“Great people versus okay people is the difference between success and mediocrity”
— Brett Lewis, Co-founder of Skillbridge, an online platform for business freelancers.
Small businesses have been going on a hiring spree this year, driving jobs growth following the tough years of the recession. Are you in a position to add staff? Hiring is one of the most important things a small business owner will do to spark company growth. Here are important steps you need to consider when bringing on an employee.
- Determine if you need a full time employee or freelancer
It’s important to understand the difference between hiring an employee and working with an independent contractors. Determining the right fit for your small business will help you determine what taxes need to be withheld and can help you avoid legal trouble.
An Independent Contractor typically operates under a business name, invoices for work completed, can have more than one client and sets their own hours. An Employee typically performs duties dictated or controlled by others and works for only one employer.
Before you start your search, look at the scope of the position and talk to a financial professional about tax implications. For more information to help you make a decision, visit our blog to read Hiring Help: Do you Need an Employee or Independent Contractor?
- Create a great “help wanted” post
A job post is a marketing tool, not just a help wanted ad. Instead of listing tasks, include specific details about your business. The headline: “Receptionist needed for dentist office” could attract more applicants worded this way: “Personable and Positive Receptionist Needed for Family Oriented Dental Practice”
Small business owners need to convey the aspects of your corporate culture that will attract a top candidate. Try not to come across as cold and impersonal. Possible applicants should read your ad and get a good feel for how passionate you are about your business.
Be sure to end your ad with an action item like this: Please send your cover letter and resume in the body of an email with your salary requirements to firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday August 7th.
A great way for a small business owner to find a solid employee is by networking. Ask for suggestions from friends, family, vendors, industry colleagues and other professionals like your accountant or attorney.
Have you joined a local business networking group? You can find one in almost every city around the world. Groups typically meet monthly and might include speakers or workshops that can offer great strategies for running your small business. Check out your local Chamber of Commerce here to find a group that’s a good fit for you and your business. You can also find networking groups through online sites like MeetUp.com.
- Make sure your paperwork is in order
If you’re hiring a new employee, you’ll need an employment identification number (EIN) from the U.S. Internal Revenue Service. The EIN is necessary for reporting taxes and other documents to the IRS. There are other forms and required information when you bring on small business employees. Visit the Small Business Association website for more details. Additionally, set up an employee file for each new hire that includes important information like an employee contract and emergency contact information. Quickbooks has a comprehensive list to help you build each file.
- Never stop recruiting.
“The moment you’re done hiring, you should be keeping your antennae up for the future. That’s something that flexible smaller companies can do that bigger firms, often weighted down with policies and procedures, cannot,” says Joe Kennedy, author of The Small Business Owners Manual.
It’s important to keep in mind that a small business new hire has a big impact on the company’s productivity and culture. Constantly strive to attract passionate, engaged and committed team players. As you network, you might come across a potential team member with valuable experience that can help your small business thrive.
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