How To Hire Your First Employee

When working from home for yourself for a while, you build up recognition and a client base. At a certain point, most freelancers and small business owners want to expand – and that means making your first hire.  


Making the right hire the first time only happens when you make sure you have put the time into the preparation. New employees bring new excitement, fresh perspective, and, of course, the ability to grow your business. You’ll do well to work with recruitment agencies, but you still need to prepare – so how do you get it right? 



Double check the business budget – do you have enough to pay the person for the duration of their contract? Can you fulfil your financial obligations even if you have a client pause or cancel a project? Do you need someone full-time, or would part-time be enough? 


Legal obligations

You’ll need to prepare a contract or written statement of employment (get it checked by a solicitor). A minimum level of paid holidays, although you can be more generous if you like. Understand how many breaks per day and how long the minimum is, investigate SSP, and when it applies. Payslip and deductions are all on your lap, too. 

Without an HR team, it can be a good idea to find software that can handle this for you. 



Without the right job spec, the people applying aren’t going to be the people you need. Think about the qualifications, skills, and characteristics that you need and want. Are you looking for a lot of experience? 

Perhaps a starter who is willing to learn would be better for you. Be honest about the type of projects you have and the size of your company. You can even talk about your visions and future goals – so you have someone who aligns with your needs and the shaping of the business.

Make sure that your job description is accurate and clear, and be honest about the demands of the job – if you’re a 24/7 person, you’ll need someone who matches your energy. 


Top of the Top

When you work with a recruitment agency, they will filter the applicants against your criteria – but it can be good to give them some freedom to select a few wildcards. Sometimes, while the experience or qualifications don’t quite fit – the person is a good match. Chemistry matters just as much as the skills to do the job. 

Always have an initial chat before the main interviews; this will give you an idea of the person and how they will fit with what you do. It will also give you the opportunity to ask a couple of questions about knowledge and filter out anyone who may have inflated their experience. 

Check references before making an offer. 



Welcome them to the company and give them clean instructions about the start date, pay, benefits, and more. Then, be sure you plan something for their first day and week that eases them into the work – but without being too soft about it. Once you have your first employee hired, it gets much easier to hire in the future. 

If you are wondering if you really need to hire or you might be better off outsourcing some tasks, here are a couple of tasks that are often better given to freelancers: 5 TEDIOUS OFFICE TASKS WORTH OUTSOURCING.