After starting their business, one of the most important decisions an entrepreneur is faced with is hiring employees. For new business owners – especially those without a corporate management background – this can seem intimidating, but it doesn’t need to be.
The first thing you need to do is determine whether or not you need employees. Once you add employees to your business there will be additional accounting and legal requirements to consider – so it isn’t something you want to do on a whim. If you find that you cannot handle the current workload of your business, or if you know that you are ready to expand to the next level – that is the time to bring on employees. If you are not experienced in human resources (HR), though, it might make sense for you to start by bringing on a temp employee from a staffing agency. With a temp employee the staffing agency is technically the employer – so they take care of all the various employment taxes, legal requirements and so on. You essentially are just renting the employee from them. The down side of course, is that you end up paying more for the employee. Not only do you have to pay for their time, but you also have to pay the agency a little extra – that’s how they make money after all.
If you feel comfortable with the idea of bringing on a full time employee, though, and want to jump into the hiring waters, just make sure to meet with your CPA and or attorney to talk through the various legal requirements. It is also possible to use companies like Intuit, PayChex or ADP to take care of all the accounting details for you as well. Some payroll companies even take care of various HR aspects as well – so that could also be something to consider if you need a little extra help.
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The first step is to let the world know you are looking for employees. There are a number of websites that allow you to place ads – some free, and other that can cost a lot of money. Which one is right for your business really depends on the industry and type of worker you are looking for. A good rule of thumb is to check out where your competitors are advertising.
After circulating an ad to recruit new employees, you’re bound to receive a number of responses – so how do you pick the right candidates? There are a few questions you can ask during the interview process to make sure you’re en route to creating a productive team.
- "What interests you about this position?" Although most applicants expect to get this question during an interview, you may be surprised at how many can effectively answer it. Listen to the response to determine just how much the individual knows about the company. This will give you an idea of whether he or she is fit for the position at hand. Entrepreneur magazine also notes that asking this type of question can help you gauge the person’s attitude, knowledge and sense of humor.
- "How do you stand out from other applicants?" Microsoft recommends asking this question in order to get an idea of how confident an applicant is. Keep in mind that an individual who is overly confident has the potential to do more than harm than good to your business – these people may find it difficult to work with others as a team.
- "What are your weaknesses?" Applicants should be willing to own up to their faults, and furthermore, provide you with insight as to how they’ve handled tough situations in the past. This can also help you hone in on areas where they could be molded into better employees.
By asking these questions, you can successfully develop a staff that is composed of hard-working, dedicated individuals who share the same goals for your business or franchise. Also keep in mind that having a group of well-rounded employees will provide you with a support system that you can fall back on in times of need.
Remember that the cost of hiring and training employees can be extremely high – so it is important to pick the right candidate from the very start. Ideally you want a candidate that is interviewing you at the same time you interview them. Be honest about your business, and the work you expect them to take on if they come on board. The last thing you want is to hire a new employee, and then have them leave a month later because the job is nothing like what they were lead to believe when you brought them on board.
Hiring the right employees after starting your business can make or break your business, and should not be taken lightly. Preparing yourself before hand, and then exercising proper due diligence during the hiring process will undoubtedly set you up for success. Once you have your new employee(s) on board, though, you need to nurture them, and bring out the best in them, but that is a topic for another day…