Hiring new employees is synonymous with growth. Growth is synonymous with profits. Logically, the better your employees, the more profitable your business.
HR is a specialty, like accounting. As a business owner, you’re not expected to be a certified accountant, nor should you be expected to know the ins and outs of hiring new employees.
Often business leaders hire out of convenience. Quickly and cheaply. Perhaps another employee’s friend or family member with no serious interview process.
This is a huge risk–the weight of your business's success lies on the shoulders of your employees.
Certifications and degrees aside, there are some guidelines you can follow to mimic the role of an HR professional. If you’re doing the hiring, tick these eleven boxes before you sign any contract.
8-point checklist for hiring new employees
Prep the printer and make space on your wall: you’re going to need this checklist if you’re hunting for new talent.
These are step-by-step guidelines, in the correct order. You shouldn’t have any issues moving forward. (You can even use this checklist to confirm that the HR manager you’re hiring knows their stuff!)
Just keep in mind that it can cost $4000 and 52 days to hire a new employee, so get serious and don’t waste your time second-guessing.
There are always two points to factor in when creating your job description:
- About the company: give as much detail as you can to help potential candidates decide if they want to apply or not. Speak about your product, your mission, and your culture. Always mention this first so the reader doesn’t skip it and apply when excited about the role.
- About the role: this is what every candidate wants to read. The actual role, including title, daily tasks, qualifications needed, remuneration, and benefits. Mention if you offer flexible working hours, a hybrid position, or any other factors.
The objective of a job description is to answer as many questions as possible before precious time is wasted. Candidates don’t want to be chasing pipe dreams, and you can’t afford to be reading irrelevant applications.
Nip it in the bud from the get-go and refine your candidates with a decent, well-thought-out, and thorough job description.
2. Legal compliance
Get your ducks in a row and make sure you have all the legal documents required. You’ve already drowned in a sea of paperwork to get your business up and running, now in an HR position you have more.
If you’ve already staff on the roster, be careful when hiring new employees that the law didn’t change.
The five main legal documents required are:
- Background information application: it’s not enough to receive a resume and cover letter. Create an application form with questions asking their name, address, emergency contacts, social security number, and other relevant questions to the position applied for.
- Employment contract: contracts serve both employer and employee. Primarily in regard to salary, renewal, termination agreement, and so on. Not having a contract exposes you to liability and poor performance.
- Independent contractor agreement: if you choose to hire a freelancer or someone from abroad, you’ll need a separate contract.
- Non-Disclosure Agreement: NDAs are vital to protect your client’s private information. You can bind your employee to not speak of company secrets, processes, or client details for years after a contract is terminated.
When an employee breaches the NDA, you might have to send them a cease and desist letter notifying them to halt all dissemination of secure knowledge immediately, give back every material they've received from your company and respond that they will stop sharing company information.
So, ensure you have a deep understanding of cease and desist letters before you make your employees sign the NDAs.
- Tax forms: does your employee have the right to work in the United States? And how much tax needs to be withheld? State and federal tax forms are readily available and filled out by the new employee. There are also tax forms for hiring contractors outside of the United States.
My advice? If this is making you shiver, do it first and get it out of the way.
You can always hire an EOR if you plan to hire abroad. This opens up the pool of possibilities for hiring new employees, only if you are OK with remote working.
Employment Of Records (EOR) are employment-focused companies that do all the groundwork for you. Very convenient for a business leader in your position—one without a solid HR team.
EOR services by Global Expansion is an amazing example of a company that will look after tax compliance for your employees abroad. They act as a middleman between you and whichever country your employee is based in. Removes the borders in a world of global employment opportunities.
Do you have a company culture? No, it’s not a millennial fad that tech start-ups use to lure top talent at lower wages. It is a de-facto way to ensure your future employees are in-line with how your company functions, on a more emotional intelligence specter.
You have every right to employ staff that you click with. Outlining your expectations in advance with a company culture mitigates confusion and disappointment from both parties. Find the right talent for your team and your business success.
