Is your small business ready to hire? Check out these important tips!

Debbie Petito of Clark & Trevithick was at OfficeSlice a few weeks ago and spoke on the importance of making sure when it comes time to hiring your first employee, you hire the right person, the first time.  As small business owners and entrepreneurs the thought of hiring someone to share some of the burden of the business is both exciting and frightening.  Ms. Petito shared the following tips on how to hire the right person, and to avoid costly employment problems down the road.

Job Description:  Sit down and outline the job, the type of skills required and what type of employee that you are looking for.  Once your job description is complete, you are ready to begin seeking the person to fill the position.

Employee Handbook & Policies:  Create an employee handbook.  Though you are only hiring one employee, establishing an employee handbook is important and can save you time and money if you hire the wrong person.

What kind of policies are you open to giving?  Do you have sick time?  Vacation time?  Overtime?  Establish these policies in your handbook prior to interviewing and seeking an employee.  Don’t just take your former employer’s handbook and believe that it is standard and you can pass it off as your own.  Develop your own handbook with your policies in place.  These policies are required by law. This is an important step, don’t skip it.

Interview:  Ask the RIGHT questions.  There are many questions that are off limits when interviewing potential employees.  To find  out what kind of questions are off limits please review the California Department of Fair Employment & Housing Fact Sheet which can be downloaded here.

Review the application:   Yes take the time and review the application and resume.   Don’t just look at their resume and be so excited that you found the right person, review their fully completed application.

Do the candidates you’ve picked have the qualifications necessary as stated in your job description?

Are there gaps in their employment history that cannot be answered?

Are there other concerns that are popping up in reviewing their application and resume side by side?

Check their references!  Once you’ve interviewed your candidates, call their references!  Find out what their former employer and coworkers are saying about this candidate.

Establish an orientation period.  A 90 day orientation period where both the employer and the employee determine if this position and company are a good fit for each other.  If not, let them go early.  Remember!  Employees generally do not get better with time.

If you have any other questions regarding hiring your first employee, feel free to contact OfficeSlice, or contact Deborah H. Petito of Clark & Trevithick.

Deborah H. Petito
Attorney At Law
Clark & Trevithick
800 Wilshire Blvd. 12th Floor
Los Angeles, CA  90017
T 213.629.5700
F 213.624.9441