With a massive 90% of startups folding, even getting to the point where you think you need to take someone new on board is a milestone. But recruiting someone to join your venture can be risky, so here’s our guide to your very first startup hire.
We’ll look at the legal, practical and personal issues involved to help guide you to the right decision that will take your company to the next level.
Preparing for your Startup Hire
The Legal Side
Before you start looking for the right person, make sure that you understand all the legal implications and responsibilities of taking someone on. You’ll need to make sure that you don’t fall foul of any labor laws, or equal opportunities legislation.
You will also need to let the IRS know that you have taken on a new hire, and ensure that you complete the necessary paperwork. There are taxes that you, as the employer, need to pay and information that you need to give the IRS on a regular basis.
Knowing exactly what you want your hire to do, will help you know what to look for. Working in startups tends to mean a broader job description than most roles, you want someone who will be able to pitch in and help in multiple areas.
Once you’ve determined what you want from hiring your first employee, you can work on what needs to be included in the contract of employment.
Finding the Right Person
You have three options for startup hiring. You can advertise your vacancy yourself, you can use an agency, or you can use word of mouth. Which you choose, will depend on the time:money ratio that you have available.
We’ve talked before about recruitment strategies, but one thing to keep in mind is that trusting on instinct, or other people’s opinions, isn’t the best way to screen potential staff.
Make sure that you take up references, carry out aptitude testing, and look into drugs testing, background checks and more if they will be appropriate for your business. Hire in haste, repent at leisure.
When you’ve found the right person, you need to think about how you’re going to make them a useful part of the team. Onboarding is a vital step in hiring a new employee. What do they need to know in order to be useful as soon as possible? Try and avoid having them start with nothing to do, no computer, phone or desk.
Don’t be one of those bosses who wish they’d hired people months before they actually did. The average time it takes to hire someone is now almost three weeks and if this is your first hire then there’s a good chance it will take longer.
If you’re thinking about hiring at some point in the near future, then it’s worth starting the process now. Your first startup hire is one of the best ways to expand your business, giving you more capacity to get your work done.
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