Hiring your first worker: What you might want to know as a small enterprise

Pop the bubbly (or your beverage of alternative) as a result of it’s official—it’s time to rent your first worker. As a small enterprise proprietor, hiring your first worker is a serious milestone. It means you’re rising and now you’ve bought the staff to show it.

However when you’ve by no means introduced on a brand new rent earlier than, the method can really feel a bit daunting. Between the authorized paperwork and onboarding, hiring a brand new worker is a reasonably large enterprise.

Fortunately we’re breaking down every little thing (and we imply every little thing) you might want to know to efficiently rent your first worker. We’ve even put collectively a hiring guidelines to make the hiring course of seamless—and dare we are saying—enjoyable?

Are you prepared to rent your first worker?

Hiring is a giant dedication. So earlier than you formally put up that job posting, you might want to be assured that hiring is the fitting transfer for you. 

Whether or not you’ve been fascinated by it for some time otherwise you’re nonetheless within the early phases of creating that call, there’s rather a lot to contemplate.

So how are you aware when you’re actually prepared to rent your first worker?

Like with most issues, the reply’s not that easy. There’s no one-size-fits-all components right here. However there are some fairly common indicators which you can search for to resolve if it’s time to rent some assist.

1.  You’ve got extra work than you possibly can deal with

Prospects lining as much as work with or purchase from you is often factor. It means you’ve created a status for delivering a wonderful service or product.

However when you’ve created a pipeline of shoppers that’s larger than you possibly can deal with, meaning you find yourself having to show clients away. And most small enterprise house owners love serving their clients, which suggests it may be a troublesome factor to return to phrases with.

However by hiring an worker, you could not must! With some further assist and hours, you possibly can deal with extra clients and even develop what you are promoting.

2.  Lower in customer support

Whether or not you’re a plumber or a photographer, as a service-based enterprise, you might be your product. This implies delivering a top-notch buyer expertise must be a precedence.

As you get busier, you may discover that your response occasions are delayed. Or possibly you’ve even missed appointments totally. 

On the subject of rising companies, this rising ache isn’t exceptional. In case you’re operating at full capability on a regular basis and burning your self out, it’s virtually unimaginable to present each buyer 100%. 

Even the little issues could make or break the shopper expertise. So if customer support is taking successful, it may be an indication that hiring an worker might be the fitting transfer. Whether or not it’s serving to along with your service or supporting from an admin perspective, further workers will help cut back your workload—so you possibly can give attention to delivering a stellar buyer expertise.

3. You’ve hit a plateau 

In case you really feel like what you are promoting is caught and also you’re not rising, there’s an opportunity you’ve hit a plateau. Companies plateau for a lot of causes. Hiring an worker may be the trick to kickstarting what you are promoting’s subsequent stage of development.

Increasing your staff means you possibly can tackle extra clients or lastly sort out that activity that’s been sitting in your to-do record for months. All issues that can enable you begin rising once more.

3. You’ll be able to’t take day without work

Small enterprise house owners are bold. And since they love their jobs, they generally tend to chew off a bit greater than they’ll chew. However nobody must be working 24/7.

If work is piling as much as the purpose the place you’re by no means capable of step away, it may be time to consider placing up that  “Assist Needed” signal.

Breaks are crucial for sustaining a wholesome work-life steadiness. While you’re overworked, it displays in your work high quality and may affect how profitable what you are promoting is. 

Hiring a brand new worker may give you some further leeway to take day without work—whether or not it’s a weekend away or a week-long trip

What to know earlier than hiring your first worker

So, you’ve determined hiring an worker is the fitting transfer. What’s subsequent?

Step one is familiarizing your self along with your newfound duties. It’s type of like onboarding for a brand new job, besides your new function is being an employer.

Right here’s a rundown of some issues you must contemplate earlier than hopping on the hiring prepare.

1. Overview your native labor legal guidelines

Being an employer isn’t a free-for-all. There are some fairly strict guidelines it’s a must to comply with. 

On the subject of labor legal guidelines, it’s greatest to take a proactive method and collect info prematurely. You don’t need to end up in scorching water since you missed one thing alongside the way in which.

