7 Tips to Follow When Looking for Your First Hire

Hiring your first employee may not be simple and easy. It requires thorough planning and an elaborate strategy to select the best. All your business plans, growth plans and strategies depend on this single move. The kind of employee you hire will define the trajectory of your business.

As the owner of a startup, you are used to working long hours, even on holidays and weekends. When was the last time you took a day off? When was the last time you spent some quality time with your family? Regardless of the hard work and effort you put into your business, you need some professional support so that you can get that much-needed and hard-earned rest that you have longed for since you decided to chase your dream. At the end of the day, you cannot do it all alone, and you have to bring someone on board.

Now, hiring your first employee may not be as simple and easy as you may think. It requires thorough planning and an elaborate strategy to select the best from the rest. All your business plans, growth plans and strategies depend on this single move. The kind of employee you hire will define the trajectory of your business. So let us check out the seven amazing tips to hiring your first employee.

1. Define your job role

Start by analysing the job role that you are offering. While hiring your first employee, a thorough job analysis helps you properly define the roles, responsibilities, duties, necessary skills, work environment and outcome of the job position.

This information will help you simplify the offer of the candidate and persuade them to join your company. Moreover, this set of information forms the bedrock of a comprehensive job description, which helps your prospective candidates understand what you truly want. The job description will help you plan a detailed strategy for recruiting more employees in the future.

2. Set a well-defined goal

As a startup, before you embark on a mission of ‘hiring my first employee’, you need to first have a well-defined goal of what you expect in a candidate. Define what it is that you are looking for. For instance, are you looking for a competent candidate or a candidate who has more experience? Plus, what kind of emotional and social factors that you wish to consider while evaluating the most eligible candidates.

As an employee in a startup, your new hire needs to possess more than just skills and attributes to motivate themselves and work in an environment that is still in the making. The employee should be focused and emotionally and mentally stable to cope with the uncertainties or intricacies that may arise due to any change in circumstances. So, have a well-defined goal before you start hunting for the ideal first employee.

3. Don’t blindly follow your instincts

You are recruiting your first employee. So, in all likelihood, you will be testing the waters for the first time. Therefore, don’t follow your instincts when on an uncharted territory such as recruiting. Remember — what may seem lucrative on paper may turn out to be the opposite when you put it into practice. By this, what we mean is that it is easy to create a resumé with inflated and bogus facts. It is observed that more than 40% of the resumés contain inflated figures and facts.

Therefore, check the facts thoroughly before finalising the candidate. While perusing resumés, your instincts may go on an overdrive looking at the credentials. So, hold your horses and let the facts spill out before you make your final decision.

4. Do a thorough background check

The next important step that you should follow is a thorough background check of the candidate. Emotionally unstable, underqualified and criminal minds hide in all job titles. So make sure you don’t end up with an unwanted personality. A background check will help you unearth the true facets of the individual.

Plus, a background check will also help you verify the credentials of the ideal candidates. Your ideal background check should consist of verifying the prior employment and compensation details of the employee, plus checking their history to find any unwanted, law-breaking behaviour in the past.

As a new company hiring the first employee, you must do these background checks. After all, your first employee is your most crucial investment. And they will determine the type of employees you would require in the future.

5. Make sure the candidate is culture fit

Even if your startup is in its nascent stages, it is still important to think about the kind of company culture you want. Though still new, the values and ethos of your brand should get imbibed into your first employees. After all, the core values of the first employee will lay the foundation for the company culture to grow and flourish later when the company expands.

You can identify if the candidate is culture fit during the interview stages itself. You can keep the first round to check their competency, and keep the second round for culture interviews. The second round should focus on creating a comfort zone around the candidate wherein they can answer questions about their life outside of the office, their interests, what they like or dislike, etc. This can help you determine whether the candidate you seek is fit for the kind of culture you want in your company.

6. Screen your candidates

Nowadays, candidates are increasingly willing to work with startups and new companies. It won’t come as a surprise when you receive a plethora of job applications the moment you publicise your requirement.

Now, inviting all of the candidates for an interview would be time-consuming and not at all feasible. So, focus on an extensive screening procedure to filter out the most desirable candidates for your job role. The screening process can be a phone interview or a virtual interview to test the key competencies of the candidates in accordance to your job requirement.

This will not just simplify your hiring process, but will also make it more efficient. Plus, the screening will help you determine who’s hot and who’s not, because someone who may look attractive on paper may not be that capable in practice.

7. Keep an open mind

Certain types of bias do enter our mind while interviewing candidates for the job. It is easy to fall into this trap, because, by default, we do have our personal preferences. Our preconceived notions make us feel that they would be the most ideal, thus neglecting the other prospects who, yet qualified, fail to meet the preference criteria.

Now, since there is a lot of importance attached to the first employee, keep your mind free of any bias while scouting candidates. It will help you get a new perspective from the candidate’s point of view. And you may as well find your most suitable first employee in the unlikeliest of the candidates.

The kind of the first employee you hire will determine the direction your company takes in the future. Everything starts from here — your company culture, business strategy, growth plans, future expansion, everything. So make sure you bet on the right person to take your dream forward.

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Shalini L
Shalini L

One of the prime contributors for this blog, Expertise in Staffing and Recruitment, Content Strategist by Profession. A Music Lover & Traveller by Choice.

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