Most entrepreneurs start as solopreneurs.
They don’t have the money to hire a team, so they do everything themselves — all at once, they are the assistant, the marketer, the salesperson, the acquisitions manager, and the CEO.
Their business lives and breathes because of them.
But eventually, their business grows and it requires the attention of more than one person.
(Also, it’s just super exhausting to be a one-man show)
So the solopreneur hires an employee and officially becomes an entrepreneur.
But what does that process look like? If you’ve never hired an employee before, then doing so might seem more daunting than jumping out of a plane from 10,000 feet.
Don’t worry — it’s not as tough as you think. Here are 4 things you need to know before you make your first hire!
1. Create a Crystal Clear Job Description
The first step is to create a crystal clear job description.
What do you want this person to do on a day-to-day basis? What qualifications should they have? What is their compensation? How many hours will they be working every week? What are their weekly or daily to-dos? Are you going to offer them benefits?
The clearer and simpler this job description is, the better chance of success you and your new employee have.
After all, no one likes working at a job with ill-defined responsibilities… and no sane person likes managing that either.
So keep it simple. Keep it clear.
2. Create a Basic Employee Handbook
This probably wasn’t on your list of things to do before hiring your first employee.
But it’s actually really important.
Creating a simple — and I mean simple; even a 2-page Word doc will suffice! — employee handbook that outlines specific business policies will save you and your employees a lot of future frustration.
(Plus, if you need to fire someone down the road, you can reference the fact that they broke a clear-cut company policy)
Here are a few things to include in your first draft…
- When can employees request time off?
- What is considered as being late to a shift?
- What are your expectations for how they will treat other people (clients and coworkers)?
- How are they expected to handle confidential information?
- When are breaks given?
- How are conflicts resolved?
This document will expand as you learn more about managing employees. But including those bullet points should get you off to a good start.
Oh — and always make sure to tell your employees when the employee handbook has been updated with new policies!
3. Post The Job
Now that you have a job description and a basic employee handbook, it’s time to post your job!
We like to use Wizehire, which is a tool that will post your job listing on all of the most important sites for a reasonable fee.
You can also show your job listing on social media and put up posters in your local community. There are a lot of different ways to get your job in front of the market — do what works best for you.
4. Fill Out The Paperwork
Once you’ve found someone that you want to hire, it’s time to pull out the paperwork.
You’ll need to get federal and state W-4s for the employee to fill out, as well as a direct deposit form (if you’re going to use direct deposit), and an i9 to verify their employ-ability in the U.S.
You also might consider having them sign an NDA if they’re working with a lot of sensitive information.
Additionally, we recommend using a payroll service like Gusto to make paying your employees as easy as possible. Keep in mind that you’ll need to withhold state, county, and federal taxes, as well as social security and medicare for your employees. Here’s a helpful guide for learning how to do that.