20 Tips for Hiring Your 1st Employee

For any business, hiring your first employee is an exciting milestone. The following 20 pointers will help you navigate the new employee recruitment process:

1. Recognise Legal Requirements: Start on the right note, by getting a HR consultancy like The Proven Group to draft a compliant contract as well as mandatory policies and procedures. Get them to go through the basics of HR compliance with you, so that you know what you need to be aware of. 

2. Job Description: To draw in the best applicants, you need to clearly outline the duties and responsibilities of the position you’re hiring for. Consider the skills, experience, and value proposition of the role. Often, the first employee compliments the skills of the business owner, or is employed to expand the skills. Get clear on what specifically the business needs at this time.

3. Budgetary considerations: Work out how much you can afford to pay the new hire, taking into account their wages, benefits, and any other expenses. We would recommend that you get some advice from your accountant to ensure that your pay conditions are in line with the industry award.

4. Make an Enticing Offer: Even as a small business, you can attract top people by providing competitive wages and benefits. Consider what your ideal employee would value from a workplace. There are many areas in which a small business can provide benefits that larger businesses cannot. Focus on these: flexibility, variety of tasks within the role, ability to help build processes/systems from the ground up. There is a certain type of employee that this would really appeal to.

5. Culture Fit: To create a productive workplace, search for applicants whose values coincide with yours. We recommend that you spend some time getting clear 

6. Recruitment Channels: To identify qualified applicants, search through a variety of channels, including job boards, social media, recommendations, and local networks. The key considerations should be where you believe your ideal candidates will be looking for roles. There are, of course, commonly used job boards like Indeed, Seek, LinkedIn and many others. What you need to consider is where YOUR ideal candidate will be looking. Is this going to be in local social media groups, or through word of mouth? This could be the key to attracting the right candidate. 

7. Screening Procedure: Establish a methodical screening procedure to assess the qualifications, background, and cultural fit of candidates. Consider what is most important to you, your non-negotiables. Remember that skills can be learned. A good values match and cultural fit is much more difficult to find. You also want to ensure that you are not trying to find a clone of yourself.

Often, when people are looking for candidates, they are most likely to choose a candidate similar to their own style/personality. You want to consider the skills and attributes where you are limited and try to find them. For example, if you have poor attention to detail, you may want to find someone who has this strength. Yes, at times it may drive you crazy, but consider what skills will support the business’s growth. 

8. Interviewing Techniques: Consider what your interview strategy will be. Interviews generally take quite a bit of time. You want to make sure that when you are interviewing someone, you can see their suitability for the role. We recommend that you conduct phone screening interviews before the in person interviews. Often, you can get a good feel for a candidate as a first step.  Then you conduct the in person/online interview. Remember that the point of the interview is not to trick the person. You want to get a good grasp of what their skills are, whether they would be a good fit for you to work with, and whether they have the appropriate skills. Ask relevant questions during the interview process to determine a candidate’s suitability for the position and your organisation. We recommend that you use a simple scoring structure against a set of clear criteria. That way you can compare candidates. 

9. Verify candidates’ credentials, employment history, and, if relevant, criminal histories by conducting background checks. This is recommended for each position. 

10. Employee Onboarding: Create an onboarding plan that includes expectations-setting, training, and introductions to ensure a smooth transition for the new hire into the organisation. Consider what information and systems the new employee will need to know to do their job independently. Remember that onboarding starts on day one, and finishes at the end of the employee’s probationary period. Ensure you have regular check-in’s with the new employee, providing quality constructive feedback and training them in areas that need support. 

11. Documentation: To formally establish the job relationship, gather the required documentation, including employee handbooks, tax forms, and employment contracts. The Proven Group can assist you with these documents. 

12. Communication: Continue to have open and honest dialogue with the new hire, outlining their responsibilities.

13. Feedback System: Set up a feedback system to address any worries or issues as soon as possible and provide the new hire constructive criticism.

14. Performance management: provide the new hire with specific goals and objectives to work towards, and provide them regular feedback and encouragement to help them achieve them.

15. Legal Compliance: Make sure that all labour laws—such as those pertaining to minimum wages, overtime compensation, and employee rights—are followed.

16. Employee Benefits Package: To draw and keep talent, think about providing perks like flexible workplace arrangements, professional development, and  access to wellbeing/mental health services to support your employee. 

17. Training and Development: To improve the new hire’s abilities and support their long-term advancement within the organisation, invest in their training and development. Consider the technical skills and soft skills that will support your employee to perform better in their role while also working towards their own career aspirations. 

18. Feedback Loop: To discover areas for improvement and make the required modifications, encourage open contact and feedback from the new hire.

19. Employee Engagement: Develop an environment at work that is supportive of teamwork, creativity, and employee engagement. Consider the type of workplace where you would like to come every day. Focus on creating this. 

20. Continuous Improvement: To enhance the experiences of new hires in the future, review and improve your hiring and onboarding procedures on a regular basis in response to input and lessons gained. Use the first hiring experience as a way to work on your hiring process. Ask your new employee what information would have helped them be more successful in the role. You could potentially get them involved in future hiring too.

Never forget that your objective is to position your new hire for success. It is best to take your time while developing your hiring strategy. Please get in touch with us so that our knowledgeable recruitment team can walk you through the process.