type of image your company wants to portray, the type of people you want to attract, and exactly why you need people working for you. From here, you can create the perfect job description, which can help you whittle down the applicants and hire the right people.

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