Your first employee

  • Add a skill you don’t possess
  • Hire based on education and experience
  • Consider part-time specialists
  • Follow the laws governing U.S. workers

A fish store owner and a new employee standing in the store.If you have a one-person business, hiring your first employee is a big step.  If you can no longer run every aspect of your business on your own, it may be time to hire help.  Hiring an employee can free your time to focus on the most critical parts of your business.

Consider hiring someone who can add a skill you don’t have or who can allow you to concentrate on what you do best. The money you spend on salary should be less than the additional income you can make by adding to your team.  For example, perhaps you love sales and marketing but tend to let paperwork pile up. Hire someone who can handle the paperwork, so you’re free to sell even more.

In a small business, it’s important to hire people you enjoy working with, but make sure they have the education, skills, experience, and natural talent to do the job.

As an alternative to employing one full-time worker to handle multiple tasks, consider hiring a few part-time specialists in bookkeeping, administration or communications. By doing so, you can benefit from individuals who specialize in a particular skill. You also can pay an hourly rate and avoid expenses such as health insurance and vacation compensation.

After selecting a candidate, be sure to follow the laws governing U.S. workers. The employee must fill out Form W-4, which determines federal income tax withholding, and Form I-9, which certifies that the person is eligible to work in this country.

Employers must have workers’ compensation and an unemployment insurance account in place. They also need to pay payroll taxes, which include Social Security, Medicare, and unemployment benefits.