Kody Wirth is a content writer and SEO specialist for Palo Alto Software—the creator's of Bplans and LivePlan. He has 3+ years experience covering small business topics and runs a part-time content writing service in his spare time.
10 min. read
Updated January 5, 2024
Can you afford to bring on new employees? What roles will lead to the most significant growth? How do you navigate the hiring process?
These are critical questions you must answer when building your team.
This guide will help you answer those questions and think beyond hiring—so you can retain and grow the capabilities of your team.
Here are four signs you need to hire employees.
Weigh your options carefully when hiring. If unsure, you can start small with a part-time employee to assess the needed help and how a new employee will fit into your business.
Hiring is a significant step; you must be honest about your business’s needs and capabilities.
There’s a lot of comfort in starting a business with limited people. You’re scrappy, involved with everything, and have complete control. You also have less growth potential and need to find a way to expand your team…
Bringing on more employees doesn’t mean they have to be full-time. Check out this resource to help determine if you should hire a full-time employee or work with a part-time freelancer.
Learn how to identify, hire, and manage freelancers with the right platform.
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Here are some key considerations to help you define the roles you need and decide who to hire first:
For example, if customer service complaints and cancellations are increasing, hiring a customer service representative may improve retention.
An advisory board is a group of business professionals who provide non-binding advice on how a business owner can better manage their company. Is it worth paying for this experienced guidance?
It doesn’t make sense to have executives if you’re in startup mode and bootstrapping your business. However, the proper executive can be worthwhile if it leads to growth and helps you focus on areas you care about.
When starting a business, it’s not uncommon for you to act as CEO. However, there may come a time when more experienced executive leadership can lead to more significant growth.
A comprehensive compensation package, including competitive pay and meaningful benefits, is critical for attracting and retaining top talent.
When selecting benefits, you need to understand:
The benefits you offer should be competitive and fit the expectations of your employees. The potential financial return from hiring a given employee should also offset the cost.
Do your research and explore what benefits are necessary for your business. You may find less costly options are far more valuable to your employees.
Learn when to offer employees a retirement plan, health insurance, and paid leave.
You must be careful and thorough when selecting candidates to interview and ultimately hire. Here are a few ways to improve your chances of choosing the best candidates.
Remember, hiring employees who will help your business grow is the goal. Being thorough and particular during the hiring process will increase your chances of finding the right fit.
Follow this checklist to go from creating a job description to legally hiring an employee.
The time and money it takes to recruit employees will continue to grow if done incorrectly. Follow these recruiting best practices to ensure you hire the right people and do not break the bank.
The right skills, mindset, and personality for a role will differ depending on your business needs. However, there are consistent traits that will increase the likelihood of an employee being a good fit.
A job description is like an advertisement—it must be clear, to the point, and convince people to check out your business.
Are you struggling to come up with critical questions to ask a potential employee? Check out our growing list organized into specific categories like experience, career goals, and personality-focused questions.
During a job interview, the applicant is trying to determine if they want to work for your business. Be sure you avoid these problematic questions and not deter a promising individual.
You need employees to be invested in your business. To feel like they are making an impact in their role. To make this connection, you need a mission statement that clearly explains the purpose of your business.
Your mission should be present in every other business goal or vision-setting aspect. How you talk about culture, your customers, and growth plans—should all reinforce how you and your employees will pursue this more significant purpose.
Be consistent and keep these ideas front and center. The more the mission is supported and represented in day-to-day aspects of your business, the more likely employees will connect with it.
Dig Deeper: Why you should focus on more than making money
Think of your mission as the shared goal for your team. You must break this goal down for each employee to make it attainable. These individual goals should support the broader business goal and lead to personal growth.
When setting these goals, use the SMART framework (Strategic, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Timely). Be sure the employee understands exactly how their work contributes to company success, and set up regular reviews to provide feedback.
Ensure you have a system in place to measure and report on performance. While these metrics will likely be specific to their role, you should explore how to connect them to revenue at some point. You should be looking to grow; if the work isn’t impacting the bottom line, it may not be all that important.
Follow six simple steps to identify what skills employees should improve and set up a personal development plan that enhances their professional expertise and accomplishes business goals.
Don’t establish your company culture as you run your business. You should have the environment, values, attitudes, and practices you want your business and employees to represent. Without any sense of your culture, you’ll struggle to establish a vision, hire, and set goals.
But that doesn’t mean your culture shouldn’t evolve.
No company is perfect. The environment, desires, and interactions will change as you add more employees. You need to clearly state what your expectations are and be willing to listen to your employees’ concerns and ideas.
Try to foster open communication and establish a structure for feedback that makes it easy for employees to voice their needs. The more you include them in the process, the more likely your business culture will thrive.
Learn what qualities define a positive company culture and the basics of establishing a culture that fits your vision and goals as a business owner.
Learn how to involve your employees in forming and evolving your company culture.
A more diverse business leads to broader perspectives and talent within your workforce. Learn how to prioritize inclusivity and make it part of your business culture.
You should plan for what roles you need on your team long before hiring. By knowing what gaps you need to fill and how much you’re willing to pay for those skill sets—you’ll be prepared to build your team at the right time.
To help you document current employees and planned hires, check out the company overview section of our business planning guide. You can also learn to forecast personnel costs as part of a larger financial plan.