HR 12 October 2016

Ten ways to guarantee that amazing first hire

Hiring your first employee is a major milestone, however for many it’s also unchartered territory

In September, we revealed the secrets to hiring your first employee. Now, Sinead Hasson, managing director and founder of recruitment company Hasson Associates, offers her top tips that will help to give you a steer before taking on your first recruit.

If you’ve been working on your own and your business is growing fast, you may have been thinking that it might be time to hire your first employee.

Recruiting your first hire is a major milestone. It’s an exciting time, marking a new chapter of growth. But for many it’s also unchartered territory and the commitment can be daunting.

The first hire

(1) Understand the purpose of the person you are going to hire.

If you are going to brief a recruiter to find the most suitable candidates for you to interview, jot down a few lines that will help them.

You don’t need to have a full job specification – the chances are you don’t have time but a few lines will help your recruiter to know the type of person you are looking for and what the role will entail.

(2) Look to your own network – that first hire is key so any recommended and trusted candidates are going to be more valuable.

(3) Involve someone else in the hire – if you are on your own ask a trusted friend (or client) to get involved. Two heads are often better than one in this case.

(4) Be sure to conduct some research, ask for and take up references. In the absence of a reference use social media – LinkedIn is particularly good for professional references so start there.

CVs only tell part of a person’s story, so employers are increasingly relying on social media and internet search engines to supplement their knowledge of a candidate they are thinking of interviewing and hiring. But do remember that everyone was young once, although our lives were not so well-documented.  Make your own mind up.

(5) Devise an interview process and if necessary introduce a task which is relevant to the role – it will help you to compare and measure one candidate with another.

(6) Know your budget for the first hire. This will help when you are negotiating a salary.

(7) If you don’t have a network you may have a recruiter that you have used in the past or ask a trusted source for recommendations – using a recruiter who specialises in recruiting for your sector will save you time and money.

A recruitment company will be more efficient than you and save you time by sifting through potential and suitable candidates.

(8) Choose an appropriate location for interviews – don’t carry out all the meetings in the pub. Loud environments can be difficult and they do not give out the right professional message to your new recruit.

(9) Don’t waste time – if you meet someone who is right and you have followed all the steps, hire them. Just because it’s the first person you meet doesn’t mean it’s the wrong person.

(10) Trust your instincts – they are usually right.

Thinking of recruiting your first hire? Read on to find out the crucial interview techniques to make sure you recruit the best candidate.

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