Hiring your first employee can be a complicated, but also an exciting process. Before posting your first job listing, keep in mind what legal and social obligations you will have for your growing business.
Know your legal requirements. Be prepared to collect the documents and information you will need for hired employees. An Employer Identification Number (EIN) is used to report taxes and other documents to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). You can get an EIN by filing IRS Form SS-4. Employees will need to fill out new hire forms like the W-4 form and I-9 form that need to be submitted to the IRS. A W-4 indicates the amount of tax an employer must withhold from an employee’s paycheck. Employers will also have to fill out a W-2 at the end of each year. A W-2 reports how much an employer paid in wages and withheld in taxes. There are more requirements employers must fulfill when they are hiring workers for the first time. More legal information for employers can be found at the Small Business Administration’s site at www.sba.gov.
Write an effective job description. A job description should be somewhat flexible. Employers should try to have positions that give opportunities for employees to grow in the businesses. Inflexible jobs could lead employees to avoid learning new tasks and developing their skills. You risk creating boredom and complacency. The job description should be detailed. An ideal job description communicates job specifics, such as required skills, duties, and its relationship to other roles in the company.
Regarding the job listing (employment ad) – keep the language in present tense and make it concise.
Look for productive characteristics. Try to find employees who share your level of commitment and work ethic. In the interview process, effective employees can be found by taking character into consideration, rather than hiring based on skills alone. While opinions vary as to what kind of person makes an ideal employee, some common traits many employers look for include dependability, flexibility, integrity, and optimism. The ability to learn things quickly is a desirable trait as well.
Ask the right questions. Make sure to avoid asking any questions that relate to race, color, national origin, religion, sex, age or disability. Write up a list of questions prior to interviewing any candidates so that it is easier to compare answers. Helpful questions can be determined by figuring out what kind of traits you would like to fill the job. Ask a candidate about their experiences with working on a team. Do call references, and ask about the employee’s job attendance and their ability to meet deadlines and goals.
Have a rating system. There are a lot of people looking for jobs and sometimes it can be daunting to keep track of it all! You may interview a high number of candidates and they will start blurring together in your mind. Develop some kind of rating system so that you can keep track of every prospective employee. This will help you remember early interviews and will keep your decision process organized.
Hiring employees is a determining factor in what kind of direction your business will take. Those first few hires are critical. Take your time in interviewing them and contacting references. Do follow-up phone interviews if necessary. Regardless of your industry, it is always best to look for individuals who will be passionate and dedicated to your company’s goals.