Recruiting 101: 4 Handy Tips for Hiring Your First Employee

Are you feeling like you have finally achieved that level of growth where you are ready to expand your one-woman show and start building a team? 

If so, congratulations!! What an amazing achievement.  

Now, here’s the dirt. First-time hiring is an exciting process, but it does involve a little bit of a learning curve. 

These helpful tips are going to make sure that you are armed with the knowledge and resources that you need to do it right.

1. Determine the Skills You are Looking For

Yes, things might be getting frantic. That said, you still need to be sure to set aside a little time to outline exactly what the job will and will not entail before you jump out there and hire the first candidate that shows up. 

Questions to ask include whether you will be hiring full or part-time work, whether they will work regular hours or you prefer somebody open to a flexible schedule and whether you want this employee to be able to do your job or replace you from time to time or you prefer them to stick to a different set of tasks. 

By taking the time to outline just exactly what you expect of your employee beforehand you are much more likely to be able to seek out the best person for the job during the hiring process. 

2. Understand What You Can and Can’t Ask

Knowing the type of questions that are legally appropriate to ask and the type of questions that are not is essential. Many types of questions are banned by federal law, and it is the employer’s responsibility to do their research and know what they can and can’t ask before entering into the interview process. 

In general, any type of questions centered around the following attributes is not okay to ask an applicant:

  • Age
  • Sexual orientation
  • Religious affiliation or background
  • Race 
  • Marital status

The US Department of Labor is a good place to start when researching how to structure a legally sound interview. 

3. Get a Background Check

There are lots of things to budget for when hiring a new employee, but a professional background check should never be sloughed off the list. On your end, you can make use of the reference system to help verify the strength of character of your applicant. If you hire somebody with a less than savory record, you could be held responsible for their actions on the job. 

Sure, gut feelings are important, but so are the facts. Unfortunately, some people are great at lying. When it comes to hiring an honest and hard-working employee, a little context goes a long way. 

4. Get Your Ducks in a Row

When it comes to hiring your first employee, the biggest mistake you can make is to leave it to the last minute. This is because it is 100% your responsibility to have all the frameworks you need to have in place ready to go by the time you start the onboarding process. 

This includes purchasing any necessary insurance and having a system already in place to track the twelve types of records that every employer needs to be on top of, legally speaking. 

Suffice it to say that if you aren’t prepared to track this information on a regular basis, you are going to be caught off guard. 

If you are a female entrepreneur or small business owner, we are here to help you do business in the best way possible. Here at Diary of an Entrepreneur, we offer access to an exclusive community of some of amazing, empowered women who are working together to share our knowledge, build networks and offer 24/7 support and encouragement. Not only that, but you will get exclusive access to actionable, no-fluff resources to help you succeed at whatever you want to do. If you are interested in working together to build a more female-friendly future, come check out our site today to find out more.  

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Ines Ruiz

Ines Ruiz

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Ines Ruiz is the founder and CEO of Diary of an Entrepreneur, ELEInternacional, and the award-winning Medita Spanish, the world’s first guided meditation and language app. She has two Masters Degrees in e-learning and education and was a professor at Cambridge University, where she created one of the first online learning environments for the Spanish department.

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We believe in you. Welcome to the community you belong to.