Now that it’s certain the candidate is a good fit and you’ve all the documentation ready, bring on the interview.
But, what do you talk about? What questions do you ask? Critical thinking interview questions and answers are your keys to discovering if your candidate is the best fit for the role or not.
Having a solid list of questions with ideal answers is advisable for every industry, from software engineers to hotel reception managers. You’ll get an understanding of the following:
- How the candidate is able to make decisions
- Their problem-solving skills
- Their ability to research an issue or opportunity
- Discern how creative they are
- If your candidate is curious or not
An improved quality of thinking determines if your candidate works smartly, has initiative, and enjoys being challenged.
Skills and experience
It’s not such a huge necessity nowadays to have a third-level education. Many people start working young and progress up the career ladder with a natural aptitude for the role. We would advise to genuinely consider the skills and experience your candidate showcases.
Being a parent is a skill - time management, organizational skills, crisis management, and negotiating. Also living and working abroad: if your candidate has spent a few years traipsing about the continent they’re likely great self-starters and can be more patient when dealing with a diverse team.
Basically, don’t quickly jump to judge someone with gaps on their resume. Ask them what they were doing during this time and you may be surprised to find your perfect candidate (with a few good stories).
You mightn’t think a background check would be necessary but if you have customers’ sensitive data accessible to your employees then you need to consider that first. Hiring new employees is no walk in the park. Dig into their background, ask for references, and follow them up.
Very common is to search for candidates online. A smart move would be to post your opening on LinkedIn so all your candidates apply via that portal, giving you direct access to their professional social media profiles. Check their testimonials, their previous employments. Reach out to their former managers if needs be.
Don’t be afraid to get a fuller picture of your potential new employee–much better than a nasty surprise three months in (think: customer data stolen, company secrets leaked, or your best employees poached).
Coming naturally to references. How many references do you ask for? Three is a good number.
If it’s an entry-level position then ask for one previous employment reference and one character reference. It doesn't matter if the work isn’t relevant, you want information on how the candidate is a human.
It’s a red flag if a candidate is unwilling to give you a couple of references. However, if you’re hiring from abroad, they mightn’t have a ready reference who speaks English.
In that case you’ll have to trust them; give them the opportunity to to create a new English-speaking reference.
Diversity and Inclusion
A hot topic this past decade, and rightly so! Hiring a diverse range of employees can bring a whole host of benefits to your organization.
Not only does it bring different perspectives and fresh ideas to the table, but it can also improve decision-making, increase adaptability, and boost employee engagement.
By being inclusive in your hiring practices, you open yourself up to a wider pool of talent and can even enhance your reputation in the marketplace.
So, if you want to take your organization to the next level, consider embracing diversity and inclusion in your hiring process.
At a quick glance:
- Perspective: diverse perspectives = more creativity, innovation, and problem-solving techniques
- Critical thinking: better decision-making thanks to different angles and viewpoints
- Adaptability: Increased adaptability by drawing on a range of experiences and backgrounds
- Employee retention: improved employee engagement and job satisfaction
- Marketplace: a wider talent pool and enhanced reputation
Set your ground rules and be prepared
Overall, there are many components involved that you need to keep in mind when hiring new employees.
From considering the specific skill and experience needed for the role to organizing all the necessary paperwork and to being mindful of diversity and inclusion in the hiring process.
It’s important to take a comprehensive approach to recruitment. By focusing on these key areas listed above, you can attract top talent, build a strong and inclusive team, and set yourself up for long-term success.
So whether you’re a seasoned CEO or a budding entrepreneur, be sure to keep these specifics in mind the next time you’re looking to add someone new to your team.
Donna Gleize is a freelance Content Growth Specialist with a focus on Off-Page SEO. She is interested in affiliate marketing and has a passion for reading British Romantic and American Contemporary novels. She moonlights as copy and book editor and is very active on LinkedIn.