Hiring your first employee is a significant milestone in the business owner’s journey. First employees are often hired when your personal workload has spiralled and the process can be rushed to fulfil an instant need. These are our tips for new business owners to ensure your new hire is a cost effective, inspiring asset to your fledgling company.
Do you need an employee?
If you need someone to help out with one major contract or rush job, try to hire a freelancer or someone on a short-term contract. More and more people are working freelance and the expertise is there. If you need admin support (which is often the role of the first employee) think about hiring a VA (virtual assistant) who can organise almost all aspects of your life! Look at all your options before embarking on the time-consuming and costly business of taking on an employee.
Prepare a great job description
‘Someone to help out’ is not a good enough job description and if you’re not clear on the extent of the role from the start it’s difficult to a) find the right person and b) maintain a good working relationship. Your first employee is going to spend most of your time with and you’ve got to invest in finding a good match. Think about what this person is going to be contributing to the business and also what they are going to get out of it. All too often first employees are brought in to do the boring and/or difficult work and unless they are sufficiently rewarded and supported the relationship will not last. Be specific in the job description and reflect on whether this works as a job. For example if you’re looking for a web developer but you also want them to help with the accounts you probably need a rethink even if you’ve been doing it yourself.
Be realistic about your budget
A £25k advertised salary does not mean it will cost you £25k or that your employee will be taking that home. Hiring is pricey and for a new business it’s probably one of the biggest commitments you’re going to make. Accounting Services for Business have a useful calculator tool you can download from here. Glassdoor estimate the average hire costs the business around £3,000 in recruitment, including advertising and in-house man hours. Although it is not cheap your first member of staff is vital for the future of the company. If you are offering below market rate you’re unlikely to hire the hero that will propel your business forward.
Have an informal chat with a recruiter
Of course we think every good hire involves a top recruiter! You may have a network and someone in mind before you start the process of hiring but if you need a good selection of candidates bringing in a recruiter can save you a lot of time and energy. At RGS we work with huge multinationals and micro start ups. If you’re looking to hire your first employee, especially in the technical sector, where we specialise, get in touch. We’re always keen to help out new businesses!