checklist for hiring employees

clock June 25, 2021

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A Business Owner’s Checklist for Hiring Employees for the First Time

Growing your business often means hiring a new employee. While this should be an exciting time, finding the right first team member can be challenging for employers. Without the right preparation, business owners risk hiring the wrong new team members. A bad hire can become an expensive mistake. Yet, finding the best employee can feel like looking for a needle in a stack full of resumes. How can employers find the best employees for the job? Work with your human resources team and follow this checklist for hiring employees. 

Get an EIN

Make sure you’re a legal business before hiring an employee. Sole proprietors and entrepreneurs must follow the law when business growth requires more staff to sustain success. 

Every business with employees must have an EIN (Employee Identification Number). These numbers are free and easy to obtain. Following the online instructions through the IRS delivers your EIN immediately after completing the application. 

Your unique EIN stays the same as long as you operate your business. The number also makes your company legal when hiring employees. 

Register With the Labor Office In Your State

Taking on your first employee comes with plenty of responsibility! Businesses with employees must pay unemployment taxes. The state manages these funds and disperses them for workers who lose their jobs. 

To register and find out how much your company must pay into unemployment, connect with the Labor Office in your state

Find the Right Workers Compensation Insurance

Depending on the location of your small business, your company must provide workers compensation for employees—even when hiring your first team member. However, choosing the right workers comp insurance for your company can be overwhelming without expert help. 

Employees can become injured in the workplace at any time and no matter the type of business. Protecting your business includes preparing to deal with an employee injury before it happens. Plus, employers who offer workers compensation can often find better employees. 

Work with an experienced workers compensation team to find the best solution for your company and employees. We analyze your business and provide access to the best policy options when it’s time to hire your first staff member. 

Review Workplace Safety

As an employer, you are responsible for your employees’ safety while they’re in the workplace. When working on your own and without a staff, you might overlook potential risks that can injure others who work for you in the future. 

To review the safety of your workplace:

  • Consult OSHA (Occupational Health and Safety Administration) recommendations for your business and industry
  • Look for potential hazards and resolve those issues
  • Add required signage and safety protocols throughout the workplace
  • Gather tools to stay informed apply best safety practices
  • Develop safety training for your first (and future) employee

Even with the best workers comp insurance, employers are responsible for training employees and maintaining a safe working environment. Avoid injury claims and help employees feel safe and secure with the right workplace safety applications in place. 

Define Employee Benefits

Finding the best employees requires offering a competitive salary and benefits package. You don’t need to put your business at financial risk by creating an employee benefits package you can’t sustain. However, the right mix of salary and perks can attract better potential employees and help you keep your best team members longer. 

Research what other companies in your industry offer in their benefits package. Decide what makes the most sense for your company as you hire your first employee. You’ll need to include these details in your payroll system before paying your first employee for the first time. 

As your company grows and you learn more about effective compensation packages, your benefits can adapt over time. 

Setup Your Payroll System

Handwriting payroll checks is inefficient. Even if you start with only one employee, setting up a payroll system from the start is efficient, accurate, and prepares you for more employees down the road. Employee benefits can include health insurance, paid time off, and workers’ compensation. 

A payroll system also helps you withhold the right taxes and keep good records about employee time off throughout the year. You’ll be thankful at tax time when your payroll setup saves time and money!

Create a Job Description

Recruiting your first employee starts with an effective job description. Knowing the responsibilities you need for a new employee to take on is critical before hiring your first team member.

Employers should define the role and create a list of responsibilities to include in the job description. To attract plenty of excellent potential new hires, create a compelling listing that thoroughly describes the position and the services your company delivers. Finding the best talent is easier when your company sounds like an encouraging place to work! 

When the description is ready, post it on various job search sites to expand your reach and find the best talent.

Keep the Right Documents

Before you can pay your new employee, they must fill out the appropriate paperwork. New team members must complete IRS form W-4 before you can add them to your payroll system. This form identities a legal employee to follow government requirements. 

Your hiring process and paperwork must also verify that an employee has the legal right to work in the United States. Keep all paperwork on file according to IRS rules for documentation. Each employee needs their own personnel file to comply with legal hiring standards. 

Don’t Skip a Step On Your Checklist for Hiring Employees

Skipping an item on a checklist for hiring employees can leave you without the right resources for a successful new hire! When choosing the best workmans’ comp insurance for your business, let us help! 

National Workman’s Comp can help you find the best solution for your business. We gather the information you need and deliver coverage options that meet your needs. Before hiring your first employee, contact us to set up your worker’s compensation plan!

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