Written By: James D. Burbank, Editor-in-Chief, BizzMarkBlog
Except for some truly unique cases, all companies sooner or later hire their first employees. Some companies have to start off with a few employees and others have to wait a bit until they get their first influx of employees other than the founder(s). Nonetheless, hires have to be made sooner or later.
Regardless of when you have to do it, how many new hires you need to make or even which industry you are in, you have to be very careful and meticulous. Your first employees have to be the right ones.
There are more than a few reasons as to why you will want to be fantastically meticulous when hiring your first employees.
Perhaps the most important of these will be the fact that the first hiring of employees usually coincides with the enterprise’s most sensitive and fragile days. These are either its earliest days or the days of that first big push that follows the earliest growing pains. The best indicator of how sensitive these crucial times are is the fact that in Canada more companies die each year than there are born. Obviously, keeping a small business alive is more difficult than it seems.
Moreover, your first employees will have to be the ones to give the enterprise that next burst of energy and drive that will, hopefully, lead to you hiring even more people. These first hires will need to be able to figure out everything in record time and start contributing as soon as possible. While it is always a good idea to provide your employees with training, your first hires will have to do with less of it.
In the modern world of interconnectivity and the social influx into the world of business, your first employees will also be your early brand ambassadors. They will, effectively, become the face of your company. They will shape the opinion of your company in the eyes and the minds of your earliest customers
Hiring the right people is equal parts science and art and there are some very good reasons as to why good hiring managers and recruiters are valued so greatly. Still, as a small business owner, there are a couple of ways you can maximize the chances of hiring the right people without spending decades mastering the art.
Above everything else, you will need to determine as precisely as possible what kind of an employee you need. You need to identify their future role the best you can and determine what kind of a person would best fit the bill. Among things you will be looking for will be their education, their past experience, their “soft skills” and their personality. Over the last couple of decades, we have also seen the influx of cultural fit to the hiring arena, but you have to be extra careful about it.
You will then want to do due diligence to every one of the crucial steps in hiring the right person – from coming up with a great job description, making sure as many people as possible see it, and streamlining the application, interviewing and onboarding processes.
Another important thing to keep in mind is that there is no shame in firing the wrong hires. The sooner you realize you have made a mistake, the sooner you can start correcting it and building your staff the proper way.
James D. Burbank has been working in the trade show industry and marketing for almost two decades. He has seen innumerable small businesses succeed and fail. With some friends, he runs BizzMarkBlog, a business-oriented blog.