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5 Things To Do To Make Sure Your First Hire Is A Good One



by Andy Roe, General Manager of SurePayroll, Inc.

Perhaps almost as exciting as starting a new business is making your first hire. The feeling of actually being able to employ someone is very gratifying.

So the last thing you want to do is have it all go wrong by hiring someone who’s a bad fit, making mistakes with their paperwork or paycheck, or failing to do your proper due diligence on the candidate.

As a payroll company for small businesses, we work with startups making their first hire all the time – this is often why they choose to hire a payroll service.

So let’s break down some of the ways you can ensure your first hire is a good one.

1. Focus on the right fit for your company, not specific skills.

Just like your company is in the growth stage, it’s likely your first employee will be too. Don’t necessarily narrow your search down to a very specific set of skills when the role may easily change in a year or even a few months. Instead find someone who you can work well with and who understands the mission and culture of your business.

2. Do your homework.

Don’t be in such a rush to hire someone that you don’t make the necessary checks on their background. At the very least call their references and consider doing a professional background check. It’s peace of mind and confirmation that everything they’ve presented in the interview process is truthful, which is not always the case.

3. Don’t hire someone who lives far away.

Unfortunately, hiring someone with an especially long commute can make them a flight risk. Wouldn’t we all like to work closer to home? This is your first hire and will likely be your only employee, don’t take a big risk.

4. Don’t just think about what you need right now.

Yes, you want to hire someone who can jump in and help immediately, but keep an eye on the future. Your company is very young and will almost certainly take a number of turns as it matures. Hire someone you believe will be capable of adjusting to those changes.

5. Pay attention to payroll and taxes.

There are a number of tedious steps to putting new employees on the payroll – including obtaining an EIN number, setting up tax withholdings, reporting your new hire to the state, getting workers’ comp insurance and more. Don’t skimp on these details and have them cost you later on.

Making your first hire is a great milestone for a new company – it’s a sign that you’re planning on sticking around for a while and becoming a successful organization. However, if done hastily, having a bad experience with a new hire can be very costly, and take your attention away from your ultimate goals.


Andy Roe

Andy Roe is the General Manager of SurePayroll, Inc., a Paychex Company. SurePayroll is the trusted provider of easy online payroll services to small businesses nationwide. SurePayroll compiles data from small businesses nationwide through its Small Business Scorecard optimism survey, and exclusively reflects the trends affecting the nation’s “micro businesses” — those with1-10 employees. You can follow Andy on Twitter @AndrewSRoe.