Many business owners want to tackle every project themselves until they realize there are simply not enough hours in the day complete everything on the list. This can be especially frustrating if you are a solopreneur who owns an LLC and currently controls all aspects of the business.
The good news is that you’re so busy that you can no longer do everything yourself — this means your business is growing. But the process of hiring employees for your small business can be frustrating and time-consuming when looking for the right person or people.
It is said that you should be slow to hire and quick to fire — and this is absolutely the truth. If you’re trying to figure out how to hire employees, the tips found in this article will help you bypass common mistakes (some of which can land you in legal trouble). When looking for employees, not just anyone will be able to fulfill the expectations or job description. For that reason, you need to thoroughly vet each and every applicant fairly.
It’s illegal to discriminate against an applicant due to their race, gender or a disability. Not only is this wrong, but it can land you in a lawsuit should the individual find out they were discriminated against. Avoid this by comparing all applicants based on their skills, attitude and experience.
Discrimination is not tolerated — if the applicant has the necessary skills to get the job and complete the requirements, they need to be considered regardless of your personal feelings or beliefs about them.
2. Asking Personal Questions
When you are looking for employees, it’s normal to feel a connection with a great applicant who you feel comfortable with immediately. However, your hiring process needs to be absolutely professional, and that includes the questions you ask. Just because you “like” someone doesn’t mean they will be a good employee.
Refrain from asking personal questions such as how old the applicant is, what religion they practice, what gender they identify as, whether they’re married, if they have kids (or plan on it) or any other questions that don’t deal directly with the position.
3. Skipping a Background Check
You’ll need to ask for permission to obtain a background check, but it is very important. While everyone deserves a second chance after making a mistake in their life, a repeat offender should not be taken lightly and could damage your business if their behaviors continue. Knowing what you’re getting into before hiring employees for your small business can save you from headaches down the road — when you might be looking again for someone to fill the position.
Asking a potential employee about any criminal behavior will also show whether the applicant is truthful or not. Having someone say they’ve never been in trouble when you know of a conflicting record doesn’t exactly inspire a feeling of confidence. Give them every opportunity to come clean — and if they say you don’t have permission to do a background check, that should throw up a few red flags as well.
4. Skipping a Drug Test
You never want an employee showing up to work under the influence of an illegal substance or use one at work — or even be associated with you and your business if they use and abuse illegal substances. It’s extremely important to maintain a drug-free work environment.
As the employer, you will be responsible for paying and scheduling a drug test, but you do need to ask for consent first. However, just like with a background check, if they decline you’ll have to suspect that they are not being honest.
When hiring employees for your small business, you do have the ability to decline an offer if the applicant refuses to take a drug test (or takes it but fails).
5. Not Providing Policies and Getting a Signed Agreement
If you find the applicant you’re looking for who fits the needs of your business and the position(s), you need to make sure you give them employment policies and get a signed agreement saying they received and fully understand the contents and will abide by the policies.
You should create an employee manual that includes topics such as dress code, workplace conduct, payment structure, scheduling, requirements for time off requests, etc. This handbook or manual is in place to protect both you and the employee from any misunderstandings down the road.
6. Forgetting About Taxes and Withholding
When you are hiring employees for your small business, you need to be sure to enroll in Workers’ Compensation. This is a federal policy that all businesses with employees must abide by, and it’s intended to protect the employee in the event that they get injured on the job.
As much as we think our place of employment is safe, accidents can and do happen. The best way to ensure you are following the correct procedures is to learn of all the requirements and ensure you’re 100 percent compliant.
The second part of this section is federal, state, and local taxes. Hiring employees for your small business comes with some added responsibilities, and taxes are one of them. No longer are you simply worrying about yourself — you need to ensure that you are withholding the proper amount of money from employee paychecks as well as complying with all filing deadlines.
Witholdings can be deposited on a monthly or quarterly basis. You can find out more information about how to file federal withholdings by visiting the IRS website.
While six things are mentioned in this article, there is plenty more to learn about looking for and hiring employees. Remember to take your time hiring employees for your small business — it’s not a race. The hiring process should be slow, and you should evaluate each applicant thoroughly.
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