5 dos and don’ts of hiring your first employee

Hiring your first employee is exciting, but how do you know it’s the right time?

Here are some tips for making sure you’re hiring the right person at the right time for the right reasons.

Hire someone you trust

Your start-up is your baby and your first employee should be someone you trust to treat your business with respect. This means finding someone that shares your vision for the company in the future and is ready to put in the hard work of building a business with you.

Many employees don’t feel that way towards their employers and that’s okay for larger, more established businesses. Your first employee should be someone that you could consider more of a partner than just another set of hands.

Finding someone that believes in your business can be hard, which brings us to our second tip.

Don’t hire when you’re desperate

Picture this: you’re so busy trying to meet all the needs of your clients that you feel like you desperately need another person to help you. You can’t focus on business strategy because you’re in the weeds fulfilling customer orders. If you could just hire someone to help everything would be better, right?


Hiring someone out of desperation is a surefire way to hire the wrong person. If you are so busy that you’d be willing to hire anyone, stop taking on new work to give yourself some breathing room. By taking a step back, you can get a better perspective and make a better hiring decision.

Consider a contractor

However, if you really do just need some immediate, day-to-day help with certain tasks, a contractor rather than a full-time or part-time employee might be the place to start. Hiring an independent contractor can free up some of your bandwidth so you have time to look for your ideal employee.

The definition of an independent contractor in Tennessee is someone who:

  • Controls how they complete the job
  • Can set their own hours
  • Has the ability to work for others
  • Sets the price for their work

Make sure you recognize these differences when hiring a contractor. You should also make sure that you’re clearly defining what the contractor will do, and for how long, so you give yourself a deadline to find an employee.

Clearly define job roles

Clearly defining the roles of employees is crucial for hiring the right person. If you’re not sure what the employee would be doing every day, you aren’t ready to hire someone.

To begin the hiring process, think carefully about the responsibilities you’re willing to pass along to someone else. Entrepreneurs are notorious for wanting to control every aspect of their business, so make sure you’re emotionally ready to give up some of that control.

Want a place to start when defining the role of your new employee? Check out this job description database that can give you a jumping off point.

Don’t anticipate work before you get it

The most important thing to remember when you’re considering hiring an employee is to make sure you aren’t anticipating work before you have it. An employee should either make you money or save you money. Hiring someone for work that may or may not materialize down the road is never a good idea.

However, if you’re turning down new work consistently, can’t meet the obligations you already have or need someone with skills you don’t have the time to acquire, you probably need to hire someone.

If you are ready to take the plunge and hire a new employee, consider posting on our job board. And check out these tips for finding great candidates for your open positions.

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