What to Look for When Hiring Your Startup’s First Employee

February 12, 2018 By: Dave Rietsema
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Hiring your first employee is an exciting step; you’re taking your dream to the next level! However, hiring too early or hiring the wrong person can cost you and your company dearly. Before you take the leap and bring on your first employee, make sure that your company is truly prepared by looking for the following:

An Adequate Amount of Repeatable Tasks

A common mistake that entrepreneurs make is hiring because they are busy without first making sure an employee will have the tools to help. There must be an adequate amount of work to keep an employee busy for a set amount of time each week and that work must be repeatable. This will help to ensure that large chunks of the employer’s time aren’t wasted assigning tasks.

Contracts and Other Legal Considerations

Hiring an employee brings a certain amount of legal gravity into the situation. Before setting out to find an employee, it’s a good idea for a startup company to meet with a lawyer and draw up an employment contract. Establishing procedures for obtaining all necessary forms, putting safety and security protocols in place, and creating systems for filing taxes and reports can also prevent legal headaches.

Sufficient Capital

Hiring, training, and continuing to employ someone can be costly. Many entrepreneurs take a personal pay cut when they hire their first employee. Before hiring someone, it’s extremely important to make sure that the business will be able to sustain that employee’s salary without jeopardizing the way that operations currently run.

Qualifications and Aptitude

Hiring based on instincts or a person’s skill at answering interview questions can be risky. Some people are good at interviews and are likeable, but this doesn’t always mean that they will be great at the job. Establishing education and experience requirements can help to provide a basis for aptitude.

Using background screening services, personality tests, and realistic job previews can help to give you a better rounded measure of a person’s proficiency. Applicant tracking system (ATS) software may be helpful when it comes to completing and compiling screenings so that you can compare candidates side-by-side. A realistic job preview will allow you to see how an employee performs while on the job, though some more dangerous professions may require a virtual preview.

Potential and Drive

Don’t lose sight of the fact that you are hiring an employee in order to grow your business. Your first employee will help to speed up the way your company does business and will ultimately spur company growth, so make sure that you hire someone that has the potential to grow with your business and the drive to keep things moving. This employee is taking a risk to help you realize your dream, so make sure that hiring them is the right move for both them and your company.

Taking the time to make sure that your company is ready for an employee and that you select the right person for the job can help protect your business as you move to the next level.


Applicant Tracking Systems

Let us help you find the solution to optimize your recruitment processes. Better recruitment processes can help your company to attract top talent, move employees from candidate status to actionable positions faster, and improve employee satisfaction – all while saving you time and stress. Paperless recruitment solutions also mean better organization and less work to meet compliance requirements.

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