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6 Things To Know Before You Hire Your First Employee Hiring an employee for your small business does not need to be so challenging, but you do want to get it right – who you hire makes your business.

By Madelein Smit

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As you have taken the leap of faith and decided to become an entrepreneur, beside all the other ultra-competitive challenges you will face, hiring does not have to be one of them.

I've been there. When the time comes to make your first hire, it can become very overwhelming. But don't forget your business objectives when choosing who should join your team. To get you prepared for something that many start-ups find incredibly daunting, let's take a few minutes to review some of the best practices when you're ready expand.

6 Things to Consider When Making Your First Hire

1. Be specific about what your needs are

An employer must know what they want from an employee they are hiring. You need to be specific about what the end goal for your business will be once you have hired this person.

2. Don't worry about the job title

Often, employers get overwhelmed with the many variations of job titles available. What you call the employee is not important and the job title can restrict you from what you need the employee to do.

3. Write a job specification

Clear communication is key. It doesn't matter where it's applied, but without it expect a lot of errors.

Related: How to Hire (and Keep) the Best

As an entrepreneur, once you know what you want the outcome for the role to be, prepare a job specification that will inform your employee about your expectations and their duties in your business.

Do not make the mistake of omitting personal competencies. The more detail, the better.

4. Do a working interview

Once you have interviewed candidates for your role, let them come and work at your business for a few days. This experience is beneficial to both the candidate and you.

The traditional interview process is very one sided, as candidates want to put their best foot forward. Once they work in the role however, you will be able to see if they can do the work you have laid out for them before committing to employment.

5. Yes, references do matter

Reach out to previous employers and discuss the employee's working history. You will learn a lot about a candidate through someone else's perspective.

Related: Have You Hired Independent Contractors Or Employees?

A story always has two sides, but it's best to know every aspect of the conditions of the potential employee from the start.

6. Pay the salary

As a small business, it's often hard to justify a high salary, but it's crucial to understand what the employee needs to earn in order to stay with your business for the long term.

We find that employees leave for higher salaries because they accept salaries that are not matching with their lifestyles. Communicate the salary needs of the employee during the interview and align your offer in such a way that they don't need to move on from your business.

To conclude, hiring your first employee is not as easy as it sounds, yet it does not have to be as difficult as many employers make it out to be.

Take your time and follow these above easy steps for a perfect match.

Related: 4 Secrets to Hiring the Best Employees for Your Business

Madelein Smit

Managing Director of HR Company Solutions

Madelein is a spirited and dedicated HR Professional who is passionate about Human Resources, people and linking the two together. Her experience within HR and recruitment spans over ten years. She is the founder and the MD of www.hrcompanysolutions.co.za. Madelein’s vision is epitomised in the quote that she lives by and encourages all around her to work towards – “Only hire people who you would work for.”  – Mark Zuckerberg

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