It may have seemed like a dream that was a lot farther away when you were starting your business, but it has become clear that it’s time to expand. The profits seem stable enough to bring another person on board, and there is more work than you can comfortably accomplish alone.
Bringing on a new employee is something that can make your life easier, but also comes with a significant amount of stress. There is a certain sense of nervousness when someone new will be relying on a business that, not so long ago, was just an idea in your head.
Here are two things to keep in mind before you start collecting résumés for your new team member.
A friend may be the worst employee
You may have known your friend since kindergarten, but that doesn’t mean that he or she would be a suitable first employee for your new business. While you may still know all of each other’s darkest secrets, working together may bring out a side of both of you that may not work out (and destroy the friendship).
If you are thinking about hiring a friend to work for you, consider giving it a shot on a trial basis. See if there is a project your friend could “consult” on so that you can see how you would work together in a more formal setting.
One of the common difficulties is giving and receiving responsibility from each other. If you are uncomfortable providing your friend with direction, or if he or she is uncomfortable receiving direction from you, it’s a sign to look elsewhere for that first staff member.
Be clear about the position and expectations
When you started your business, you had to be very fluid with the responsibilities. You were, after all, the only person who handled the business and the direction that it took.
Now that you are growing, it is time to be clear about who handles what. It may seem exciting to bring someone along for the ride, telling them they will handle “a lot of things” or telling them that you want them to learn a lot about the business.
Being unclear about the job description, however, can do both of you a disservice. The new employee may hear all of that to say that there is going to be rapid growth and room for advancement. Which may be the case, but if the growth and advancement don’t come for another year or more, the new staffer might be disappointed.
New employees also need a clear structure and expectations. Unlike you, they have not seen the company grow over the last months or years. They don’t understand the ins and outs like you do, so they will need the guidance of a clear job description to help them along the way.