Oh, that happy day.
You know the one I’m talking about. The day you realize that your business has grown so much that you need to hire your first employee? That.
Now, this is a big step. Huge, even.
Because, if you’re like most mom entrepreneurs, your company is like one of your children. You’re not going to entrust even a small part of it to someone else too easily.
So let’s back it up a little. Before you start any hiring process, make sure you actually need an employee.
Here are some things to consider when considering hiring:
- Is this recent success a temporary spike that may die down in a few weeks?
- Could some slick systems and automation reduce your workload?
- Do you have the cash flow to pay someone consistently?
If you you answered no, no and yes to those questions, and you really DO need to hire your first employee, here’s how!
How to hire your first employee
Where to Look for Your First Employee
Ok, so you absolutely need some help. Now, where to look for potential hires?
While there are a ton of folks out there looking for a job, it’s not quite as simple as posting one job listing.
The Internet is the best way to find people looking for work.
LinkedIn is a great website for finding professionals – it’s the site’s primary function, despite it’s slow creep toward becoming a more mainstream social media site. You can poke around and look for potential employees based on their work history, or post a message that your company is hiring.
Craigslist is another great website to find new hires, despite its unfair sketchy reputation. A message posted on your city’s “jobs” section will likely get quite a few responses. Sure, some of them may be…strange, but that’s why you use email to weed them out! Here are some tips for hiring on Craigslist without email overload.
If your new employee doesn’t need to be local, even better.
You’ll find some great Check out sites like HireMyMom.com. There, you can post a description of what you’re looking for and receive replies in minutes.
Finally, never underestimate the power of a good referral. Hit up the people in your professional community first. Chances are they’ll understand what you are looking for, and they might know someone who fits the bill.
What to Look For
It may seem like an obvious point, but when you start the hiring process, make sure you take it seriously.
It may be tempting to give your friend’s cousin’s best friend’s neighbor preferential treatment just because you kind of know them, but this can lead to a bad hire. If they’re serious about working with you, give them an interview – just make sure they know there will be no special favors.
In the interview, you want to weed out the weaker candidates swiftly. You may think you can do that with their resume, but that’s not always the case. Not everyone with a strong resume is necessarily acclimated to the position you’re hiring for, and may in fact interview terribly. It’s never guaranteed that when someone walks in the door if they’ll have the “spark” you need.
Don’t just stick to technical work questions during the interview. Mix it up with some interview questions that challenge the candidate’s thinking skills. How they fit with your personality and business climate is just as important as their technical skills, so make sure that you’re comfortable with them as a person before signing them up!
And finally, no matter if you find your candidate online or right in your own town, always (always!) check their references. While it’s easier to bluff online, there are plenty of people who make a stellar first impression in a resume or face-to-face interview, but don’t have the chops to back up their claims. A bad first hire can make or break your company.
Have you hired your first employee yet? Share your hiring experience with us in the comments.
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