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It’s one of the best days of your small business life. You’ve expanded your business enough to be able to bring in somebody else! Hiring your first employee signals that you’re headed in the right direction, especially since you have to acknowledge that you have too much on your hands and need some help. It’s a big step for any business owner.
However, it’s also a nerve-wracking point in your life. No matter what the job is, as soon as you put out a feeler for the job you’re going to get a zillion responses. There are tons of people out there that need work and they’re going to apply whether they fit the description or not. Plus, there will be quite a few applicants who you think are perfect.
How do you figure out which one to hire? While you may want to close your eyes and choose at random, it’s better to hunker down and really pick the best. Here’s how to get started on the process.
Where to Look for Your First Employee
As mentioned above, finding potential employees should be fairly simple. There are a large number of folks looking for work right now and you’re bound to run into several on any website.
That said, don’t just post an ad on Monster and be done with it. Try searching around on LinkedIn for potential hires. If you’ve never been on LinkedIn, it’s a social media site just for professionals. It’s all about the work on there rather than personal information.
The best thing about LinkedIn is that other members can recommend their colleagues for certain skills; for example, ‘copy editing’ or ‘social media.’ This way you can see if someone is really good at what they do before you even contact them.
Also, Craigslist is still a great way to find locals in your area looking for work. As people become more comfortable with the Internet, Craigslist is shedding its reputation for sketchiness and can bring you some great leads.
Before you email or call a single person back, it’s best to know what you want out of your employee. Being specific never hurt anyone as long as you don’t overboard. If they know what they’re getting into before they sign on, the transition to employee will be much smoother for them… and you.
During the interview process, keep in mind you’re looking for “fit” as well as talent. In other words, you can have the most talented person in the world apply, but if they don’t fit with your work style and personality, the relationship is not going to succeed. For example, you don’t want to hire a slacker with a flexible sense of time if your business requires adherence to tight deadlines.
So a resume can only get you (and them) so far. In fact, you’ll most likely find that the people with the best resumes aren’t the best to interview as they’ve probably submitted a thousand other resumes. Look for a good mix of talent and “spirit” and you’ll come away with a great new employee.
What did you/will you look for in your first employee?