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HUMAN RESOURCES

How to Hire Your First Employee

Your business is off the ground and now you're ready to hire your very first employee. What should you look for when staffing up at a start-up? Here are some tips.
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You started your business because you wanted to be your own boss. But your business is growing so fast, you need some help. So in addition to being your own boss, you're going to have to be someone else's boss, too. You're going to have to hire your first employee.

Chances are you'll be facing the task by yourself. You'll have to play the roles of recruiter, interviewer, negotiator, and legal counsel. But Inc.com can help. We have the basics covered -- from tools to help you figure out what kind of position you're filling to advice for conducting a successful and legal job interview.

Phase One

Hiring Checklist
This checklist outlines the steps your company should take to ensure that you hire only the best employees.
Job Description Template
Create job descriptions using this template.
Notice of Job Opening
This generic form can be used to inform job banks, recruitment firms, and other organizations of your placement needs.

Assessing Your Needs

The First Employee
Each year, thousands of sole proprietors double the size of their businesses by hiring their first employee. But how do you know when--and whom--to hire?
IncQuery: The First Employee
A sole proprietor using independent contractors asks for advice on hiring her first employee.
Staffing: Full- and Part-Time Employees
Hiring employees is a critical legal and strategic milestone for your company. Understand the implications before you hire your first permanent employee.
The Four Basic Work Types Every Recruiter Should Recognize
By analyzing potential employees based on work-type rather than specific skills and experience level, you'll be more likely to make good matches between candidates and job openings.
Match a New Recruit's Perspective with Workplace Culture
How quickly a new employee adapts to a company and a new company culture has a lot to do with their long-term success at that firm. Here are a few tips to make sure newbies integrate into your culture more easily.

Finding Talent

Scenes from the Talent Wars
As the labor market tightens, employers are going to ever greater lengths to lure top performers. How aggressive are you willing to get?
The Power of Weak Ties
Social networking is stepping up as an important recruitment tool -- and a great way for employees to build a broader referral network.
19 Strategies for Hiring the Best
This checklist summarizes the most important principles in the art of hiring.
The 4 Hiring Practices of Highly Successful Organizations
Success is based on finding the right people for the right jobs.
Master Networkers
An Inc. 500 company's relentless networking and community involvement results in new clients -- and new employees.
How can we hire quickly and smartly?
To develop a great hiring plan, you need to focus on five strategic areas.
Finding and Hiring Great Techs (and Anyone Else)
Get practical suggestions for locating, hiring, and retaining quality workers.
Recruiting Secrets of the Smartest Companies Around
This classic Inc. article shares some of the good-old-fashioned ways to find workers, and unorthodox methods as well.

Screening

How To Hire Wisely
Forget the gimmicky tests and interview books. Here are some tips you really can use to make a great hire.
The Perils of Hiring Stars
Beware the sparkling resume: New research shows that "superstar" employees often do real harm.
Resisting the Power of Pedigree
In business, as in horseracing, good breeding can be overrated.
One Dozen Powerful Strategies for Avoiding Hiring Disasters
Spot bad employees before you hire them with these strategies.
Employment Application
Have candidates fill out an employment application like this one before you decide to bring them in.
Preinterview Questionnaire
Learn as much as possible about prospective job applicants to determine who you will grant interviews to.
Recruiting Strategies: Screening
A look at how past Inc. 500 winners developed candidate-screening procedures and interview questions to ensure that new recruits are a perfect fit.
Seven Steps to Better Phone Screening of Job Candidates
An effective telephone screening process can reduce the time you spend selecting top candidates for a position.
Avoid Hiring a Crook
Perform these three background checks to help weed out the criminals from your candidate pool
Job Applicant Reference Request
Use this form when asking a job candidate for a reference.
Prehiring Reference Check
Check a candidate's references before you ask them to sign on. By using this form, you'll be sure to collect all the information you need.

Interviewing

How Would You Design Bill Gates's Bathroom?
Job interviews, Microsoft style.
Tailor Questions to Your Company
Hire effectively by tailoring your interview questions to your company's culture. Here are great ones to ask.
Knowledge Worker Interview Questionnaire
The questions on this form will guide you through a productive and effective interview.
Questions to Avoid During an Interview
Some questions are OK to ask -- and some aren't. Here's a list of questions to avoid asking candidates, so you can avoid possible lawsuits.
Applicant Appraisal Form
Use this form to rate all applicants applying for a position in areas including skills and knowledge, initiative, and creativity.
Screening Room
Group interviews of job candidates can save time and provide useful insights.

Hiring and the Law

Megan's Law and Your Business
What employers need to know about the new national sex offender registry.
The Sad End to the Bad Reference
Résumés, like ads in the personals column, are marketing documents intended to sell at best, deceive at worst.
Avoid Hiring Mistakes
Hiring employees brings added risk to your business. To avoid costly legal mistakes, follow these steps
Legal Hiring Practices FAQ
Even before you hire a worker, laws apply to your hiring practices -- including how you draft your job announcement.
Legal and Illegal Preemployment Inquiries
This chart outlines the type of information you can request in applications and during job interviews as specified by federal laws.
Recruiting Employees
Employment laws become relevant even before you hire an employee, so be careful of discriminatory remarks and practices in your recruiting efforts.
Employment Agreements
Put the terms and conditions of an employment relationship in writing. It could become an important part of defending any future litigation.
Sample Offer Letter
Use this sample offer letter to inform a job applicant of your interest in hiring him or her.
Sample Employment Agreement Cover Letter
Send a prospective employee this cover letter accompanied by either a Sample Employment Agreement (For Cause), or a Sample At-Will Employment Agreement -- links to both are included here.
I just hired my first employee. What are my federal tax responsibilities as an employer?
"I just hired my first employee. What are my federal tax responsibilities as an employer?" Find out here.
Last updated: Feb 1, 2006




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