Hiring your first employee is a big step. It’ll completely change your working experience and help take your company to the next level. Working with a staff, even a small one, is very different than being a solo entrepreneur.
This first hire is also the beginning of your company’s culture. It sets the tone for what your company will look like years down the line. It’s worth putting some thought into, before you start posing wanted ads. Keep these things in mind as start the hiring process.
Deliberately Plan Your Company Culture
What do you want your company to “feel” like? What kind of environment do you want the office to be?
Many top business minds believe that company culture is the only true defense businesses have against competitors. For example, while competitors can create other search engines, none can replicate Google’s corporate culture. It’s that culture that attracts the world’s top engineering talents and brings out their full potential. It’s one of Google’s top assets.
What kind of culture do you want to cultivate? Write it down, before you hire you first employee.
Attitude, Not Skills
Focus on who they are as a person, rather than the skills they bring to the table. Skills can be trained; while attitude is irreplaceable. Of course, they still must have the qualifying skills to do the job.
A team built from A-grade employees with great attitude will almost always outperform the more qualified team that’s less committed.
Go Through Your Network
Instead of hopping on Craigslist or Monster, go through your network. Look for people on LinkedIn and use your Facebook contacts. Ask other people in your industry if they know anyone who’s looking for work.
Hiring off classified websites is definitely a viable move; yet true winning players are rarely browsing craigslist. They often already have jobs. You need to bring them an even better offer.
Start with a Test Run
If it’s your first time hiring someone, don’t commit to a salary or contract right off the bat. Give yourself a 2 week to 2 month window. Have a “testing period.” If they pass muster during the testing period, then award them the contract.
If you’re hiring a low-skilled employee, avoid long term commitments altogether. Use at-will employment. In a new or growing business, things can change very quickly, so avoid tying yourself down.
Do Your Homework
Call past employers. Many estimates say that as much as 40% of resumes contain false or inflated facts. Do criminal background checks. It costs a little bit of money, but can save you a lot of grief in the long run.