And belief us, nothing ruins the joy of hiring a brand new worker like an surprising name from the Division of Labor.

Let’s check out among the authorized stuff that you simply want to concentrate on earlier than you possibly can formally name your self an employer.

State by state: As a result of labor regulation compliance isn’t sophisticated sufficient, each US state has its personal guidelines round minimal wage, PTO, and extra. Right here’s a useful information to state labor legal guidelines for each area within the US, so you possibly can navigate the murky waters of employment regulation with ease.

2. Decide your labor prices

Many new employers are stunned to study that hiring an worker prices extra than simply their hourly price. Earlier than you undergo the hiring course of, be sure to perceive all of the related labor prices. In any other case, you may end up with an worker which you can’t afford.

Some labor prices you’ll need to contemplate embody (however aren’t restricted to):

  • Worker hourly wages and wage
  • Payroll taxes and insurance coverage
  • Worker advantages
  • Hiring, onboarding, and coaching

That is additionally time to guage how a lot you possibly can afford to pay your new worker.

3. Arrange a payroll course of

While you rent an worker, you’re committing to paying them precisely and on time. And when you’ve spoken to different enterprise house owners, that operating payroll is usually a little bit of a ache. 

One of the best ways to keep away from the payday scaries? Arrange a normal payroll course of earlier than you rent your first worker. 

This fashion, you possibly can rent with confidence, realizing you’ll by no means miss a payday.

Do you know? In some states, like California, you possibly can face hefty fines for paying workers late. With an automated payroll software program like Homebase, we’ll enable you calculate every little thing from wages to taxes, so you possibly can spend extra time onboarding your new rent and fewer time determining the way to pay them.

How you can begin hiring your first worker

As the children prefer to say today, right here’s the place issues begin to get actual. You’re formally prepared to start out the hiring course of and discover your excellent candidate.

However hiring is extra than simply placing up a “Assist Needed” signal and hiring the primary one that walks within the door. In keeping with Glassdoor, the common value of hiring an worker is over $4,000. So it’s actually value doing proper the primary time.

Let’s break down the hiring course of step-by-step.

1. Outline the function and tasks 

That is the place you propose out precisely who it’s that you simply’re on the lookout for and what they’ll be doing day-to-day. 

As you assume via the function, some questions you’ll need to reply embody:

  • What is going to the worker be liable for?
  • Are there any secondary tasks?
  • What expertise do they should carry out the function?
  • What qualities or gentle expertise ought to the perfect candidate possess?
  • What’s the most effective job title for the function?

Your wants must be particular to your trade. For instance, when you’re a hairdresser on the lookout for a receptionist, you may want somebody who has expertise working with scheduling and customer support. However when you’re a monetary providers supplier on the lookout for an affiliate, you may want somebody who’s skilled within the monetary trade and has a level in finance.

Wage wager: Relying on who you’re making an attempt to rent, minimal wage may not lower it. Expert employees require extra aggressive wages. Performing some aggressive analysis will help you slim down a pay vary that can entice the most effective candidates.

2. Write a job description

Subsequent, you’ll need to take what you’ve outlined in step one and switch it right into a job description. That is the doc that can define the job necessities, tasks, and qualities required. So candidates can inform in the event that they’re the fitting match for the job.

On the flip aspect, a job description must also inform potential candidates why they need to be just right for you. Consider it like an advert. Besides, you’re the product and your audience is the proper candidate that checks most or your entire packing containers. 

72% of workers need to find out about a firm’s tradition earlier than they apply to a job. So when writing a job description, spotlight your organization values and what a typical day may appear to be working for you. These particulars can play an enormous function in serving to you discover the most effective expertise.

However when you’ve by no means written a job description earlier than, don’t sweat it. Homebase has a library of pre-written, custom-made job descriptions that can enable you stand out from the group.

3. Fill your pipeline with ideally suited candidates

Submit your job on free job posting websites to start out gathering purposes. Sometimes you’ll need to accumulate a resume and canopy letter, however you may additionally need to embody an employment software kind.

