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Question added to topic Human ResourcesDecember 28, 2007

How do I start hiring my first employees?

I currently own and operate a cleaning company. I have been in this business for 10 years and now have so much work I need to hire employees to work for me and I don't know where to get started. I currently turn down work because I can't do it all myself. Where should I start?
You will need to define the kinds of jobs you need to fill, hours that the people you will want the people to work, and then determine what the market (pay) rates are for such workers. I recommend contacting your local state unemployment office to obtain whatever assistance they have to offer. It varies from state to state, but these state-operated resources have come a long way in providing needed services to employers. They can probably guide you on the forms that you will need to have each employee complete (e.g., W-4, I-9) as well as the state-required reporting requirements on new employees. Also, many offer free job posting online and other Internet-based services. You should also visit the federal department of labor website (www.dol.gov) to help you understand how to properly classify your employees for pay purposes (e.g., exempt or non-exempt) and see what other information there might be helpful to you.

At some point, you will need to decide whether to learn to prepare payroll properly and submit the reports and withholding amounts to the proper agencies or use an outsourced solution—which will save you many headaches. It is a good idea to have at least an outline for training new employees prepared in advance and some basic operating rules, too. Keep in mind that most workers want benefits such as health coverage and paid time off (e.g., vacation, etc.) So, be prepared for that, if you want to find and keep the best people. In fact, attracting and retaining talented workers is another topic, but an important one. Above is just how to prepare for bringing people on board.

Hope that it is helpful.

Penny is a seasoned human resources executive and consultant with over 25 years of diverse business experience in advising enterprise leaders on employment-related matters.

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