Hiring your very first employee can be a nerve-wracking event.
A lot of businesses today start off with just one person. If you’re one of these solo entrepreneurs, you may have spent years as the only one working in your company. However, as your business begins to grow, you may notice that you can no longer handle everything
Hiring a staff member is an excellent way to reduce your workload and access new opportunities. However, it’s also pretty daunting. After all, what if you don’t end up being a good manager, or you choose the wrong person?
Today, we’re going to look at some of the steps you can take to decide when and why it’s the right time to hire that first employee.
Decide on Why You’re Hiring
Once you’ve got the “when” down, it’s time to consider the “why”. Why are you hiring someone new?
There’s no wrong answer here. You might just need someone else on your team so you can take the pressure off yourself. If you’ve checked your business finances and you know you can afford to do this, then that’s a fine reason to hire.
The key to success is being able to measure whether you’re reaching your hiring goals.
For instance, if you’re hiring to improve your schedule management, then you can measure the success of the hire by seeing how much free time you have after a few months.
Alternatively, if you’re hiring a professional to handle a specific set of jobs that you can’t manage yourself, like accounting, or technical analysis, then you’ll need to use other measurement strategies.
Ask yourself before you begin looking for a candidate how you’re going to determine whether this new venture has been successful for you or not.
Think About How You Can Hire
If you’re struggling to make the decision about whether or not to hire
your first employee, the problem might not be with a lack of need, but a lack of funding or commitment.
For instance, you might need a graphic designer to come and make your business website, but you don’t necessarily need a designer to work with you in your company full-time.
For short-term jobs, you can test the waters by working with outsourced freelancers and contractors. This gives you a chance to experiment with hiring and see what it’s like to manage others. At the same time, it doesn’t tie you into any long-term commitments.
If you need a permanent employee, like a chief financial officer to work with you on cash flow optimization, then ask yourself how you can take as much risk out of the hire as possible. Could you ask your employee to work for a period of 3 months before you agree to a long-term contract, so you can ensure that you’ve made the right decision?
Sometimes, simply writing a detailed job description and making your expectations clear from day one can help to reduce the risks associated with hiring.
Get the Timing Right
Figuring out an opportune time to hire your first employee can be the most difficult part of the process. Hire too early, and you could risk cash flow challenges, particularly if you barely have enough cash to pay yourself.
The last thing you want is to hire a new employee before you’re earning enough and end up having to fire them before the first year is through.
Ensure that you’re confident in the position your business is in right now and hire when you know you can afford to do so.
Remember, while hiring too early is problematic, hiring too late can cause issues too. If you don’t hire fast enough, you could miss out
on critical opportunities simply because you don’t have enough hands on deck.
Consider these ideas to determine when the time might be right for you to hire:
● When you start to notice an increase in your workload
● Once you’re comfortable handing over the reins in some parts of your business
● When you know there are tasks you can’t handle yourself
● Once you’re confident in your company’s position
● When you can see an opportunity to grow with a new employee
● Once you’ve ensured you have enough money to support a hire
Don’t Be Afraid to Explore Hiring
Ultimately, only you can decide when to hire your first employee. The steps above will help you to tackle the why, how, and when, so you can make an informed decision about this critical move in your business. However, ultimately, it’s your choice.
The good news? Once you’ve got that first hire out of the way, it should get a little easier to bring new people on board. Keep working at it and learning from your experience, and you’ll have a thriving company in no time.