Hiring New Employees: From First Day to Pay Day

LAST UPDATED: June 11, 2022

Having the right employees can make or break a business. They affect your productivity, your product quality, your relationship with your customers, and so much more. As important as employees are, though, it’s not always easy to build the right team.

There’s a definite art to learning how to read people and determining who will be the best fit for your business, but that’s only one challenge of many. To make the process smoother, check out these key insights into hiring new employees, from the job description to the paperwork and logistics.

6 Things to Know About Hiring New Employees

Before you leap into advertising for the position you want to fill, there’s a lot of work you need to do to prepare, plan, and budget. Start with these expert insights.

1. When to Hire New Employees

For a typical business, your staff is the largest expense you have, which makes it a highly critical investment. Before you jump in, make sure your investment could actually be profitable. Ask yourself these questions:

  • Are you turning down new business because you don’t have enough staff to deliver efficiently?
  • Is your quality or timeliness suffering because your current team is forced to rush through projects?
  • Do you have specific tasks a new employee could perform that could directly either save money or earn money for the business?
  • Do you need new employees to expand your business, such as by opening a new location, offering new services, or adding to your product line?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you may have a viable and profitable reason for hiring new employees. Even still, take the time to review your recent financials as well as your projected revenue to make sure you can expect to afford your new employees long-term.

2. Independent Contractors vs. Employees

Employees may be your first thought if your business needs more help, but in some cases, an independent contractor could be a better fit. Make sure you weigh the pros and cons to see which one is the best for your needs.

A contractor is a better choice if you have a short-term need, such as a product you need to develop. This could also be the right option if you expect to have an inconsistent amount of work for this team member.

On the other hand, you have more control over the workload, timeline, and schedule of an employee. Employees also tend to be more invested in your business because they don’t have other employers the way that contractors have other clients, and they often want to stay with your business for the long haul. If you feel confident that you can maintain enough of a workload for them to continue being profitable, they could be the better choice.

3. Writing and Advertising Your Job Posting

If you’ve decided an employee is the way to go, it’s time to start your candidate search. The first step is writing a great job description that helps both you and the candidate determine if you’re the right fit for each other.

Be clear about the functions and responsibilities of the role. Take your time to think about the skills and experience level you want the candidates to have.

Don’t forget that you’re trying to attract top talent, so your job posting needs to make your company attractive to candidates too. Showcase what you have to offer, like your company culture, flexibility options, benefits, advancement opportunities, and more. Don’t forget to detail who your company is and what you do.

With that attractive and specific job description in hand, it’s time to start advertising it. Aim for a variety of locales, such as social media platforms, industry job boards, general job boards, and so on. Ask your current team for referrals too in case they know any candidates.

4. Interviewing and Screening Your Candidates

If your great job description is working its magic, you’ll start seeing resumes pouring in. Where do you go from here?

Start with a broad screening. You could have a list of five high-priority criteria, for example, or give each resume a “first impression score” on a scale of one through ten. You can go back to the highest-scoring resumes to determine who to interview.

Make sure your interview questions and activities combine assessing your candidates’ skills and gauging their personalities. Don’t underestimate the value of a team whose personalities work well together. Consider having candidates complete a short skills test or sample project to see their work first-hand, but keep it brief and reasonable.

5. Job Offers, Compensation, and Benefits

When you’ve found the perfect fit, it’s time to make it official with a formal offer letter. There are a variety of essential pieces of information that you want to put in writing, such as:

  • Job title
  • Start date
  • Compensation offer
  • Employment status (such as full-time or part-time)
  • Pay format (hourly or salary)
  • Pay frequency (every two weeks, twice per month, or weekly, for example)
  • Benefits
  • Conditions the employee must meet to qualify for employment, such as a reference check, drug test, background check, and so on
  • An at-will statement clarifying that there is no contract for a specified amount of time
  • A deadline for the candidate to respond

When offering a compensation amount, you may want to leave room open for negotiation. Know your budget’s limit, but try starting a bit lower so you can negotiate.

6. Set Up Your Payroll

It’s official: the candidate has accepted. Now it’s time to deal with the paperwork.

First, you’ll need an EIN, or employer identification number. If you don’t already have one, you’ll apply for one through the IRS.

Next, you need to prepare the proper forms for your employee. In addition to any internal forms like a confidentiality agreement, you need them to fill out a W-4 so that you can set up their tax details in your payroll system and send them a W-2 after the year’s end. They’ll need an I-9 too, as well as potential tax forms for your state. Consult a tax professional in your state for specific guidance.

Finally, you need to set up all these details in your payroll system. There are many nuances and laws around tax withholdings, payroll taxes, tax depositing, and more. Instead of handling that headache yourself, use a professional payroll platform like Zeffry.

Growing Your Team

Adding to your team is an exciting yet stressful step in your company’s growth, but there are ways to make it easier. Start with the insights above and get the help of our payroll services.