How to make sure your first hire is perfect for your small business

Hiring your first employee is a big milestone. Establishing a team (even if it’s just a team of one!) can help you get a lot more done, but if you choose the wrong person it will create problems and cost a fortune.

This is how to make the right hiring choice, and add a reliable second pair of hands to your business.

Try outsourcing first (it might be enough to get the job done)

If you haven’t worked with freelancers or outsourced your most time-consuming jobs, give it a go before you hire a permanent member of staff. Hiring someone full-time is a big expense and there’s quite a lot of legal stuff and red tape to think about.

If you just need a few jobs taken care of each month, a freelancer or outsourced service could be easier and cheaper. If you’re constantly too stretched though, a permanent team member will be a better decision in the long run.

Ideal jobs to outsource: Accounting, content marketing, social media marketing, web development, PR.

Spend time getting to know them

You’re going to spend a lot of time delegating to, and having meetings with, your first hire. If you don’t get on, it’s not going to work. Be thorough during the interview process. Ask them the questions you really want to know the answers to, and ask for real-world examples.

This will help you hire someone you see eye to eye with. That means you’ll get things done faster, to the right standard, and your job should become much easier. 

Underrated interview questions:

What’s your most productive time of day?
What’s your favourite/least favourite task in your current job?
How do you motivate yourself when you’re struggling to stay focused?

Look for qualities you and your business are lacking

Getting on with your first team member doesn’t mean you have to think and behave in a similar way. One of the biggest benefits of hiring is introducing new, valuable perspectives. If you’re not as organised as you’d like to be, your first hire should be at home with a spreadsheet. If you’re great at getting the job done, but need someone to take control of new business, your first hire should be brilliant at selling and pitching.

How it will help you in business: Get better at working through tough problems and situations.

Tell them exactly what your expectations are

Be clear with your objectives from the beginning, and your first team member is more likely to fulfil them. If you’re keen to speed processes up, let them know. If you want to expand into a new market, tell them. If you’re obsessed with customer service, make it clear.

Helpful tip: Share your business’ growth plan with them. If they know your short and long-term goals, they can help you get there. No matter how big or small your team is, you have to be on the same page.

Whether you’re taking care of invoices yourself, or delegating it to the first member of your team, Solna can help you keep cash flowing into your business.

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