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How To Hire Employees Properly in 8 Steps

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Posted by: David Garcia April 14, 2024

Ready for additional help but unsure how to properly hire the right employees? 

Most business owners have to make hires at some point. While daunting at first, increasing your workforce will help to offload your current responsibilities and add new expertise to your team. 

That said, you want to properly vet candidates and hire the right person, as bad hires can do more harm than good

Keep reading to learn everything about the hiring process. 

What Are the Benefits of Hiring New Employees?

New talent may have skill sets that add value to the team or can relieve some of your duties. 

Here are the main benefits of hiring new workers: 

  • Frees up time to focus on higher-priority tasks: A new employee allows you to offload tasks, boost productivity, and increase your bandwidth. As a result, you can focus on higher-level strategic initiatives to help expand your business. 
  • New inspiration and perspective: Collaboration is key to team success. New employees bring their unique skill sets, ideas, and past experiences to your team. This is especially true if new hires have worked in different industries or have background knowledge in areas your team doesn’t already have. 
  • Scale your business: If you have an influx of new customers, you need to meet that demand by hiring new employees so that it doesn’t cause a strain on your current team members. 

Preparing Your Business Before Hiring Staff

Hiring staff is a huge milestone. Taking steps to prepare your business will provide a stable foundation. 

This allows you to make more effective hires and ensure a seamless experience for new hires – not to mention complying with employment laws to prevent legal consequences. 

1. Essential Research

First, you’ll need thorough preparation. Assessing your business goals helps to determine your workforce needs, any skill gaps or deficiencies, the number of employees, and which roles are required to obtain those goals. 

Then, you’ll need to perform thorough market research to understand the demand for those roles. Conduct research on the average salaries to help you develop an attractive compensation package that lures talented applicants. 

2. Necessary Paperwork

Next, you must have an Employer Identification Number (EIN), a tax ID number used for tax purposes, as well as other new hire paperwork: 

  • W-4: This helps to determine the right amount of taxes that must be withheld from each paycheck.
  • Direct deposit form: This allows you to directly deposit paychecks into the employee’s bank for faster payment. 
  • I-9: This form confirms the employment eligibility of a new hire. 
  • Benefit enrollment forms: If you’re offering employee benefits like retirement plans, health insurance, or other perks, employees must complete the benefit enrollment forms to indicate their preferences. 
  • Employee handbook: An employee handbook outlines the company’s vision, mission, code of conduct, dress code, policies, etc. 
  • Non-compete agreement: A non-compete agreement specifies a set time that an employee is not allowed to work for a company similar to yours.  3. 

3. Create a Positive Company Culture 

Work culture guides team members on the values, beliefs, and attitudes in a company’s DNA. It heavily impacts the types of candidates you attract for positions. Also, it reduces turnover, improves employee engagement, and ultimately boosts productivity. 

Being intentional with your cultural initiatives and core values will allow you to create a positive work environment. 

One survey found that 23% of job seekers identified company values and culture as a primary influence on whether they would accept a job offer. In that same survey, 21% of job seekers responded that poor company culture was their main reason for leaving a job within the past year. 

It’s your job as the business owner to create and embody the company culture. Establish core values for your company and create initiatives to reinforce them.

Steps To Hire the Perfect Employees

Once you’ve prepared your business, you’re ready to start the recruiting process. Follow these steps to hire the perfect employees. 

1. Define the Roles and Responsibilities for Each Job 

Now you’re ready to create job posts on various platforms. However, you’ll need to craft compelling job descriptions to entice job seekers to submit their applications. There are several aspects to a successful job description: 

  • Job Title: The job title should be straightforward since you want the job listing to rank in search results. 
  • Summary: Tell applicants how the role fits within your organizational structure. It should explain why the role is crucial to your company. 
  • Key responsibilities: This section should clearly depict responsibilities and day-to-day work activities.  
  • Qualification and skills: Include a bullet point list of the skills needed for the role. 
  • Salary and benefits: Job seekers want to know what’s in it, including the compensation and benefits package, flexible work arrangements, or health benefits.

2. Market Your Job Opportunities 

Your future star employees can be found everywhere – job boards, freelance marketplaces, social media, or even trade shows. 

Here are several places to find your ideal job candidates: 

  • Job boards and career sites: There are plenty of career sites where you can post a job listing. 
  • Social media: Social media works similarly to job boards. LinkedIn has a built-in job board where you can post your open positions. Facebook has groups allowing people to join with similar interests. For example, you may find a marketer from a digital marketing Facebook group. 
  • Your network: Ask around in your network to find trusted referrals. Sometimes you can post in social media groups or on your page asking for referrals for a position. 

