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Every small business owner looks forward to the day they are getting enough business that they need and can afford to hire on extra help. But hiring on a new employee can be both exciting and terrifying as a small business owner.

You’ve put in a lot of hard work to get where you are, and now you need to entrust some of that work and responsibility to a person you potentially haven’t met before. To help keep you on track, this process outline is a great starting place to make sure you’ve got your ducks in a row.

Job Description

You may think your small, ship-shape business isn’t nearly big enough to start writing out lengthy job descriptions, especially when you expect your new employee will be doing a variety of jobs. However, a job description can help you to reel in stellar applicants by giving them an idea of the work and what would be expected of them.

The more you’re willing to detail about the position, your business, and the environment they’ll be working in, the more likely you are to get one more application.


Screening potential employees should come in at least two stages. Most businesses start with an application and/or resume, then move promising qualifiers onto an interview stage.

Depending on the intensity, responsibility, and work hours of the position, you may ask for written references or conduct several rounds of interviews, but at the very least you need to get an idea of their qualifications and meet them in person.

Team Dynamics

When you’ve narrowed it down to a few candidates, you’ll also want to get them in the workspace to see how they engage with it and the people they’ll be working alongside. Are they attentive or just waiting for the clock to run out? Are they willing to help or willing to leave a coworker to struggle on their own? Are they a good teammate or somewhat dictatorial?

After this visit, sometimes the candidate you thought was most qualified won’t end up the best fit for the position.

Company Policies

You’ve offered the position and they’ve accepted it. Congratulations! But don’t forget to handle the nitty gritty details right up front.

While they’re signing their job description and employment details, make sure they understand and agree to your Code of Conduct as well as any other sensitive policies specific to your financial or medical office. These could be things like customer privacy compliance or agreeing to course of action regarding a dental embezzlement investigation within your practice.

Training and New Employee Review

It’s always nice to give your new employees a leg up with orientation. Again, depending on the nature of the job, this could be one hour or several sessions attended over the course of a week. This should be a time they can get familiar with some intricacies of how your business functions before they’re in the thick of sales or stocking shelves.

Once it’s over, don’t forget that they’re still new and will need some extra guidance and training on your processes and software systems. This could be something they master in a week or something that takes much longer, so set a standard timeframe from their first day to do a New Employee Review. This will help them to track their progress and you to address any issues.

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