How do you know when you should hire your first employee and what’s the best way to go about it? These are big questions for a business owner since it affects their bottom line.

Here are a few guidelines to help you decide if the time is right and what you should do to ensure hiring goes smoothly.

When To Hire

There are a few signs that may indicate it’s time to hire another person. Are you turning away customers or projects, because you simply don’t have the time to do them? If this work could generate substantial income and offsets the employee’s pay, it’s probably time to hire.

You may also want to hire a new employee if they could save you money. If they have skills you lack and you know you could generate substantial revenue from a new venture, it could be worth it. Learning new skills takes time and distracts you from growing your business.

Finally, you may need a new employee if you’re struggling to meet deadlines or you can’t respond to clients as quickly as you should. A virtual assistant or part-time employee could field emails, answer calls, and handle other day-to-day tasks. The idea is to free up your time to generate more income.

Think Long-Term

Always tackle the process as if you’re hiring a forever employee. You’ll want to ensure their skills complement your own and they have similar values. They also need to be flexible, willing to learn, passionate, and honest. Most of all, they need to be an excellent communicator.

Document Procedures

No matter the work, you’ll need to standardize procedures before you hand work off to someone else. You want your employee to repeatedly perform specific functions well and you should have enough of these tasks to justify hiring them.

Think about how you handle a specific task, write it out in bullet points, and then elaborate. Some suggest you should have about 20 hours of these tasks before you consider hiring.

Why go to all this trouble? Simple – you’ll know whether you have enough work, plus you’ll have all the information you need to create a good job posting that attracts the best possible candidates.

Crunch The Numbers

Even if you have plenty of repeatable work for an employee, can you really afford one? Remember, you’re not hiring to lighten your load. You’re doing it to generate more revenue.

Do everything that you can to avoid going into debt to hire your first employee. If you aren’t generating enough revenue to support a new hire at the moment, you may need to wait.

Test The Waters

If you’re unsure about whether you truly need an employee, why not hire a contractor or freelancer instead? Establish the parameters for the work and post the job on a freelancer website. It’s a great learning experience.

You’ll learn how to clearly define requirements by the applications you receive. You’ll need to decide whether you want to pay and hourly wage or by project, but you can assess the quality of work and whether the person is a fit for your business.

If things work out, you could use a contractor for the long-term. If not, you may need a full or part-time employee.

Provide Training

Once you decide on a person you feel is suitable for the job, dedicate the first week to training. Bring them up to speed, discuss your expectations and answer their questions.

After their initial training, the best way for them to learn is to actually do the work.

If you need help managing your HR or payroll, Charlotte Payroll can help. We cater to small to medium-sized business in the Greater Charlotte area and simplify the process. Contact us for a free consultation.