You know that your start-up is finally ready to take-off the ground when you begin to feel the need to hire your first employee. It is a sign that your business idea has real merit and it also brings along with it a sense of responsibility as you suddenly find yourself in charge of someone else’s livelihood.
The person who you interview for the job may get other opportunities and there is a significant amount of risk involved in being the first employee of a start-up.
Following are some tips that you should remember when hiring your first employee:
The Sooner the Better
As soon as you realise the need for an employee you should begin to look for one, that is if you can afford to have an employee onboard. Having another person by your side can give you the extra push that you may need when it comes to brainpower, legwork and creativity.
With the constant support of another person, you will realise how you are able to finish tasks in days when it would have taken you weeks to complete, if you were to work on it solo.
You will come across many entrepreneurs who delayed hiring their first employee even though they were clearly overworked. Most of them regret the decision later when they think about how much more they could have achieved had they hired an employee as soon as they realised the need.
Consider Potential and Not Just Track Record
As the owner of a start-up you have to fulfil many roles. At the time of hiring your first employee you are basically stepping into the shoes of a hiring manager. Any person who manages hiring must have the ability to evaluate a candidate’s potential. Hiring an employee solely because they have been successful in the past can turn out to be a wrong choice later on.
You should ideally look for someone who has a passion for a cause or a strong interest that you both have in common. You should also look for evidence which suggests that the person is good at what he or she has done in life before even if they are things which are not much related to what you are hiring them to do.
Ask for Demonstration of a Skill
Few people know how to dodge the questions of an interviewer and instill false confidence in the hiring manager. You should be able to know at once who is trying to bullshit and call their bluff instead of hiring them.
The easiest way to differentiate the real talented from the make-believe talented is to ask for a demonstration. For instance if you are hiring an employee to handle the sales responsibility you can ask that person to demonstrate how they would sell a particular product.
Have Everyone Interview the Stars
It is tricky to find a cultural fit for your team. When Person 1 and Person 2 get along and Person 2 and Person 3 get along, it doesn’t mean that Person 1 and Person 3 will get along too.
It is particularly important to get your first employee interviewed by each person on the founder panel, if there are more than one. When an employee has to be hired under such circumstances it is important that each of them get along well with the first employee who is hired.
Take Care of the Legal Aspect
It is common for inexperienced entrepreneurs to neglect the legal aspects of business in the first few months of its inception. It is advisable to pay careful attention to legal issues surrounding personal and professional lives.
You should gather as much information as possible on topics such as how to secure your assets, employees and also how to make a Will at home. There are several other legal aspects involved such as registering your business, acquiring the necessary licenses, protecting the business with insurance etc.
Hiring the first employee of your company is a huge step and you must take sufficient precautions to ensure that you have hired just the right resource for your company.