5 Steps to Hiring Your First Employee

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Hiring your first employee is a big milestone, but also comes with a lot of responsibilities. For starters, as an employer you are responsible for payroll taxes, carrying workers’ compensation insurance, and providing paid sick leave in California. Follow these 5 steps to get the process started right.

1. Create a Clear Job Description

A clear job description is the first step to hiring employees. Clearly state the essential job functions and the desirable qualities you want in an employee. Use the job description to interview candidates and assess whether they are capable of completing the tasks you need assistance with. The job description will later help you in evaluating whether or not an employee is performing up to your standards later on down the line.

2. Have an Employment Agreement or Offer Letter

An employment agreement or offer letter (different than a contract) states the terms and conditions of employment. It should plainly state the employee’s job title, rate of pay, and whether or not benefits will be offered. In addition, add a line or two stating that the employee is an at-will employee and that either party may terminate the employment relationship with or without notice.

The employment agreement coupled with the job description set the expectations for the worker’s role and become critical documents in resolving disputes between employees and employers after the relationship has commenced.

3. Get Set Up with a Payroll Company

Choose a payroll company to set you up properly when it comes to compensating your employees. Choose a company that is licensed or bonded so that if any mistakes are made on the company’s end, the company’s insurance will cover the costs incurred.

Many small businesses say that they will have their accountant run payroll for them, but accountants are not payroll specialists and oftentimes are not up-to-date on the changes in employment law that affect how and when you pay your workers. You must follow the rules, so go to somebody that knows them like the back of their hand.

4. Understand the Applicable Wage & Hour Laws

As an employer you are responsible for complying with an insane amount of labor and employment laws and regulations. Did you properly classify your employees as employees and your contractors as contractors? Are your employees entitled to meal & rest breaks? If they are salaried employees, do they meet the minimum salary requirement for non-exempt workers for non-exempt workers?  Are you running payroll at least twice per month?

As an employer you must think about- and be on top of all of these rules and regulations or you will be subject to hefty fines and penalties from a number of agencies that regulate workers’ rights and wages.

5. Keep the Lines of Communication Open

Communicating clearly and regularly with your employees and the resources you have gathered to help you manage your employees is essential (like your payroll company and your employment law attorney). The law is ever changing, employees change, and your workplace needs change also. The more you read and stay connected to your employment law experts, the greater your chances are of success.

If you have more questions, need more resources, or want help with hiring your 1st or 50th employee, reach out to us today and we’ll gladly walk you through the process.



Photo Credit: Pixabay

About author:
Asha Wilkerson is the founder of The Wilkerson Law Office, P.C. Ms. Wilkerson provides skilled advice and counsel to for-profit, non-profit, and faith-based organizations in the areas of business and employment law. Her mission is to preserve the longevity of your business by ensuring that every aspect of your organization is legally sound and operating in compliance with state and federal law.

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