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August 21, 2017
Ask ACE

What should I do before hiring my first employee?

Priscilla Hansen-Mahoney, a principal at Blazing Trails Coaching, can be reached at Priscilla@blazingtrailscoaching.com

The Association for Consulting Expertise (ACE) is a non-profit association of independent consultants who value “Success through Collaboration.” The public is welcome to attend its regular meetings to share best practices and engage with industry experts. For more information go to www.consultexpertise.com.

Q: What should I do before hiring my first employee?

ACE advises: Congratulations! You are at the tipping point of growth and success, but it can be stressful as well as exciting. You have been in control of every aspect of your business, but to grow you need a team.

There are a few things you should do before writing that help-wanted ad:

  • Prepare a growth strategy. A good hire always spurs company growth. Write out two job descriptions — one for you, and one for your new hire. What will your responsibilities be? What jobs will you be delegating? What will they require? What other resources will you need?
  • Write out a list of standard operating procedures. How exactly do you onboard a new client? Send out bills? Answer correspondence and send out proposals? Having SOPs will help you train your new employee quickly, reducing the person's time being underutilized on your payroll.
  • Create an onboarding process. Set the standard of expectations, excellence and acceleration from Day 1. Secure the correct documents from federal and state governments. Consult an attorney or HR expert to ensure your documentation is complete and accurate. The last thing you need is a legal headache by not starting out on the right foot.

Hiring your first employee can be greatly rewarding if done correctly. Take the time to do due diligence, set expectations and share your vision and business mission with your new employee. Finally, make the process fun, enjoyable and rewarding — after all, you are now part of a team — your team!

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