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Hiring Your First Employee

Ready to start building a staff? Here's how to get--and keep--the best person for the job.

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This story appears in the July 2002 issue of Entrepreneurs Start-Ups magazine.

Years ago I worked for a large national company. We had sales and service offices in many cities and a manufacturing plant in the Midwest. From time to time, an employee would quit and we would have to find a replacement. It was a low-pressure situation; there were plenty of other employees to carry the extra weight while we waited to find the "right" person. Sometimes the right person wasn't the right one after all, and the process started all over again within a few months.

The scenario is quite different for small companies. A single wrong hire could cost you an entire year's profit and result in a mountain of work that needs to be redone. So let's take a look at some of the steps to follow when hiring. And to make it a little more interesting, let's hire our very first employee.

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