Phrase of mouth can go a good distance, so you’ll want to share the job description along with your community as nicely. Relying on the function, you may additionally need to accumulate walk-in and referral candidates as nicely.

In case you need assistance sooner somewhat than later, giving your job posting a paid enhance will help you attain extra candidates quicker.

4. Display your candidates

Begin reviewing purposes as they arrive in. If any candidates pique your curiosity, ensure to ask them for an interview.

On the subject of unsuccessful candidates, sending a easy thanks observe could make a huge impact in your employer model. You by no means know whenever you’ll want to rent extra workers. Simply because a candidate may not be a sure as we speak, doesn’t imply they received’t be an incredible match for one more function down the road.

5. Arrange interviews

Interviews are whenever you get to satisfy your candidate in particular person or just about. It permits you to study extra about their expertise and see in the event that they’re the fitting match for the job.

You may begin with a telephone display to get an preliminary really feel for who they’re. However as you progress via the interview stage, you’ll need to ask interview questions that present perception into their expertise, background, and different behavioral traits.

Some fashionable interview questions embody:

  • Why are you curious about this function?
  • Are you able to inform me about your expertise in the sort of function?
  • What are your brief and long-term profession targets?
  • How did you hear concerning the function?

Whereas curiosity can get the most effective of you, keep in mind that there are questions which you can and can’t ask throughout an interview. In truth, some questions are towards the regulation. 

As a normal rule of thumb, questions that might be grounds for discrimination must be off the desk. For instance, you can’t ask for a candidate’s particular age however you can ask in the event that they meet the age necessities for the function.

Interview tip: It’s virtually unimaginable to get to know somebody in a single sitting. So that you’ll often interview a candidate greater than as soon as. However don’t go overboard—sticking to 2 to 3 interviews is often a secure good wager.

You don’t need to grow to be an interview horror story earlier than you’ve even employed your first worker. 

6. Examine background and references

Discovered a candidate that you simply love? Implausible! However earlier than you prolong a proposal, do your due diligence by conducting a background or reference test. This easy step helps make sure the particular person you need to rent is the fitting match.

Background checks are usually a deep dive into an applicant’s id, prison historical past, and credit score historical past. It helps to ensure the particular person is who they are saying they’re. 

Underneath the Truthful Credit score Reporting Act (FCRA), when you plan to run a background test on an applicant, you could inform them prematurely and get consent. Legal guidelines round background checks differ state by state, so ensure to test what the necessities are in your space.

Alternatively, a reference test is extra tailor-made to an worker’s earlier skilled expertise. Working a reference test helps confirm a candidate’s earlier employment and offers you a way of efficiency. In case your gig is entry-level, you may contemplate private references in lieu {of professional} ones.

7. Make a proposal

In case you’ve made it this far—kudos! As a result of hiring isn’t a straightforward feat.

However now you’re rewarded with some of the thrilling steps within the course of. You get to make somebody’s day with a job provide!

You’ll be able to provide the job verbally over the telephone or in particular person. However ensure to supply a proper provide of employment as nicely. This can be a doc that clearly outlines the phrases of your provide so the candidate is aware of what they’re getting themselves into. Presents of employment often embody:

  • Job title
  • Position and tasks
  • Begin date
  • Working hours
  • Hourly wage or wage
  • Profit particulars
  • Different phrases of employment 

When you make a proposal, ensure to let the candidate know when you might want to hear again. We all know you’re anxious to get a solution ASAP, but it surely’s greatest to present them just a few days to assume it via. It’s a giant determination in any case!

8. Ship over any crucial contracts and paperwork

Now that you’ve got an accepted job provide, take a second to rejoice! However not too lengthy, as a result of you will have some authorized stuff to care for.

An important piece is the employment contract. This can be a formal, authorized doc that each you and the worker signal. It outlines all of the phrases of their employment, together with issues round compensation, advantages, probation, termination, and rather more. Remember that your employment contract doesn’t supersede worker rights, so ensure your contract is compliant with labor legal guidelines.

How you can successfully onboard your first worker

It would really feel like a lifetime in the past whenever you first began the hiring course of. Don’t fear, that’s completely regular.

