As a small business owner, you may get to the point where you are fed up with doing everything yourself. You feel overwhelmed. There’s just too much to do! You decide to find someone who can shoulder some of the workload, but that’s typically when you discover how challenging it is to hire and on-board your first employee – especially when you’re so busy. 

The biggest mistakes when recruiting your first employee 

One of the biggest reasons why first-time recruitments go wrong is because we fail to do the necessary homework. We’re so eager to get someone into the business that we don’t take the time to lay the groundwork first.

So what are the most common scenarios for failed hires? Let’s take a look!

  • Delegating the rubbish
    When bringing in someone new to support the business, it’s tempting to immediately delegate all the boring, difficult and tedious work to the new recruit. This obviously makes for a job that’s not very enjoyable! Who wants to be the person who only has boring and mundane tasks?Instead, take a look at the role with the perspective of the individual. Allow them to play to their strengths, and reward them with work that they find interesting.
  • Not being ready on day one 

Business owners typically spend a lot of time searching for the best possible candidate for the job. But it’s surprisingly common that the new employee has to start their first day on the job without a PC or phone, no systems set up, and no training prepared.

If you truly value your new resource, it’s important that you provide them with the best possible experience from the beginning. But also, by allowing them to hit the ground running, you can start getting value from them quickly.

  • Not knowing your processes
    Did you ever have to explain to someone how your business works? If not, then you may be in for a challenge when your first employee starts. They will want to know how things are done and why. This is often when you discover just how different doing something is from describing how to do it.To explain your processes, you need to have a clear overview of them yourself. Without fully understanding every process in the business, your new employee training will be disjointed and will take up to 4 times longer. What would that cost you in terms of efficiency?
  • Not allowing your staff to learn
    When you’re used to doing everything yourself, it can ironically be difficult to allow someone else to step in and take over. It’s tempting to just say “it’s quicker if I do it” rather than take the time to show the employee how it’s done. However, this means that the employee doesn’t learn, and doesn’t feel empowered or trusted.As an employer, you need to focus on translating your knowledge into documented processes. By taking information from your head and creating manuals and guides for your employee, you can get them to step into your shoes quicker – allowing you to focus on managing the business. 

Make your new recruit successful 
As a rule, a new employee should be up and running within a week. They should have access to all the information and tools they need as they go through their on-boarding journey. 
 By paying attention to the processes and systems behind your new hire you can make it easier for your employee to succeed – and more likely to stay in your business. 

Want help with recruiting your first employee? 

We can support you through the preparation and on-boarding by developing a complete process overview, as well as developing manuals and setting up training programmes. Send us a message on today! 


Common pitfalls of recruiting your first employee