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Need a Hand? Sure, employees would be nice. But what kind and what for?

By Nichole L. Torres

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

You're terribly busy. You're mailing the wrong stuff tothe wrong people, and you can't remember where you put yourcontract proposals. To say you need help is an understatement; butbefore you hire your first employee, make sure you have the basicsdown.

"Don't start hiring too soon," says Leonard Homer,an adjunct professor at the Kenan-Flagler Business School at theUniversity of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and founder ofsmall-business operational-support company Essential BusinessSolutions. "Don't do any hiring until you sit down andfigure out your milestones and your staffing plan."

Assess the local employment market, and be sure to check outPricewaterhouseCoopers' "Salary Survey" and othersalary publications for compensation information as well as hiringand layoff trends in your industry and community. The Society forHuman Resource Management is another good starting place-theorganization can answer any questions you might have about thelegal and technical issues involved in employing workers for thefirst time.

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