The typical time to fill a job within the US is 26 days. And when you’re on the lookout for somebody with a extra particular ability set, it may take even longer.

However now that you simply and your new rent have each signed on the dotted line, that’s all previously, as a result of it’s formally time for his or her first day. And meaning onboarding!

Worker onboarding is the method of getting your new rent acquainted with what you are promoting, their function, and their tasks. A strong onboarding course of ought to embody greater than directions for the way to use the finicky espresso maker. (Though you must undoubtedly present them how to try this too!)

Efficient onboarding performs an enormous function in long-term worker success and retention. But, solely 43 % of workers report an onboarding expertise that was greater than a single day of orientation and fundamental advantages info. 

So right here’s your signal to make onboarding a precedence, even when it’s your first worker.

1. Begin with a heat welcome

The primary day at any new job may be overwhelming. However much more so if that you simply’re the primary worker at an organization.

Earlier than you get into all of the nitty gritty onboarding particulars, begin by making your worker really feel welcome. It’s necessary to create an incredible worker expertise ranging from day one. In spite of everything, you’re going to be spending loads of time with them.

A welcome letter and new rent packet are an incredible place to start out. You may even need to take your new rent out for lunch or espresso, so you may get to know one another higher. Even a present card or welcome basket can go a good distance in humanizing the onboarding course of.

2. Deal with the paperwork

Paperwork is usually a ache but it surely’s an necessary a part of onboarding your new worker. Put aside a while on their first day to fill out and sort out any new rent paperwork. Sometimes, onboarding paperwork seems to be like:

  • Tax varieties so you possibly can deduct the fitting payroll taxes, together with a Type W-4 and Type I-9
  • Direct deposit or cost info
  • Medical insurance and profit particulars

Make certain all this info is saved securely so their private particulars are protected. You’ll additionally need to hold them organized and available in case you’re ever audited.

Get a head begin: Make new rent paperwork a breeze by sending a digital welcome packet to your new worker earlier than their first day. Acquire their info and have them e-sign direct deposit, W-4, W-9, and I-9 varieties. Homebase will retailer the signed paperwork securely within the cloud, so that you don’t have to look via these previous submitting cupboards ever once more.

3. Set job expectations

Primarily based on the hiring course of, your worker most likely has some thought of what to anticipate. However you possibly can’t assume that they’ll know every little thing.

From HR insurance policies to efficiency metrics, take the time to set expectations round their duties and dealing expertise. You don’t need to throw an excessive amount of at them straight away, but it surely’s necessary they’ve every little thing they should do their job nicely.

It’s often value drafting your worker handbook and insurance policies earlier than your new rent’s first day. It’s a giant undertaking, however we assure your new worker will thanks for it. Clear pointers and insurance policies can cut back confusion and hold everybody on the identical web page from the get-go. 

4. Put a coaching and growth plan in place

It’s additionally useful to set expectations round their onboarding and coaching. Your new rent is about to soak up loads of info over the subsequent few days and weeks. So it may be useful to know when and what they’ll be studying alongside the way in which. 

A coaching and onboarding schedule can present some construction to assist new hires navigate their new office. Even scheduling out time for the fundamentals, like lunch breaks and documentation evaluation, may give them the arrogance they want throughout these first few weeks.

Frightened you may miss one thing? An onboarding guidelines is one other device that you should use to test off all of the packing containers in the course of the onboarding course of.

30-60-90: Onboarding isn’t a one-day or perhaps a one-week affair. It could take so long as three months to get a brand new rent efficiently acclimated to their new function. 

A 30-60-90 day plan outlines targets and expectations for the primary 30, 60, and 90 days. Work collectively along with your new rent to set targets and milestones, and monitor your progress alongside the way in which.

5. Acquire suggestions

Hiring and onboarding your first worker is a big milestone. The reality is that it’s unlikely you’ll nail completely in your first attempt. And that’s okay.

The excellent news? Your corporation goes to scale, so that you’ll probably get to do it once more.

As soon as your first worker begins to really feel settled, contemplate asking for candid suggestions on their hiring and onboarding expertise. Extra probably than not, they’ll be joyful to supply suggestions that will help you finesse your hiring and onboarding processes sooner or later.

