Thinking Of Hiring Your First Employee?
Somehow, after a rollercoaster ride, you’ve found yourself in a capable freelancing position. So, what’s the next logical step? Hiring your first employee is a crazy thought, but you may be ready for it, since you’ve already gotten this far without any help. Yes, there’s responsibility to shoulder, but the value – and the symbol of an employee – is hard to deny.
Yet before you commit, read our tips for what to do and how to approach your inaugural hire…
Look for values similar to your own
At this early stage, it’s crucial to find someone who treasures the same things you do. Whether they’re a stickler for time-keeping, a creative visionary, or a technical whizz, they should fall somewhere close to your skillset.
We’re not saying they have to be exactly like you – far from it, since their talents can be complementary, and make for a well-rounded service. But it does help if you can forge common ground as a unit… After all, it’ll just be the two of you for a while, which’ll test the working methods you’ve relied on thus far.
Make sure you can afford it!
Although it’s sensible to strike for a first hire as soon as you’re able to, there’s no point rushing into a commitment you can’t support. Income has to be ticking over nicely; your books are clear and balanced; if you’re renting an office, the wheels should be turning on a budget you can adhere to…
Shaky finances will destabilise employment at every turn. No-one wants to be in a position where they can’t spare the cash for a second wage, breaking the trust someone has put in us for their livelihood.
Gauge where a rate increase is appropriate
Soon, your fledgling business will have more skills and capacity to lend to a project. That means, in theory, you’re becoming a hotter prospect. Upping those client rates is reflective of where the business is heading, so consider who can afford to pay more, and how you might negotiate.
Do so before the final candidate reveals themselves. If clients know you’re thinking about long-term expansion, they can (hopefully) boost the workload, reviewing where you’ll be of the most use to them.
Don’t scrimp on legal protection
Hiring someone without a set, binding contract is madness, pure and simple. That’s because not all job opportunities work out – they could quit on a dime, do something wildly inappropriate that affects the business, or play fast and loose with their reliability.
Get an expert to look over your work agreement, and see that holiday/sick leave/disciplinary procedures are clear and reasonable. It’s also wise to include a probationary period, giving you legal recourse if the employee doesn’t perform as well as you’d hoped over the first couple of months.
You can let that breath out now… We’re at the end of our hiring diatribe, even though there are a dozen other points to chew on. To face up to them, and prepare your company accounts, take on Bright Ideas for a financial service that’ll guide you through this milestone!
Call 0161 451 3941 or email firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re trying to score a bullseye for your ambition.
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