6 Important Things to Consider Before Hiring Your First Employee

As soon as you make your first sale Land your first customer or client, one of the most exciting milestones for a new startup is hiring your first employee. Eventually, someone other than the founder will join you. Helping to make your dreams of future success a reality through hours and hard work Realize your goals. However, the importance of investing time in this process should not be underestimated. If you thought you’d just post a job ad and sit back and choose from the applicants flooding your inbox, think again.

Arguably, the first hire a startup makes is the most important. This is because, depending on their success, they will lay the foundation for further recruitment in the future. They will allow you to continue to grow and scale your business. So, when you are in a position to start the interview, make sure that you consider the following key points sufficiently. Doing so will give you the best chance of finding the right people.

1. Know the qualities you are looking for

Good employees have many great qualities. A good employee has a great attitude, they are able to do their job well, organized and punctual. Good employees can also be team members who work hard, contribute to team cohesion, and do well without requiring much supervision. We would all love to have one A loyal group of workers With all these qualities. But you may have to settle for some of them.

Before hiring your first employees, consider the qualities you look for in a team member. Here are some questions to ask yourself:

  • What qualities are important for the position as well as the business culture?
  • What qualities will help the business grow?
  • Which attributes will hurt the business the most if it is missing?
  • Are skills more important than talent?
  • Is speed more important than the ability to perform a task?
  • Is personality important in customer interactions?

These questions will help you understand which qualities your business needs and which are not as important. Once you’ve identified the qualities you’re looking for in your first employees, it’s time to focus on their roles within your company.

2. Identify the areas you need help with

No one knows the things you want to do more than you do. That’s because, probably up to this point, you’re the one doing them. One of the great things about starting your own business is that you get to see how every aspect of the business works. From sales and marketing, finance and legal. How well you can perform or manage each of these functions, however, is questionable.

Therefore, you need to decide in which area you need the most support. You also need to ask yourself, “Will hiring someone in this role help my business grow, or is it just a ‘nicety’?” THe hires first You want to build people in your startup who can ease your workload and at the same time drive the business forward.. Remember, you’re aiming to have a business that works even when you’re not there. So, perhaps hiring a barista for a sales or marketing executive at this stage is not the right move.

3. Clearly define job responsibilities

Once you have decided on the function for which this person will be responsible, you need to properly scope the role. And, in the process, create a job description. Start by listing all the responsibilities that fall within this position. Include everything relevant, but don’t just add what the business needs to do. Remember, you can be happy working every waking hour of your day to get your business off the ground. But, that doesn’t mean your employees will want to give up their lives to do the same. If your job description is too varied and tries to cover too many bases, you’re setting yourself up to fail to find the right person.

For example, if you hire a salesperson, don’t expect them to be equally involved in hands-on product development. You’re looking for someone who has experience or a skill set that will perform one of your functions really well, you are not farming unicorns. Once you’ve put together a clearly defined job description, ask yourself, “Does this person exist?” You can always do a sanity-check with a few keyword searches on LinkedIn and look at some profiles to see if there are people doing what you need them to do.

4. Map the future

Now that you know what you’re looking for, think about where this person might fit into your business. New employees joining your business right now may seem really attractive, but will these people still be with you in 12 months? Three years? Five years? Just as you probably have a roadmap and business plan for the future, employees also want to know where their jobs might take them, so don’t overlook this stage.

Think through the logical career progression of your new role and create a career path. You don’t need to get stuck into the details of every point where a campaign will take place. However, it’s a good idea to have an idea of ​​the responsibilities of each future promotion so that it’s clear from the start what goals your new hires should aim for.

5. Prepare for the interview and prepare for the interview

Once you have shortlisted your applicants, you now need to prepare for the interview and select the right person. Don’t think you can crack it over a quick coffee, you need to present your business as a professional organization that someone who doesn’t have the same emotional attachment as you would want to join. Just being an “exciting startup” doesn’t cut it anymore–there are exciting startups around every corner these days–so think about what makes you unique and how you do that. Differentiate yourself from your competition. Imagine that your closest competition will be interviewing the same people, how are you going to sell your opportunity over another company that your candidates can talk to?

If you’ve already written a job description and career development opportunity for this role, you’re halfway there. Now you need to think about how to succinctly convey your company’s values ​​and culture to someone you’ve never met before. You have to do it in a way that makes them want to get on board with you. Commit to helping you grow the next few years of their careers. As much as you interview candidates, they will interview you. So make sure to provide an excellent candidate experience. Do this so that even if they are not successful in getting a job. They will let family and friends know that you have an exciting and promising business.

6. Making the right choice and executing it well

Once you’ve conducted your interviews, the candidates have met with other team members, a co-founder, or you’ve met with them a second time to check your impressions, you now need to decide whether to make an offer.

The key factors to consider when deciding whether someone is the right tenant depend on a few factors. First, their ability to perform roles. Are you hiring raw talent with potential that you will need to train? Or, is it that someone with proven experience can “hit the ground running”? One thing is for sure, you can’t teach work ethic, so make sure they possess it in abundance. Second, cultural fit is very important. Even if it’s just you At this stage as the founder, think about the company culture and values ​​you want your employees to embody. Make sure your new hires see eye-to-eye with you on this.

Finally, you want someone with passion and enthusiasm for your business and brand In the final interview, ask them if they can sell the opportunity to you. This will quickly reveal whether someone has a genuine interest in joining your business. If they come across as enthusiastic and knowledgeable about your business (based on what they know so far), then you’ve found yourself a great first hire. Just make sure that the employment contract is ready to be sent within 24 hours. Don’t risk losing a star employee to the competition because you forgot this basic step.


Good employees can sometimes be hard to find. It could be the job market. But it can also be your recruiting method. Use these steps to find the right first employee for your business. This will lay the foundation for your growing team and help you skyrocket your business potential.

This article was first published in 2016 but has been updated and expanded

Simon Benson on LinkedInSimon Benson on Twitter
Simon Benson

Monthly Contributor: Simon is the founder of a specialist UK-based recruitment business supporting technology startups. He advocates a consultative approach to recruiting and blogs to benefit both employers and job seekers, as well as experience running a startup himself. He has a background in document editing and loves good coffee and his vinyl collection. Follow him on Twitter @sibenson_wg

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Business Opportunities · Company Culture · Featured · Find Your Way · Grow Your Business · Leadership · Productivity · Your Mindset

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Find Your Way · Grow Your Business · Lead Your Team · Sales · Your Mindset

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