Starting a business requires not only an initial monetary investment but also a human capital investment. Even if you start small, eventually there is going to be too much work, or problems too complex to manage yourself. If you want to be successful and grow your business to its pinnacle, you're going to need to learn how to ask for help.
When the time comes time to ask for help or to hire your first employee, how do you find the right person? After all, who can you possibly trust with your life's work? No one could potentially put the same energy and passion into this business as you do, right?
While that may be true, it doesn't mean you can't find someone that can bring their knowledge, passion, and experience to the table. Before you start looking deeply into the resume pile lying in front of you, give this article a read. With the right mindset, you will be able to make a stellar choice and pick the right candidate as your first employee.
Hiring the first employee is like setting the first brick of a wall. If that brick isn't sturdy and placed correctly, the rest of the wall will be unstable. You must find someone that will set the tone for future hires. This person will help train and develop your next hire, and the passion that they bring to the job will reflect on your next hires.
Make sure you hire an employee who is passionate about the field. I would much instead hire someone who is going to come into work every day excited to learn something new about the area and make an impact than someone with a perfect resume. There is no doubt that knowledge and experience play a significant role. However, being passionate is the most valuable quality that an employee can have, and the rest can be worked upon and molded. A person who is enthusiastic will be willing to go to any lengths and help your business progress. A passionate person isn't coming to you with cupped hands looking for a raise; they are coming to you with helping hands.
Rather than choosing an employee with the most skills or experience in the field, look for their potential. You're a new business. Unless you hit a home run with a seasoned entrepreneur looking for a passion project, you may not be able to afford someone with ten years of experience. However, that doesn't mean you can't find someone who knows more than you about a particular part of the business or can make up for your shortcomings.
Look for the recent grad, the hourly superstar, or the bottom-of-the-totem-pole employees who have the knowledge but haven't had their shot yet.
You might be looking for ways to scale your team quickly, but hiring employees too fast may be detrimental. You wouldn't find someone to marry in a couple of weeks, so don't hire a business partner in the same time frame. Therefore, this process might take a little time and allow yourself to give that time. If you are thinking about adding one to the team, start the process early so you can go back to the drawing board if you don't find the perfect fit.
This first employee of your business is going to determine the development of your company. Take time and look deep into the candidates that you think may have what it takes to take your company to the next level. Proper screening is a must and not something that you can rush.
There is no hiding that everybody has strengths and weaknesses. Professional sports teams have dozens of assistant coaches for a reason. In large corporations, there is enough "Chief (Insert title here)" to take up a significant portion of the payroll. You may not be a finance guru or a marketing wizard, but if that's what your company needs, your new hire should be. Pick your first employee in such a manner that they cover your weaknesses and have your back.
I sometimes leave "t"s uncrossed and "i"s un-dotted. I also sometimes have trouble calculating the tip after I finish dinner. I've always looked for someone who makes up for these shortcomings. The first employee that you hire should be great at things that you are not and makes you better.
Your values and culture will grow and develop as your company does. However, trees start with a single seed. Your employee culture and values start as soon as you sign an offer letter. Determine what kind of employee you want to represent your company before you start interviewing.
Additionally, this is a great time to look in the mirror. Determine if you and your company are reflecting the values that you determine. Your company is a reflection of you and your values, and if you don't like what you see in the mirror, this is a great time to make some changes.
You're a new business that can't afford someone taking a little extra off the top. You also are going to be working with this person every day for years. This person is going to be interacting with customers, clients, and you daily. Therefore, any employee that you hire is going to impact your business's productivity and image in the market.
One way to look at this is by asking yourself if you would want a family member to have a platonic dinner with this person. Would you trust them to babysit your kids or take care of your dog when you are on vacation? When hiring your first employee, you need to make sure that you are choosing a person that you trust with the things you love the most. After all, they are going to be helping a dream come true.
Starting up a business requires a plethora of tasks to be done. Thus, you need to ensure that the employee you are hiring is resourceful enough to find solutions where others see problems. They don't have to be great at everything, but they will most likely be wearing more than a couple of hats.
Find someone that is going to ask great questions, think outside of the box, and make things more efficient. Don't look at hiring your first employee as hiring for a specific job description. Instead, you are hiring someone to help you grow. Trees don't just need water to grow; they need sunlight, nutrients, the right environment, and care. If you hire someone that can only do one thing, you're going to be back where you started and looking for someone to help you very quickly.
Hiring your first employee is tough; there's no way around it. Yet, it's an exciting time for your business. It means you're growing and you're ready to take the next step. Therefore, don't make the easy choice when hiring your first employee. Make the right choice to build your business. It is your dream, hire someone who has the same goals as you.