Ready. Aim. Hire.

Hiring your first employee can be one of your company’s most nerve-racking and exhilarating milestones. It’s gratifying to know your hard work is paying off and that success and growth mean you’re ready to bring on help. But hiring can be stressful too if you’re unsure of the best way to gauge who’s right for the job and what legal steps you need to take.


Marketing consultant and blogger, David Lavenda, offers some helpful do’s and don’ts  to consider before you make your first hire:

  • Don’t try to build a dream team – at least not yet. Right now, you don’t need strong egos, you need partners with talent and drive.

  • Don’t just hire people like yourself. Diversity can help you understand your company’s weaknesses and areas for opportunity.

  • Don’t be afraid to hire people with more experience or expertise than you. Hire people who fill in the gaps and make up for your weaknesses.

  • Don’t hire too many people with big company backgrounds. People who work for small businesses understand there are certain sacrifices that go with the job. You don’t want prima donnas who only fly first class or need a lot of support staff to work efficiently.

  • Do hire people who are comfortable working in a small business environment but who won’t be fish out of water when your company grows.

  • Do hire people who think differently. Lavenda says: “Groupthink and suppression of dissension are two great ‘company killers.’”

  • Do hire employees who thrive in an environment of uncertainty. Your business will experience lots of ups and downs. You want a team that can go the distance.

  • Do hire passionate people and do reward them. People who work for small companies understand their dedication can really make a difference and they’re usually willing to go the extra mile – as long as they feel appreciated and compensated for it. Don’t abuse their goodwill. offers some more great tips on hiring your first employee.

And you’ll want to check out’s helpful information before you hire – from opening an employer account with the federal government to paying your employees.

Have you already hired your first employee or are you in the process? We’d love to hear your stories.

By Adam

February 26, 2010