Hiring your first employee
Sometimes just knowing where to start when hiring your first staff member can be the most daunting thing. For many of us, hiring the first staff member into our business is a huge step not only because it means exciting things like growth and opportunity, but it often also means we need to let go of some control, trust someone else with our 'baby' and let this person in to our business world. So to help those who find themselves in this position, here are the basic things to focus on when making your first hire:
Know what you are looking for
Before you even start the hiring process, sit down and take a good look at your business. Write out all of the tasks that need doing in the business, and try and put them together into some logical positions and structures. Now take the tasks you want or need to continue doing, and put these into your role, and have a look at what is left. From the tasks that are left, take a look at the tasks which are most important to the business being able to function and which tasks do you most desperately need help with you now have a focus for your new position, so write yourself a Position Description for the role (there are lots of templates available either online or from a HR service provider)
Know your target market
After figuring out what sort of role you want to fill, and the type of candidate you want to fill it, start to think about where your 'ideal applicant' is looking for work.
There is no point advertising for someone in the local paper, if you know your ideal applicant probably doesn't read the paper. Think about where your applicant looks for work, the sort of mediums they use, the location they will be in and the other people they are likely to come into contact with.
Write the right ad
Writing an ad that attracts the right sort of candidates, and lets readers know what are the essential components for the role will save you time by ensuring your applicant pool is generally better suited to what you are looking for. To get the best people for your role you will need to sell the role, and the company to the reader, and make it clear what you are seeking in regards to their skills, experience and qualifications.
Use Your Networks
Advertising is one way to find potential new employees, but don't forget to think outside the box and use your networks, referral groups, industry associations and any other groups you have access to letting them know you are looking for someone.
Conduct Structured Interviews
By conducting interviews where there are a number of questions which are set and asked standard to all applicants you will have a common set of responses by which to assess and compare them by after the interviews. You should also allow time for free talk, discussion and questions within each interview to help you understand those non tangible factors such as team fit and personality style. After each interview reflect objectively on each one and make notes it saves confusing multiple applicants after all the interviews are done.
Use Other Screening Tools
Interviews are great and very important, but there are other tools available to help you make your decision don't forget about reference checking, skills testing, checking qualifications, psychometric assessments, aptitude tests, and the full range of other recruitment tools available to assist you. Being the sole decision maker in a recruitment process can sometimes be difficult as you spend time thinking over your decision trying to make the right choice. By sharing the decision making process with other people you can cut the time spent doubting yourself and potentially losing great candidates. Seek assistance from advisors, mentors, or other key people who help you in your business.
If you are not sure seek help
Don't be afraid to get help from a Recruiter, or HR Consultant if you think you need, or would like, some help. Find a Consultant who is happy for you to engage their services for the parts of the process you need help with or just don't have the time.
Recruitment is Only Step 1
Whilst recruiting the right person is really important, don't forget that this is only the beginning of the process. Making sure the person has the right training, induction and ongoing management will give them the best chance for success in the role.
This is by no means an exhaustive list, but hopefully these tips will help you make that first hire a successful one for you and your business.