6. Arrange time for a evaluation and suggestions

The suggestions loop goes each methods. Through the first few weeks and months on the job, take the time to supply constructive suggestions to your new rent. 

Most workers need to know the way they’ll enhance and make a significant affect at work.

  • What are they doing nicely?
  • What are the areas of enchancment?
  • What can they anticipate going ahead?

You don’t have to attend till a formal efficiency evaluation to supply worker suggestions—good or dangerous. In truth, it’s one thing you have to be doing year-round to indicate your worker appreciation and set them up for achievement.

With that in thoughts, the onboarding interval remains to be an ideal time to ensure your worker is heading in the right direction. It’s value setting time apart for extra detailed suggestions conversations within the first few weeks. A 90-day evaluation is fairly normal, since many roles include a 90-day probationary interval. 

Your full guidelines for hiring your first worker

The method for hiring your first worker may be… rather a lot. However we promise that when you get the hold of it, it’s simpler than you may assume. 

To assist, we’ve rounded up an easy-to-reference hiring guidelines. It’s bought all of the important steps and duties that you simply’ll must successfully rent and onboard your first worker.


  • Register in your Worker Identification Quantity with the IRS
  • Register for state unemployment (SUTA) taxes
  • Decide the hourly price or wage
  • Determine what worker advantages you’ll provide
  • Arrange a payroll course of


  • Create a job description
  • Submit your job on related job boards
  • Arrange interviews
  • Run references and a background test
  • Ship a proposal of employment


  • Signal and accumulate an employment contract
  • Put together a welcome reward or exercise
  • Acquire worker info, together with:
    • Most well-liked title and speak to info
    • Emergency contact info
    • Direct deposit or payroll cost info
  • Acquire tax varieties, together with:
    • Type W-4 (or W9 for contractors)
    • Type I-9S
    • State tax withholding varieties the place relevant
  • Report your new rent to the state
  • Register new rent for any medical insurance or profit applications
  • Create a coaching and onboarding plan 
  • Arrange a time for efficiency evaluations and suggestions
  • Collect suggestions on the onboarding course of

This useful guidelines is ideal for many small service-driven companies. However in fact, each enterprise is exclusive, so you could must customise it to satisfy your wants.

Trouble-free hiring and onboarding.

All of the instruments you might want to rent your first worker quick—free job put up templates, interview scheduling, new rent welcome packets, and extra. Strive Homebase Hiring

Hiring your first worker FAQs 

As a small enterprise, how are you aware when you’re prepared to rent your first worker?

Listed here are just a few indicators that you simply’re prepared to rent your first worker as a small enterprise:

  • You want extra help to be able to unlock the subsequent stage of development
  • You’re unable to satisfy buyer expectations and ship an incredible buyer expertise
  • You’re struggling to take day without work work
  • Your buyer demand is greater than you possibly can deal with

Each enterprise is exclusive, so the fitting time to rent your first worker will rely in your particular wants.

What qualities must you search for when hiring an worker? 

The qualities you must search for when hiring an worker must be tailor-made to your particular job. Nonetheless, some frequent traits you may need to hold a watch out for embody:

  • Enthusiasm
  • Potential
  • Willingness to study
  • Tradition match
  • Communication expertise
  • Professionalism

How a lot does it value to rent your first worker?

The common value of hiring an worker is over $4,000. 

Nonetheless, the whole value to rent your first worker can go up or down, relying on components like required expertise, compensation package deal, and trade. Usually, entry-level roles value much less to fill than these which can be extra senior and specialised.

What are the steps to hiring your first worker?

The steps for hiring your first worker embody:

  1. Writing a job description
  2. Posting and selling your job 
  3. Reviewing and screening purposes
  4. Interviewing potential candidates
  5. Conducting background and reference checks
  6. Making a proposal and signing employment contracts
  7. Onboarding your new rent

Is there a guidelines for hiring your first worker?

You wager! We’ve bought the final word guidelines for hiring your first worker that features every little thing you might want to know all through the method. It covers every little thing from pre-hire prep work, hiring ideas, and an onboarding to-do record.

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