Best Practices for Hiring your First Employee

Last Updated:
September 20, 2022

Best practices for Hiring your first Employee

Starting a business can be challenging but it is well worth the effort. Once you start growing, you will continue to face new challenges, like hiring your first employee. While this is an exciting time of growth for your company, it is easy to make mistakes during the hiring process. These mistakes can slow down your business growth and cause more issues later on. Follow these best practices for hiring your first employee to ensure everything goes to plan.

Take Your Time Hiring

Hiring your first employee is an exciting prospect, but, you must ensure you don’t rush into any decisions. Take your time throughout the interview process and spend time with the candidates to ensure they fit the role. However, if you are in a hurry, consider hiring a new employee in a contract capacity first. You can hire them for a single project and then once you see their capabilities hire them for a permanent role.

Contract positions allow you to better assess how the candidate fits into the role, what strengths they have and what they need more training for. It also allows the employee to assess if they like the position and company. This can lead to happier, more loyal employees.

Check Your Finances

As your business grows and the workload increases, it makes sense to hire an employee. However, you should first check that the business can afford the extra salary. Look at the books and then double-check them. Consider how much you can reasonably afford as a salary and if you’ll provide benefits. Work out the total cost to the business including benefits before starting the process. Now, your new employee should increase productivity, therefore, revenue should increase. However, this is not a guarantee, so base the salary and benefit pricing on what you can currently afford.

Finally, ensure that you calculate the additional costs that come with hiring a new employee. This includes payroll taxes, recruiting costs, equipment, and training.

Look for a Partner that Shares Your Vision

When hiring your first employee, look for someone who wants to be part of the business and your dream. As a startup, finding someone who wants to dedicate themselves to the company can help facilitate more growth. Some of the traits to look for in a partner include collaboration skills, intellectual curiosity, and self-motivation. Your first employee can greatly influence the ongoing growth of your company. Aim to hire them to fulfill tasks you do not have time for, but are knowledgable about. This ensures that you can adequately train, support, and manage your employee while you focus on other tasks.

Make Sure You Can Work With Them

When hiring your first employee, make sure that you get along with them and that your personalities won’t clash. After all, you will be working with this individual every day. This is a big change for entrepreneurs and can cause issues if personalities are too different, or too similar. Often, the personality of your first employee is more important than their specific skill set. Look for mutual respect, trust, and good communication above all else.

Review Your Legal Obligations

Hiring employees comes with a range of additional legal obligations to be aware of. Ensure you research these before hiring to avoid any unexpected surprises. Some of the key legal areas to research include;

Tax Liabilities

These include ensuring the employee can legally work, checking the SIN, and determining tax withholding amounts.


While offering benefits is nice, it isn’t required. But, if you offer benefits ensure you follow the regulations for your area.

Interview Questions

Some interview questions are off-limits. This can include questions pertaining to protected status, living conditions, religion, debt, or family.

Conducting Background Checks

Running a criminal background check is a smart idea when hiring your first employee, however, some information is off limits like checking credit scores.

Hiring your first employee is exciting and finding the right person is important. Remember to take your time, and ensure that the employee you choose will fit in with the vision and values of the company.

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