To help you build a strong business, you need employees who you can trust to do their jobs well. Therefore, starting with the first employee, you want to find the ideal candidates for your small business. This comes down to identifying the most important characteristics you want to see in your new hires, writing a job description that reflects those key values and knowing how to use employee benefits to attract the right candidates.

We'll explore how to sort through job candidates and hire employees who will be the perfect fit for your organization.

The Process of Hiring an Employee

Finding the right employees requires careful consideration. From articulating what you need the employee to accomplish to creating an onboarding process that will help the new hire excel on the first day, knowing how to hire employees will have a measurable impact on your business.

Here's what the hiring process should look like.

Identify the Position Need

The first step involves identifying the position you need to fill. You likely know that your business has grown enough that an additional employee will be beneficial, but you still need to articulate what this employee should accomplish.

During this step, you want to outline the role that you want the employee to fill in your organization. Consider the different types of tasks that would benefit your organization and how they can be grouped into a job description. You can also go onto sites like LinkedIn to see the types of positions posted related to what you seek for your business and the job titles used.

For example, if you want someone to help you with your marketing, you can review the job descriptions of professionals in similar positions and review the type of tasks they manage and the skill sets they offer.

You also want to consider if you want to hire independent contractors or full-time employees. Both offer advantages, and you'll want to consider the implications in areas like payroll taxes. Some small businesses and startups find it helpful to speak with accountants or small business lawyers to help them understand the differences and see the direction they'd like to move with new hires.

Create and Advertise a Job Posting

Once you know the part- or full-time position you want to create, you can create a job posting. To attract desirable candidates, make sure your job description clearly outlines the new position and the business's expectations. However, you should also consider your values and what you want to cultivate in your organizational culture. For example, if you value a collaborative culture, mention this in your job description. Similarly, if you operate more on an independent basis, make sure job candidates understand this, as well. Creating a job description that articulates these values will help you attract candidates who will fit best with your business.

Don't forget to think carefully about the soft skills you want to see most in your candidates, though. Including the most important ones in the job posting can help you identify candidates who will work well with you and any existing employees you may have.

Once you have your job description, you should post it in a variety of locations where desirable candidates likely search. Advertising your opening on social media, such as LinkedIn, can help you draw the attention of people interested in your business. If there are job boards that cater to your specific industry, make sure the job is posted there, as well.

Review Applications

Once you've drafted your job posting and promoted it across relevant channels, applications will begin to roll in. Your screening process should prioritize the skills and traits that matter most to your organization. Know which abilities a new hire can easily learn on the job and which ones they should arrive with. This can help you determine which qualified candidates stand out from the rest. Create a document that allows you to rank different applicants and note their strengths and weaknesses.

Conduct Job Interviews

Once you've created a short list of job candidates who fit the job opening best, start drafting your interview questions and call the top candidates in for a conversation. As you move through the interview process, keep notes on the different candidates to help you remember how they responded to different questions and your impression of them. If you have employees who will work particularly close to the new hire, think about including them in a portion of the interview, even if it consists of a quick lunch, so you can see how everyone interacts.

The interview questions you select should help you better understand the candidate's skills and how they fit from a personality perspective with the rest of the organization. You want to bring in someone who not only has the technical skills you need but will also work well with other people in your organization. Particularly for a small business, having employees with clashing personalities can make it a challenge to reach your full potential. Using your human resources skills to understand the candidate's traits can help you select between similarly skilled potential hires.

Choose a Candidate

Once you've conducted interviews with the top candidates, the time has come to select a hire. Look over your notes from their interviews and their resumes. If you had other employees participate in the interview process, solicit their feedback to inform your decision.

Once you've decided which candidate will fit best based on their technical skills, soft skills, and personal fit with the wider organization, you can begin the final steps of hiring.

Perform a Background Check

Many businesses find it helpful to perform a background check on potential new hires. However, you will have to let the candidates know you will be performing a background or credit check on them.

Performing a background check can help you uncover any potential red flags in the candidate's history that could indicate they aren't a good choice for your organization. Employers often use background checks to verify employment history and check on criminal backgrounds. For certain types of jobs, such as those working with children or finances, this verification plays a critical role in the hiring process.

Create a Job Offer

Once you select a candidate to hire, you'll need to create a job offer. You want to put together an offer that creates a competitive opportunity for your prospective employee so that the position seems appealing. Your job offer should include an offer letter that details the employee benefits you offer, such as health care, paid time off and 401(k) options.

Look at comparable positions at other businesses to help you appeal to your ideal candidate. As a small business, if you can't offer as many financial incentives, see if you can create an appealing package using non-financial means. For example, you can offer a better work-life balance with more flexible scheduling or regular work-from-home (WHF) capabilities.

Hire the New Employee

Now, you'll need to present your offer to the prospective employee and go through the legal steps of the hiring process. If this is the first time you've hired someone, you'll have to go through some additional legal requirements. These include:

  • Setting up a payroll system for withholding taxes according to any federal tax requirements as mandated by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), such as income tax, Medicare and Social Security. (Pay attention to employment taxes and any state taxes, as well.)
  • Securing an employer identification number (EIN)
  • Making sure you have any insurance necessary, such as workers' compensation insurance
  • Filling out the paperwork to pay taxes for unemployment compensation according to your state

For every hire you make, you'll have to complete some additional paperwork:

  • Verifying that your employee is eligible to work with Form I-9
  • Reporting your new hire to any required agencies in your state
  • Having your employees fill out Form W-4

Begin Onboarding the New Employee

Finally, the first day of work for your new employee has arrived, and it's time to begin the onboarding process. A successful onboarding routine will introduce the employee to their responsibilities and the office culture.

Help your new employee put their different experiences throughout the onboarding period in context. Rather than bombarding them with information, make an effort to walk them through important parts of their day and their responsibilities.

Encourage your new hire to take notes throughout the process, and let them know who they can turn to if they have questions, whether that's you or another member of their team. Be sure to also introduce important parts of the office culture during the onboarding experience.

From giving them the heads-up on casual Fridays to letting them know about company expectations - such as avoiding vacation time during important parts of the year - help your employee feel empowered and comfortable in their new position. This will help them acclimate to your organization and start to excel in the job you hired them to accomplish.

Manage Your Business Finances Quickly and Efficiently With Skynova

As you build your small business, your financial needs may shift. This change can become even more apparent when bringing in new employees and managing payroll.

Fortunately, Skynova offers small business accounting software to help you manage your income and expenses and track your business's financial books. It has never been easier to manage your receipts, track different expenses for your business and quickly see your financial health.

Don't lose precious time you could devote to your business trying to manage your accounting. Instead, turn to Skynova's software products, templates and resources created for small business owners just like you.

Notice to the Reader

The content within this article is meant to be used as general guidelines for hiring new employees and may not apply to your specific situation. Always consult with a professional accountant to ensure you're meeting accounting standards.