How to Hire Employees: A Guide for Small Business Owners

Small businesses are the backbone of the economy, with an estimated 30 million small businesses operating in the US alone. For a small business to grow, it needs to hire employees who can help take your business to the next level.

However, hiring the right employee can be a daunting task for small business owners, given the complexity of recruitment and the legal implications of the hiring process. In this article, our team at Thompson Law detail the steps to consider when hiring employees for your small business.

Section 1: Determine Your Needs

Before commencing the hiring process, the small business owner must determine what roles need to be filled, the qualifications required, and the relevant industry experience. You can start by looking at your business plan, growth strategy, and budget, to get a clear picture of your anticipated staffing needs. If you anticipate a steady flow of business, it may make sense to hire full-time employees. Otherwise, part-time or contract employees may be a more economical option.

Once you have a clear picture of your hiring needs, the next step is to write job descriptions that reflect the roles and expectations of each required position. Some of the key elements to include in the job description include job title, responsibilities, qualifications, pay range, and the expected working hours.

Section 2: Develop a Recruitment Strategy

Now that you’ve determined your staffing needs, it’s time to start sourcing for candidates. There are several sources of potential employees, including job boards, employee referrals, social media, and online forums. Consider posting your job openings on reputable job search sites, such as Indeed, Glassdoor, or LinkedIn. The job description should specify the application process, including the required documents and the application deadline.

Another consideration when recruiting is diversity, which has been shown to improve decision-making, increase innovation and productivity, and reduce employee turnover. To attract a diverse pool of candidates, it’s important to market your open positions to diverse communities, use inclusive job descriptions, and avoid unconscious biases during recruitment.

Section 3: Review Resumes and Applications

Once the applications start trickling in, it’s time to review the resumes and cover letters to narrow down your candidate pool. It’s recommended to use a consistent checklist, ranking applications based on required qualifications and job responsibilities, to streamline the review process. Be sure to verify claims on the resume, such as education, job titles, and previous employment, as there is a risk of fraudulent information.

Section 4: Conduct Interviews

The next step is to schedule interviews with the shortlisted candidates. Interviews help you get a feel for the candidate’s personality, communication skills, and experience beyond what’s listed on their resume. There are different types of interviews, including phone interviews, one-on-one interviews, panel interviews, and behavioral interviews. You should develop a set of interview questions tailored to the position’s responsibilities to help you evaluate whether the candidate is a good fit for your organization.

Section 5: Run a Background Check

As an employer, you have a responsibility to ensure that your employees are qualified and not prone to criminal activity that could endanger your business or your colleagues. You’re legally allowed to perform background checks, including criminal records, credit reports, and employment history, but it’s important to get the candidate’s permission and follow state and federal regulations.

Section 6: Make a Job Offer to Hire Employees

After the interviews and background checks, you’re ready to make an offer to the best candidate. The job offer usually includes a detailed job description, compensation package, employee benefits, and the start date. Some candidates may request additional time to review the offer or negotiate the compensation package, so be prepared to have open communication with your potential hire.

Section 7: Onboard Your New Employee

Once your new employee accepts the offer, it’s time to get them onboarded into the organization. Onboarding refers to the process of integrating a new employee into the company, providing them with the necessary training, orientation, and resources to succeed in their role. Effective onboarding is crucial to reducing the employee turnover rate, increasing job satisfaction, and improving your overall productivity.

Section 8: Maintain Compliance

Hiring an employee comes with legal and regulatory requirements that small business owners must adhere to. The hiring process is subject to federal and state laws, including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). It’s important to be familiar with these regulations to avoid costly lawsuits or penalties.

Section 9: Conclusion to Hire Employees for your Business

Hiring the right candidate is an investment in your small business’s growth and success. It’s essential to follow the hiring process steps, such as determining your needs, developing a recruitment strategy, reviewing resumes, conducting interviews, running background checks, making a job offer, onboarding, and maintaining compliance.

By keeping these steps in mind, small business owners can find the right employee to take their business to the next level.