Your start-up is finally gathering steam and you are on cloud 9 because of it! After the ecstasy of this achievement wears off, you are left to take some important decisions on the future course of action. One of them is the act of hiring your first employee. As of right now, all the people involved in your start-up are close friends and/or family. So you share a certain dynamic and camaraderie with them. But the person you are going to hire now is a complete stranger and therefore you need to look out for the best interests of both the parties involved.
You are going to be ‘the boss’.
Let that sink in. Don’t be nervous.
You need not wrack your brains out and just follow the below mentioned guidelines. Keep these pointers in the subtext and hire the best person for the job!
Deciding on the salary is a matter of keen observation of logistics, what the new entrant brings on board and some of those entrepreneurial chops that led you to this important milestone. If you just keep in account the salary offered and forget the myriad of other expenses, such as the cost of training, taxes, employee benefits and perks then you might be heading into choppy waters. Account for all of the above and make an informed decision. Ensure that economically you are getting more out of hiring the person than not hiring anyone. In short, make sure that it makes economic and accounting sense.
- Legal requirements
You need to be aware of your obligations as an employer and act in the purview of what you can and cannot do. Some things to think about include employment laws, employment contracts, tax obligations (as previously discussed), the implications of firing the employee, minimum hour and wage requirements, overtime stipulations and more.
- Finding applicants
One headache that you’re going to face is the obstacle of skimming through the large volume of applicants and zeroing in on the best hire among the given candidate pool. Design an application form that tests the potential hires on every spectrum you deem fit. This will eliminate out all the candidates that are not up to the mark. You may think that the hiring process is a cakewalk, but trust us, it is not! Hence you need to put your best foot forward to get the best candidate in return.
One common problem with prospective appliers is that majority of them won’t even put in the effort of reading about the job profile offered. Or they just might not have the aptitude for the job applied. A prime example is a case where around 1 lakh U. P. citizens applied for 10,000 odd jobs as Junior and Senior Engineers in the Railways. Although you might not be hiring on such a big scale, even after scaling down the numbers you can expect a deluge of candidates. Have a proper screening method on board for weeding out such candidates. You could field questions from the job application form itself and screen out the non-serious candidates. That will save a lot of your time.
Don’t fall for the common mistakes that every employer makes and carefully assess the talent pool available to you to choose the most suitable person. Many new hires may be technically competent but fail to integrate themselves into the culture of your workplace. That accounts for the reason why the majority of new employees are fired or resign themselves. So keep a keen eye out for compatible styles in terms of communication, pace, constructive criticism and work-hour commitments in candidates’ responses.
Since your company is taking baby steps in the corporate jungle and hence may not have much of a workplace culture, the first few employees that you hire will determine the kind of workplace it will be. So choose wisely. You’re setting the tone for your business and want to make sure everything from the skill set to personality aligns with your goals.
- Training and Onboarding
Congratulations! You have finally hired the most suitable candidate. The hiring process doesn’t end here though. What comes next is the onboarding and training exercise. What your company needs out of its employee is unique to it. Such uniqueness requires hands-on training as well. So, picture your new hire like a lump of clay. He or she is raw and has potential but still has to be shaped into the kind of employee you want.
Don’t miss any detail whole undergoing such exercise. When in doubt, over-train rather than under-train. The last thing you want is for your employee — who is costing you money — to be more of a nuisance than a help.
Take hiring seriously.
A bad hiring has repercussions for you as well as the new employee itself. A botch-up by you can have the negative effect on the future of your company as well as the future of the new entrant itself. Hence, don’t take the entire process for granted and devote ample time, money, resources and manpower to it.