Need 2 know: How to handle the arrival of your first hire
Getting the timing right to employ your first staff member can be crucial to your future success and needs to be thought through carefully.
There are a number of things to consider. Do you have the financial resources to cover wages for yourself and another person for at least six to twelve months?
What role or tasks are most needed to enhance your growth?
When you are thinking about this, it’s tempting to want to clone yourself. However, this is often not the best direction.
Think about your strengths and limitations and, in particular, the areas which bog you down and take you away from doing what you do best.
For example, if your strength is figures and your limitation is new client development, look at hiring a salesperson.
If, however, you’ve got the above sorted, where to from here?
A couple of weeks before they start, prepare a welcome pack.
A welcome pack contains superannuation forms, tax forms, banking details, a welcome letter and important policies and procedures.
Make sure you have the tools (computers and stationery) and resources they will need to perform their job efficiently.
For example, if you have hired a business development person, organise their business cards, marketing brochures and collateral prior to them starting so they can hit the ground running.
Day one will be onboarding (previously known as induction) the new employee, which is a crucial step in employee engagement.
Employee engagement is the term used for the level of commitment that an employee feels toward your business and is an important driver of future productivity.
Nothing is more disengaging for a new employee than to be left to ‘sink or swim’ at the beginning of their employment.
The benefits of onboarding not only reflect your professionalism but also should provide the foundations for a successful working relationship and allow the employee to be more productive and effective in a shorter timeframe.
There are three main areas that you need to cover during the onboarding:
- Company – its history, products/services, client/customer list, mission and vision statements.
- Compliance – salary/wages, benefits or commission structures, safety procedures, policies and procedures and, if applicable, security (key cards/keys/security code).
- Capability – position description, performance reviews, employment contract, training and support.
Finally, try to avoid some of the common pitfalls of making the onboarding process too long, unstructured due to interruptions and lacking in relevance to their role.