When should you hire your first employee? Stéphane Michon.

Posted on June 15th, 2022

You started your business a few months ago, your business prospects are encouraging, your confidence in the future is quite strong, your workload has become so large that you feel overwhelmed all the time.

You say to yourself: it’s time for me to recruit my first employee!

Before starting your search, my recommendation would be to review your working method by automating your processes beforehand, by reorganizing your tasks in the day or in the week to avoid the scattering of activities.

An example would be to group sales prospecting, administration, packaging, delivery, social media, etc. by day or half-day. by reminding yourself that you will become more efficient, your voice more controlled on the telephone, your gestures safer when handling, your mind sharper, and that finally, you will regain time.

Still not enough?

Why not start outsourcing some of your tasks/missions to freelancers?

Be careful, only delegate the tasks of which you have a good command of the subject in order to properly negotiate the contract, understand, rectify, organize response times, reporting, etc.

At the same time, make and redo the accounts in order to properly assess the amounts available and to come for long-term recruitment.

When you have the necessary money, when you are always overloaded, when you are aware that certain tasks would be better done by others than you, when your visibility on the future encourages you, the time may have come to strengthen your structure.

When you have made the decision to recruit, it is essential that you are clear about the responsibilities you are going to delegate: for what?

➢ The hindsight on certain business creations shows the interest in starting by offering part-time work for the first few months. This allows you to gradually ramp up, to be more flexible and to adapt to the development of your company. In the same field of ideas, to recruit your favorite candidate, I recommend the use of an interim contract or with a limited duration or even to make the best use of the trial period before committing to a permanent contract. This allows you to test the person but also your organization and the choice of missions you have entrusted to him.

➢ Your decision to recruit was partly based on your lack of time to manage all aspects of your business. The recruitment phase, the first months of collaboration will take you a lot of time! Beyond the missions to be entrusted, be prepared for the complementarity sought, the success criteria, the remuneration, the expected reporting, the control, the sharing times, the trial period time and your follow-up during this crucial period.

➢ Recruiting friends remains difficult because of the emotional relationship and friends will sometimes want shares in your company. A recommendation: talk to your friends’ friends.

➢ Do not hesitate to get help in the recruitment process to avoid the sympathy bias that often takes over when you need a collaborator, not a friend.
To put the odds on your side, you will probably be tempted to choose the candidate with the most skills that your company needs. My advice here would be to choose a candidate with the right ratio: required skills / average confidence. This may seem paradoxical to you, but a candidate or future employee who is too sure of himself could then question each of your directives.

➢ I recommend the use of a decision grid where you will have noted in a synthetic way the 5 or 6 criteria to which you will have attributed a number of points according to the importance in order to then decide between the different candidates received. This grid has the advantage of neutralizing the bias of sympathy which sometimes diverts the object of a recruitment.

➢ I have often found added value in asking the chosen candidate for a written message on how he sees the job and on his motivation to accept such collaboration. The employee who himself writes I will do this or that often demonstrates a more committed attitude afterwards.

Finally ! your company is growing with your 1st employee whose roadmap is clear, the remuneration recorded, the tasks carefully listed. It would be illusory to imagine immediately freeing up more time. Monitoring the work of the new employee in order to rectify any misunderstandings, listening to his proposals, checking his good adaptation, integration, training him will still take your time! But it is one of the conditions for being able to rely on this employee in complete confidence and allowing you to pursue your project by devoting yourself to the development of your company.