Hiring Your First Employee
Theme for Today is Hiring Your First Employee!
Hiring my first employee was exciting and scary at the same time. Prior to making this decision I looked at the possibility of hiring a freelancer, but due to the business and my philosophy of wanting everyone under one roof, I decided to hire a full-time employee who would work alongside me at the office.
Significant growth warranted this move as did the number of future hires shortly thereafter. My hiring strategy was such as to hire an "athlete"; a solid citizen with a strong career background and track record of success. Ideally I looked for professionals coming from a relatively small company who were not afraid to roll up their sleeves and be utility players. Qualities of these professionals needed to be; must have a strong work ethic, the desire to work hard, the ability to set his/her own goals versus what the company sets and to be engaged with who we were and what we did. Additionally, I preferred to hire those with great personalities, were athletes in high school and/or college or involved with extracurricular activities that required these folks to go the extra mile for themselves and others. Ok, don't crucify me with this one, but I really found great success with recent college graduates who had come from a family where females worked as opposed to being at home. Truthfully, in the beginning I was just looking for professionals who had thick skin, were not afraid to ask questions and were okay with rejection. Remember research 25 years ago required the use of the telephone and our successes were dependent upon obtaining accurate information for our clients to use. A researcher's job is not an easy one as many of us know, so hiring for this role was not that easy either. However I must say we did make many successful hires many of whom today continue to be employed with us.
How did I go about the hiring process? I networked. I believe if people knew me, my personality and what I expected from an employee this route would be the best way to go. Honestly, it worked and still does. I would also like to mention the value of internal referrals. Many of my first 15 employees were the result of employee referrals. So my advice to entrepreneurs is do not neglect employee referrals, be sure to investigate them. Make it a habit to ask your employees who they know and of course no family members please. However this resource dried up as time went on, so the need to look beyond this resource became a must. It became necessary to look outside our networks and rely on others for future candidates. However to this day, I still ask the team who they know when we are looking to hire.
I must say that I am happy how we have grown over the last 25 years and we must have done something right since over 75% of our current employee base were amongst the first few hiring waves. I love my team!!
Happy Hunting and sure hope you enjoyed how I hired my first employee (s)!