Tips for hiring your first member of staff

Running a startup business on your own can be great fun, but you may get to the point where you need to hire another member of staff to join your business. Below, we’ve rounded up five top tips for hiring your first member of staff.

1. Take your time

One of the most important things you can do when hiring staff is to take your time. The first member of staff you employ will be important, and you can’t afford to make too many mistakes. Run interviews with lots of candidates, ask friends and business contacts to join you in the interview process, and whittle down your choices based on skillset and attitude. And if you’re still not sure, ask them to come back for a second interview; take as long as you need.

2. Avoid recruitment agencies

Unless you have a friend or contact who’ll guarantee to find you a suitable candidate, avoid using recruitment agencies at all costs. Doing so can make the recruitment process more expensive and less personalised, meaning you won’t be able to find a candidate that ticks all of your boxes. Keep it personal; you know your business better than anyone else, so write your own job description, hold interviews and make the final decision. Don’t leave it to a recruitment firm.

3. Trust your gut

If you’ve got a bunch of awesome candidates that you think would be right for your business, then it’ll be tough to choose between them. In business, you’ve got to trust your gut and go with the decision you think is right, or you’ll never get ahead. Of course, seek the advice of business contacts and mentors before hiring your first employee, but the final decision should be yours to make. Choose wisely.

4. Give them a work trial

If you want to reduce risk and ensure you’ll be able to let your new employee go if they’re not right, then consider a work trial or three month probation period. That way, if you think that you’ve made a mistake after hiring an employee or you can’t afford to keep them, you’ll be able to do so.

5. Think about freelancers

Freelancers won’t be perfect for every industry, but there is a wide range of benefits for choosing freelancers for startup businesses. First, you won’t have to worry about paying them if business dries up, and two, you’ll know that you’ve always got an expert in web design/sales/accounts if you need it. It’s a risk-free way to grow your business, and it’s been used by some of the world’s biggest to scale and expand. Just remember that, whenever you hire a freelancer, you’ll have to pay them for every job they carry out, and there’s no guarantee that they’ll be available when you need them to be. That’s why hiring a group of freelancers or using a freelancer site makes sense.

What are your experiences with hiring an employee? Let us know in the comments below, and check back soon for more advice for startups and small businesses.