3. Review Applications 

Assuming you’ve pulled in numerous applications, you’ll have to sift and filter through them to find suitable candidates. 

Start by screening resumes and cover letters based on their background. Look at their education and work history to see whether they’d fit your role. 

For example, if you need to fill an accounting position, the candidate should have an accounting degree and work experience at various accounting firms. 

Also, look for red flags in their application, such as typos or grammatical mistakes. Many recruiters use an Applicant Tracking System to filter out unwanted candidates, which can automatically eliminate them from the pool based on their education level, keywords, or other filters. 

Also, see how well they connect their past experiences to your job role and company mission. Candidates who can properly articulate this connection demonstrate critical thinking skills and understand how they can add value to your company. 

4. Have Applicants Perform Skills Tests 

Candidate screening is incredibly difficult. That’s because applicants can simply tell you what you want to hear. 

They can embellish their resume and cover letter to ‘sound good,’ but you don’t truly know whether the candidate has the chops needed for the role. 

That’s where skill testing and assessments come into play. 

Many employers utilize pre-employment assessments to determine whether applicants are a good fit. 

This can be done during the initial application phase or after filling out resumes. 

For example, let’s say you’re hiring a developer. In their resume, they’ve noted they know how to code in Java Script. You can put them to the test by providing them with a JavaScript test. 

You can verify their proficiency to determine their qualifications for the position. 

5. Conduct Interviews with Qualified Applicants

Never walk into an interview without a plan. You should be strategic and know exactly what you’re looking for. 

First, you want to gauge the candidate’s level of self-awareness. This helps you determine whether they understand how they can deliver value to your organization. 

Asking them to walk you through their progression in their career and how it’s led them to your role is a good place to start. You can ask other questions like: 

  • What makes you different from your peers? 
  • What would your critics say about your strengths and weaknesses in this field? 
  • How have you reinvented yourself after facing challenges in your career? 

Next, you want to check for compatibility. These are questions related to their work preferences and leadership and communication styles. You can ask questions about how they handle criticism, deal with conflict, and prefer to work with others. 

6. Choose Your Candidate

Choosing the right candidate is a difficult decision. Oftentimes, you should trust your instincts. 

Work experience is great, but the right candidate should have a talent and culture fit with your organization and team. 

Also, the new hire should have the technical proficiency to get the job done and seamlessly complement your team’s needs. 

Their attitude, work ethic, and character should be another consideration in your decision-making. A person with a positive attitude with outstanding work ethic will breed excitement and inspire others. 

Assuming you choose between candidates with exceptional talents and skill sets, the differentiating factor may ultimately come down to their intangibles. 

7. Outsource Background Screening

In an ideal world, all candidates would be truthful in their job applications. Unfortunately, that’s usually not the case. 

It’s not uncommon for people to make false claims on their resume or interview. Background screenings are where you hire a third-party service to properly vet candidates for your job opening. They typically source their information from public records, previous employers, credit bureaus, and law enforcement. 

Without background checks, you’re left with only the information the applicant provides – true or false. 

Background screenings can give you a more complete picture of the person. This helps you hire the most qualified candidates, prevent safety concerns and preserve your company’s reputation. 

Typically, a background check will reveal crucial information needed to make an informed decision, such as: 

8. Notify the Candidate of Their Job Offer and Compensation  

After the background check, you’re ready to make the final decision and extend the job offer. 

You’ll need to write and send them an offer letter that details their compensation package. Their compensation package should include their salary, bonuses, paid time off, medical benefits, 401k or retirement savings plans, flexible work hours, and other perks. 

Additionally, you may want to include a progression plan of how the new hire can progress through your company’s ranks. This helps the candidate assess their expectations for higher compensation and career advancement. 

If they say yes, congratulations! From here, you’ll simply have to report the new hire to a state employment agency, enter them into your payroll system and begin the onboarding process.  

Final Thoughts

Bringing onboard new talent should be seamless that you’ve read our guide on how to properly hire new employees.

With the right recruitment strategy, you’ll avoid the common pitfalls of making bad hires, such as compromising workplace safety or creating poor team dynamics. Having a background check partner is essential to help you vet candidates before making an offer. ScoutLogic provides comprehensive background check services to streamline your screening process. Contact us today to get started.

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