Hiring Advice for Startups: What You Need to Know

For entrepreneurs, hiring is an essential function for their startup. A bad hire can lead to major headaches, while an amazing addition can help propel a company to the next level.

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By Murray Newlands

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Most business owners don't do a good job hiring new employees the first time. They often wait too long or hire somebody without the necessary skills to help their business move forward. Both situations can end up being a costly mistake and could potentially lead to failure. Thus, learning how to create a strategic and sustainable hiring system is imperative to the growth (and longevity) of your business.

To make sure you avoid the common pitfalls of the hiring process, be sure to keep the following pieces of advice in mind.

You really do need a team. Don't try to do it all. Many entrepreneurs take on a "do-it-all" mentality that can be detrimental to business. You may think you can save money by doing everything yourself but that's rarely the case. Instead, this will often result in poor quality of work because you spread yourself too thin.

Hiring people to maintain your business is necessary so that you can concentrate on the bigger picture and continue to do a quality job. Don't let your work suffer by trying to take on too much responsibility or an unrealistic amount of tasks to accomplish.

Related: 3 Lessons Learned From Hiring the Wrong Person

Know your weak spots. Figuring out where you need help is one of the first steps in hiring a new employee. Decide what her job will be and assign her tasks that aren't your strong suits. For instance, if bookkeeping isn't your forte, find someone who is good at bookkeeping and have them do it for you.

But keep in mind, matching an employee's skills with her job is crucial. One survey by Robert Half showed that out of 1,400 executives, 36 percent said the main reason for failed hires was a poor skills match.

Be aware of local employment laws and regulations. As an entrepreneur, you should know the legal requirements of hiring a new employee. Laws vary by country or state, so it's important to understand the laws where your business is based.

For example, in the U.S., employers have to consider federal laws such as The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 and the Family Medical Leave Act of 1993. To be sure you're following employment laws in your jurisdiction, consult with a lawyer before making your first hire.

Related: The 3 Hires I Wish I'd Made Sooner

Take time to check candidates. Hiring people can take a lot off of your mind and allow you to focus on growing your business. But before delegating work to new hires, be sure to double check the information on their application. Indeed, 34 percent of application forms have been found to contain lies ranging from amount of experience to education and the ability to do certain job functions, according to Profiles International.

Keep your company culture in mind. Before hiring a new employee, consider whether or not they'll be a good fit for your company and if they'll work well with other employees. The last thing you want is to have an unproductive group of people who don't work well together.

Keep 'em' happy. Many entrepreneurs will say their number-one asset is their team. So make sure they are content with their job. Keep them engaged, involved and don't overwork your employees. Sixty-nine percent of employees say work is a significant source of stress, according to the American Psychological Association. When there are too many jobs to do, things might start falling through the cracks and the quality of work will be undermined. Or worse, they might leave. Keep in mind, 75 percent of the demand for new workers is to replace workers that resigned from their jobs, according to TK.

Use independent contractors for infrequent work. If you don't have the resources to hire a full-time employee, then hiring an independent contractor is a great alternative. And then are so many options. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are more than 10 million independent contractors, which is about 7.4 percent of the whole workforce.

Although hiring independent contractors is not a universal remedy, it can be beneficial for certain jobs, especially temporary work.

Related: Not Using Big Data for Hiring? You May Be Missing Out on the Best Candidates.

Murray Newlands

Entrepreneur, business advisor and online-marketing professional

Murray Newlands is an entrepreneur, investor, business advisor and speaker. He is the founder of ChattyPeople.com chatbot builder tool and Sighted.com. Read his blog MurrayNewlands.com.

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