Your business is growing and so is the workload. At this point, your young startup is likely seeking additional bandwidth, new skills and maybe even a fresh perspective. All of which can be obtained by adding a new member to the team.

Hiring your first employee is huge step forward for your company, but that doesn’t make it any less intimidating. To help guide you through the process, we’ve compiled four key considerations:

  1. Define The Need
    Before you craft a job title and begin assigning responsibilities to a new role, first ask yourself: what are my current strengths and where am I struggling? With a clear understanding of both, you’ll be in a position to hire an individual that can not only complement your own skill set, but be a true asset to the growth your company.Think critically about how your time is best spent, and design your first employee’s role in a way that allows you to spend time where you create the most value.

    When determining how your new hire will contribute their own value, do not make a task list. Instead, think more broadly about specific processes, or pieces of your company that this individual can “own”.Finally, think about measures of success. You should be able to confidently describe to a candidate what success looks like inside of the role and how their performance will be evaluated.

  1. Incorporate Culture Into Your Selection Process
    The best indicator of future performance tends to be past performance and demonstrated skill is always better than stated skills. When screening candidates, look for ways in which the individual has demonstrated each of the most desired qualities/skills for the role. Asking them to cite specific examples will ensure the best understanding of their qualifications.Your dreams are big, so you’ll want to hire an individual that is more than willing to go the extra mile in an effort to help you realize them.

    During your talent search and selection, seek those that demonstrate passion, drive and a willingness to be flexible.In addition, understand that your first employee will be seen as a culture role model by each of your subsequent hires. This individual will have a key role in continuing to grow the culture as the organization grows, so it is vital that your first hire strongly believes in your company’s mission and values.

  1. Plan An Onboarding Process
    Once you find the right individual for the job, you’ll need to put an onboarding plan in place to allow for a smooth transition. Getting new hires up to speed quickly saves time and money, so it is recommended that you carefully think through how you can get them acclimated to their new role.

    It will prove especially helpful to plan out your new team member’s first 30 days in detail. Structure this first month around achieving specific milestones that will help the employee and the company be successful. In addition, prioritize which projects should be immediately passed off versus those that may be assigned new ownership in the future.

  1. Understand The Importance Of Documentation
    Filing government paperwork is a must! You’ll want to make sure you are meeting both state requirements and federal requirements when it comes to employee documentation. The Small Business Administration provides an excellent resource to help you navigate new hire paperwork.

Need help finding your first hire? To post your opening, free of charge, on the JumpStart Job board, contact Talent Analyst Dave Thomas (dave.thomas@jumpstartinc.org).

And don’t forget to sign up for JumpStart for Entrepreneurs, our monthly newsletter giving you more helpful advice along with local success stories and lists of local funding/networking opportunities.

Dave Thomas

Through his work at JumpStart, Dave connects great talent with exciting opportunities inside of growing startups and scaleups.