(by Andres Rojas)
Hiring your first employee can seem like a daunting task where you’re just starting as an HR representative. Between handling the job listings, legal obligations, and (of course) lots of paperwork, you’ll have enough work to keep you busy for weeks. So just to ensure your efforts pay off in the end, here are some key HR tips for hiring your first employee as an HR rep.
First Things First: Lay the Groundwork
Success starts with good preparation. Once you post your ads and candidates start rolling through your office’s door, your free time will be limited. So try to get as much work done before you start scouting.
Get On the Good Side of the Law
Start by understanding your company’s legal obligations. If the position is new, you must make sure it complies with employment regulations such as:
- Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
- Federal and State discrimination laws.
- OSHA safety regulations.
Having a trusted lawyer by your side will help you sort out common legal issues like how to hire part-time employees without breaking fair employment regulations or understanding what notices you need to send when hiring a new employee.
Make the Onboarding Process Easier
Moreover, even if your candidates have experience in the same position they will fulfill, your company culture, practices, and etiquette will differ from what they know.
- The office code of conduct.
- The benefits and perks that the company offers.
- The rules concerning the use of company equipment.
- The company’s overtime policy.
Putting everything that the job position entails in writing will help you find the best candidate as well as make for a smooth onboarding process.
Create a Highly-Customized Job Post
Sometimes new HR staff members can make the mistake of using other companies’ job posts as templates. Unfortunately, since your post won’t stand out from the competition the chances of it being seen by quality candidates are low.
Moreover, the vagueness of your job’s description will only make you waste more time weaving out unqualified candidates during the interviewing process.
Instead, what you should do is write a job post that:
- Clearly outlines the duties and responsibilities that the job involves.
- Lists the educational and experience requirements you’re looking for.
- Highlight the company perks, with a special focus on medical benefits, that make your company attractive.
- Celebrates having a corporate culture built around inclusivity and diversity.
As for where you should post your ad, there are many reputed online job markets to choose from. However, the best results usually come from posting on niche websites that restrict ads to the particular industry or career you’re interested in.
Screen Your Candidates Thoroughly
Finding the best candidate for the position might require more than one round of interviews and background checks. Once you have a list of possible hires, you can pre-screen them by:
- Checking their resumes and cover letters
- Having them fill out a job application.
- Scheduling remote Skype or Zoom interviews.
After weeding out the candidates that don’t meet your basic requirements, you can use longer interviews to gauge if their skills and personality are what you’re looking for.
Do Background Checks on Your Remaining Candidates
To learn more about your candidates, research things like their criminal record history, social security validation, and drug use history.
Background checks are sensitive, though, because depending on the state you live in you might not have the right to dig for certain information. So make sure you consult with your legal team beforehand to avoid bringing legal issues to the company.
Seek Expert Advice on How to Hire Your First Employee
Don’t hesitate to ask an expert for help at any point in the hiring process. Working for HR requires a complex set of skills that include accounting, labor law, insurance, and information sciences – among others.
Nobody becomes a Jack of all trades overnight – or maybe ever. Indeed, the sheer amount of skills involved in HR work plus the speed at which government regulations and market swings change the employment landscape means that you’ll always be catching up with these changes.
Why not hire expert advisers to help you navigate the hiring process?
At Zupnick & Associates, we have years of experience helping HR departments. With everything from hiring and firing, to recruitment optimization and benefits consulting, so whether you’re struggling with your first hire or need useful HR tips, contact us today.