As a small business owner, there comes a point in our business where we simply can’t continue on our own. Deadlines are being missed, service excellence may be suffering, and you’ve now identified that your business is controlling your personal life as well. Hiring your first employee is a big step, and I am sure that you know that. You’re probably overwhelmed, nervous, and have no idea where to even begin to be successful in this leap.
As a fair warning, this post is going to challenge you a little, and is going to give you a to do list that might be a little longer than you originally anticipated. But my promise to you is that if you are diligent, you and your new employee will be successful in this leap. This post will cover the first 2 of 5 steps that you need to take to be successful.
Hiring an employee is not simply posting a position on indeed or craigslist. The truth is, 73% of small businesses fail during this transition period. That is a shocking percentage, one that we do not want to see you a part of. And while it isn’t meant to scare or deter you, it is meant to raise awareness to exactly how important this is for you and your business.
Step One: The Long Term Plan
Before taking the step of hiring. You need to identify where exactly your business is going, in the next year, 3 years, 5 years, 10 years. You may have already started this process, or even have ideas in your head about it, but it is time to write it down. Put pen to paper – be specific.
- Primary Aim – What are you doing? Why are you doing it? Where are you going? How are you going to do it?
- Strategic Objectives – Organizational Strategy, Management Strategy, People Strategy, Marketing Strategy, and Systems Strategy.
If you are not familiar with these principles, I highly recommend picking up a copy of Michael Gerber’s “The E Myth”. It can be found here (not sponsored). You need to know how exactly this employee is going to be successful and what the expectations are going to be, and the only way you can correctly do that is by backtracking to knowing what is to be expected of your business to get it to what you’re visioning.
Step Two: The Documentation
Here are a list of projects you need to have ready to go prior to even posting the position.
- Employee Handbook
- Job Description
- Onboarding Process (Documentation, Checklist, etc.)
- Learning and Development Process/Procedures (What you need to train them on now, later, and ongoing, and check ins to hold you and the employee accountable)
- Operations Manual, Checklists, and Procedures
These 5 things may take some time, and the great news is that Gró is here to help with those. We have created them successfully for dozens of companies and are well prepared to help you as well!
There is a reason behind these documents. All of which set expectations for yourself and the employee and hold you both accountable. As a business owner, I already know that you want someone who is going to do what you do exactly the way that you do it. The only way to ensure this is to have these processes and methods documented. This also creates a very valuable resource for additional employees to come. An investment well worth it.
I highly recommend that you create a SMART Goal plan to complete these tasks. As stated in almost every conversation regarding HR that I have – HR initiatives are meant to be planned ahead of time, not last minute, and not after the fact.
Ask questions and seek help! We look forward to assisting you in this great leap in your business!
We will continue this process in Part 2.