Your new business is doing well but there’s just too much work for one person to manage. What do you do? We’ve compiled some top tips to help you make the leap and hire your first employee.

Man in front of coffee cart

Get the timing right.

Timing your first hire is really important. You’ll not want to get your new body in too soon or they could be left twiddling their thumbs, without any real work to do. But equally, wait too late and you could drown in your workload and miss out on important business. The best thing to do is look at your business plan and see when you’re likely to need some support.

Perform a skills audit

It’s unlikely you’ll need someone just like you, so think about the skills you possess – and more importantly, don’t possess. Look at what needs doing and see which bits of the business you need some specific help with.
Give it the right attention. If you’re busy, the temptation will be to get someone in as soon as possible. But make sure you put some quality time aside to find the right person. Bringing someone in to help you – doubling your workforce essentially – is huge. If you’ve made that decision, make it your top priority. It’ll be worth the effort.

Attract the right talent

Pay is a huge driving factor for people looking for a new job, but it isn’t the only thing you can offer. Here’s your chance to think about the culture you want your business to have, and how your employees fit into it. Think about any benefits you could offer, for example flexible shifts, holiday entitlements and reward schemes. As a start-up, you might not be able to dish out the high-end salaries some organisations can, but you can use the freshness of the business to your advantage – particularly if you’re welcome to new ideas and allowing your new hire to be part of the journey with you. 

Look for potential

When the applications start to roll in, you’ll likely look at what they’ve done already and try to see how that can help your business go forward. That is important, but so is looking at their potential. For some hires, you might need some technical skill or a certain level of education, but don’t overlook energy, keenness and drive as key skill sets. As a start-up, you’ll need people with these attributes to help your business grow to the next level.

Set tasks

Make sure you’re getting the real deal. At the interview stage, set your candidates close to real-life tasks so you can see how they demonstrate the skills they say they have. And don’t forget freelancers and agencies. While you may think you want or need someone alongside you, your business might be better suited to some help from the outside. And it might be more cost-effective. There was a huge 31% increase in the number of freelancers in 2018, and there are now more than 4.8 million self-employed people in the UK. No matter what you’re looking for, there’s probably someone who can help. Take advantage of the flexibility freelancers – and indeed agencies – can bring to the table to help you reach your goals.

For official information about employing people, visit the government’s dedicated website.