You worked your butt off and the next thing you know you have more happier clients and customers than you can manage. Even though you are basically superwoman, you have more work than you can handle and it is time for you to hire your first employee! While this is super exciting, it’s a big undertaking. You will be someone’s boss and source of income, which means you have a huge responsibility ahead of you. There is a lot of ground to cover, so let’s get started!
It’s up to you how you want to go about hiring your first employee, but consider using a few different options so you can have a decent pool of applicants. You can always post your job opening on the big sites like Monster, Indeed, and LinkedIn, but consider seeking out job boards more specific to your industry or locale. It is also commonplace to post job openings on your business’ social media accounts. This is a great way to attract applicants who truly are a fan of your company.
When it comes time to write your posting, keep your requirements concise and clear. Be realistic about the skill level you can afford and be flexible in your less needed requirements. For example, you can put “experience with Photoshop a bonus” to signify that candidates do not have to have that skill but will be highly considered if they do. On the other end, make sure you are very clear with what you are offering. Specify if the position is full-time, has benefits, and provide your office location.
Pick a Salary Range
When it comes to decide what you can pay your employee, don’t offer them the highest number you can pay. This can seem like a good idea in order to attract the most experienced employee you can find, but it can land you in trouble when it comes time to negotiate. You should expect that after you extend an offer to a candidate they will try and negotiate a higher salary. If you leave yourself a little wiggle room, you won’t be left with no options come negotiation time.
Obtain an Employer Identification Number
Head over to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service and obtain an employment identification number (EI). The EIN is required for reporting taxes and other documents to the IRS and reporting employee information to state agencies.
Set Up Records for Withholding Taxes
You have to keep records of employment taxes for at least four years so it is important to have a good record keeping system in place. You will need to keep records of federal income tax withholding, signed withholding exemption certificates, federal wage and tax statements, your employee’s completed W-2 form and depending on the state you are located in, you may be required to withhold state income tax. For more information see the IRS’ Employer’s Tax Guide.
Employee Eligibility Verification
Employers are legally required to verify an employee’s eligibility to work in the United States. Within three days of hire, employers must complete Form I-9, employment eligibility verification, which requires employers to examine documents to confirm the employee’s citizenship or eligibility to work in the U.S. Employers can only request documentation specified on the I-9 form.
Learn the Laws
There are a lot of laws and government regulations that come with being an employer. Read up on these regulations and make sure you know all the details about registering your new employee, obtaining workers’ compensation insurance, posting required notices and filing your IRS Form 941, Employer’s Quarterly Federal Tax Return. Also be sure to brush up on the standards for employee rights in regards to equal opportunity and fair labor standards. See the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and Fair Labor Standards Act for more information.
If you are hiring a full-time employee you need to consider which benefits you are planning to offer. Your benefits package could include a retirement plan, health care, paid vacation and sick days, tuition reimbursement, maternity leave,and more. Take some time to research what you can realistically offer and be careful not to promise anything you can’t follow through on as that can get you in big trouble.
Set Up a Work Station
Your new employee will need a desk, a filing cabinet, a computer and a slew of other office supplies. Stock their desk for them so you aren’t scrambling to find supplies every time they are looking for something.
Have a Game Plan
Your new employee will probably want to hit the ground running so make sure you know exactly what you want their tasks to be and be prepared to train them their first week. Also consider bonding activities such as taking them to lunch on their first day or playing a get-to-know-you game. There is nothing worse than starting a new job and staring at an empty inbox, so find plenty of ways to keep your new employee busy and feeling comfortable in their new environment.
Are you ready to hire your first employee?
featured image credit: Stock That Rocks