By Anh-Minh Le

It’s a common dilemma for small business owners: Business is booming. You’re swamped and working longer hours than you’d like in order to get everything done. You know you need help, but it can be tough to relinquish control and allow others to take over certain aspects of the work.

However, operating lean and mean may only get you so far, right? When you’re ready to start hiring and grow your company, here are some things to keep in mind when hiring your first small business employee.

  • Define the job: This may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s worth stating anyway—figure out exactly what position you are trying to fill. Sit down and make a list of all the skills sets required and the responsibilities that your new hire will undertake. If you have a clear vision for the job, you’ll have a better sense of who are the right (and wrong) candidates once you start interviewing.
  • Recommendations and references: Trust can be a big part of an employer-employee relationship, especially in a small company. Ask around—maybe your friends (or friends of friends) know someone who is qualified to meet your staffing needs. Whether the person you’re considering is part of your network or not, be sure to check references.
  • Trial run: If you are a bit hesitant about hiring someone as an official employee, consider the possibility of working with them on a contract basis first, paying them an agreed upon rate for a specified task. That way, you can get a sense of their work style and whether it meshes with yours, before bringing them on board. If you’re already using Breezeworks, be sure to take advantage of our team functionality and assign the contract employee with specific permissions.
  • Beyond the résumé: Let’s say someone is totally qualified for the job. Great. But a good hire usually involves more than looking good on paper. Do you get the sense that they really want to work with you/for your company? (Or are they simply on the hunt for any job and will likely get bored or move on quickly?) Do they seem like the type who are willing to lend a hand to co-workers? Will his/her personality be compatible with everyone else? Of course, it’s important that an employee can complete the tasks assigned to them; but sometimes it’s just as important that they are a good fit with the rest of your team.
  • Get your records straight: Once you’ve decided to definitely hire someone, it’s important to dot your I’s and cross your T’s. The U.S. Small Business Administration has put together a checklist for hiring your first employee. The IRS site also links to the forms that you’ll need to get started.


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