Your small business is growing, and it's time to expand your team, the idea of which can, admittedly, appear overwhelming, especially when juggling the ins and outs of keeping business momentum going. So how do you get started?
The Mom Project’s got you covered. Use our guide below to ensure you have the tools you need to identify, attract, interview and hire top talent for your growing small business.
Is Now the Time to Hire?
Think your team’s ready for more talent? Make sure by asking yourself these questions.
- Can I afford to bring on a new employee, either full-time or part-time?
- Am I hiring because I’m growing quickly or because I’m swamped with the day-to-day or both?
- Which specific skills or experience will benefit my company most?
- Why would someone want to work with or for my company?
- Can I easily articulate and share your business’s values and cultures?
- Am I open to remote or flex-schedule employees?
THE PREP—Identify the why and who
Step one is deciding what kind of help you need and what kind of candidate will best deliver it. Think through that a bit, then begin crafting your job description. Start by putting together a list of characteristics, interpersonal and work skills that would be assets to your business. Use the list to build your job description and clearly define the role of your new employee.
Hiring Tip 1: Make sure your online and community presence reflects your company’s values and culture. Once you’re in the recruiting stage, talent will be vetting you, too. Give your LinkedIn a look. Review your website. Conduct a quick audit of any online reviews or posts and respond as you see fit.
THE SEARCH—Finding the right people
Once you’re clear about the skills and experience that would best benefit your team, it’s time to start looking for candidates. Digital talent marketplaces like the Mom Project can help you quickly identify and interview freelance, temporary or full-time talent across a variety of roles. Also be sure to tap into your network and social media. Friends and family can sometimes be a great resource for candidates. Universities, professional organizations and other niche communities are another great way to tap into talent, too.
Be mindful of the criteria you use to narrow down options. A career-pause on someone’s resume doesn’t mean they aren’t a good candidate. Focus on performance versus tenure. Ask open-ended questions, during interviews, to get a sense of ability and potential. Evaluate foundational skills and potential for growth. Those are the markers of a great hire. As are body language, temperament and punctuality during the interview process. Pay attention to those, too.
Communicate. Communicate. Communicate. Keep your top candidates in the loop about where you are in the hiring process and offer
THE OFFER—Talking terms
You narrowed down candidates and found the one! Before you rush to call and share the good news with them, though, set your business and your new team member up for success by taking the time to write a clear offer agreement. Include job title, responsibilities salary, benefits if offered, bonuses, flex time, pay and work schedule, and company logistics. Also, consider including a statement about your company's culture.
Hiring Tip 2: When making an offer, resist the pressure to compete with larger businesses on salary. You know what’s fair and what you can afford. Remember your small business can provide experiences and intangibles larger companies might not.
Do your homework when determining the pay and benefits. Consider your candidate’s experience. Research industry standards. Talk to other business owners.
PAPERWORK—Making it official
Paperwork. We know. We know. It’s a dreaded word, but hiring requires quite a bit. Do yourself a favor and take the time to create or gather the following before your new employee’s first day.
Tax Forms (I-9, W-4, W-9)
- If needed, consult a trusted accountant or bookkeeper to help you know your tax requirements when bringing on a new employee.
- Apply for an Employee Identification Number (EIN) with the IRS. Your EIN will be included on all forms and documents that relate to paying your employees.
- Prepare new employee tax forms
Legal Contract & Onboarding Documents
- Know the legal components of your business when bringing on a new hire.
- Create and have an attorney vet your employee contract.
- Clearly define and communicate any onboarding tasks to the employee (i.e., payroll set up, creating a company email, etc.)
- Share a link or copy of company documents or manuals the new hire will need to review, including information on benefits, sick days, maternity/paternity and family leave, codes of conduct, performance reviews, etc.
Keep in mind, being in a position to bring on new team members is a celebratory milestone. Our guide and tips are designed to give you space to honor that.
What other info would be helpful to you as a small-business owner in growth mode? Let us know on Twitter, Instagram or LinkedIn with the hashtag #TMPSmallBiz.