9 Things to do Before Hiring your First Employee

Congratulations! You’re hiring your first employee.

You’ve been planning on this for months. And now it is finally in the budget. Yet, you’re super curious about what you may be missing. You’re in luck! Here is a checklist of items to ensure you have in place before bringing on your first employee.

Register with the State

Yes.  You need to make sure that your business is registered with the State.  You will need this for both unemployment and worker’s compensation.  You will need to ensure that these are both taken care of first as it could delay your ability to onboard with a payroll company.  The state systems can be a bit wonky.  We recommend picking up the phone and calling the agency if you run into roadblocks.  You will find that most staff truly want to help you be successful! 

Payroll Company

You’re hiring your first employee, and you want to make sure they are paid correctly AND on time.  You will need some way to process your payroll, register new employees with the state, pay your quarterly taxes and issue your W2’s at the end of the year.  A note of caution – (possibly from personal experience) – ensure that you have the payroll system 100% in place prior to bringing a staff person on.  You need to pay quarterly taxes and sometimes that payroll onboarding takes a bit longer than you anticipate.  Plan on 60 days to be safe. You want to ensure that all your quarterly taxes are done correctly and in the correct quarters.   Depending on the size of your organization & location, we have a few companies that we recommend.  Feel free to reach out to us HERE

Job Description

This is a specific description of each job AND ensures that you are setting clear expectations.  These also protect you from many legal hurdles.   

Ideal Employee Characteristics

Your job is the perfect solution for individuals who are not fully utilizing their skillset and amazing personality in their current role.  They are currently disengaged and not in a culture where they can tHRive.  Cue the music.  This is where Ideal Employee Characteristics come in.  You are their answer and when they read about these characteristics in a FaceBook post or advertisement on Indeed they say “this is me!  When can I start?” That my friends is what outlines the culture and solves their problem. And guess what? This also solves yours!   

Offer Letter

This is a personal invitation to come to work with you in a specific job role.  The office letter outlines the position and rules of engagement to be part of the organization. 

Employee Handbook

Your handbook sets the stage for what is expected inside of your organization.  This should comply with all state and federal laws.  

Orientation Plan

The orientation is to increase a new employee’s comfort with the organization and new position.  Specifically, this is reviewing the rules and expectations and is a system that is done over and over for new staff.  Think general.   

New Hire Paperwork

This is the required legal and organizational paperwork to ensure that you as an organization can pay them, direct deposit their paycheck, have someone to call if there is an emergency, ensure that they understand the position and your specific values as an organization.  We also recommend that you align the organizational goals with the employee’s personal goals right away through a goals and expectations exercise that you review with the employee monthly for the first year.  This then becomes a part of the onboarding program.   

Onboarding Plan

The onboarding plan provides employees with a mentor (with the first employee- this mentor will be you!) and the opportunity to acquire the necessary organizational knowledge and behaviors to be effective inside the organization.  This allows them to gain the trust and confidence of themselves and their co-workers to intertwine into the fabric of the organization.  This is total integration into your culture and is customized to the employee over the first year.   

Bringing it all Together

Are you still with us or have you just hit the overwhelm button?  Take a deep breath.  We have an easy button!  All of this is laid out in our HR Foundations Program through either a DIY with templates or a plan where we will do it with you!   AND you can link to specific articles on each of these topics.  Let us know your thoughts and what you need to overcome the scary hump of hiring your first employee. 

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