Hiring an initial team member is a milestone for any business, but it is especially critical for solopreneurs or two-person teams: The new hire is going to take on a significant portion of the brand work. Even when roles are not split so evenly, new members in such a small team have the power to significantly impact business functions: There are very few people on hand, which means you need someone responsible and capable to handle tasks.

While there are risks to bringing in someone new, to grow and evolve, a company usually needs to take on new team members. So what do you need to keep in mind when considering the heady task of hiring your first employee for your small business? Here’s what members of YEC Next had to say:

Members discuss a few things you should keep in mind when considering your first hire.


1. The New Hire Will Represent You 

The first hire is equally exciting and frightening: Exciting because it is typically the first sign that you have grown into an actual business, frightening because you are now responsible for someone’s paycheck going forward. This hire is going to be crucial in the growth of your business as they represent you. Assuming there are only four very basic departments in a business — administration, sales and marketing, finance and production/operations — and you hire someone to fill only one of those roles, their contribution represents 25% of your business. More likely, this person will need to be available to fill many functions. Because you will need to entrust significant responsibility to your new hire, it is critical that you find someone who can adapt well in a startup environment. – Ryan Meghdies, Tastic Marketing Inc.

2. A Wrong Hire Could Lead To Losing Money

A new hire is crucial because you want to continue to grow your business and avoid burnout. By hiring someone you totally focus on bringing revenue. As solopreneur, you are doing everything. First-time hiring is difficult because one wrong hire could lead to losing money. The hiring process might be tedious. If you find yourself with little time for hiring someone you should outsource. You want to hire someone who helps your business flourish. – Jessica Baker, Aligned Signs

3. They Must Be Hired For The Right Role

Hiring the right person is crucial, to say the least, but what’s often overlooked is what role you should be hiring for. The first thing my business partner and I did before hiring anyone was we made a chart of the tasks we do on a daily basis. We laid them out and organized them based on what we felt the cost per hour should be. Once we had the tasks organized from least expensive to most expensive, we built a job description around the least expensive tasks and hired a person to perform these tasks. Since these tasks are easy to perform, the onboarding is quick, the overhead is low and you will have a large pool of candidates to choose from. – Matt Bigach, Nexus Homebuyers

4. They’re The Start Of A Learning Curve 

The first hire is a learning curve for many solopreneurs, as it demonstrates what to look for in future employees, and more importantly, what to avoid. It can teach you how good of a leader you can be and what you need to do to improve yourself as the “boss.” The first hire will catch you with all of your mistakes, and the way you both deal with all the ups and downs will show you a lot about yourself and your willingness to overcome obstacles while managing to pay someone along the way. It is absolutely critical to a company’s success to identify employee weaknesses and strengths in a short period of time. The first hire will also come in with a fresh eye on something you may have worked endlessly on, and can provide crucial insight to your company that you may have not had before.  – Ajmal Saleem, Suprex Learning

5. The First Hire Is Setting The Standard

The first person that you hire says a lot about your company culture. This hire will help determine the work ethic and the standard of performance that is acceptable for your team. The right person can do the job of the three people. The wrong hire could set your team back six months or more. Make sure you’re hiring for the strengths that you want in your company and office culture. – Jim Huffman, Growthhit

6. The First Hire Is Your Business Soulmate

The first critical hire is capable of one of three things — moving things forward, moving things backward or keeping things stale. Of course you want your first hire to be loaded with energy and positivity to move things forward. This is where attitude and aptitude should supersede the typical attributes for hiring such as experience and education. Take your time and make a smart decision to find your proverbial soulmate in business — one that will help move things further. – Ron Lieback, ContentMender

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