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How to Hire Your First Employee

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It’s an exciting time: you’ve bought a franchise and now you’re ready to start growing your staff. If you’ve never hired an employee before, you might need a little guidance.

Start by Knowing What You Want

Before you can even post a help wanted ad, you need to know what you’re looking for in your first hire. What skills and responsibilities will this person have? Who would make the ideal employee?

A few qualities to look for may include:

  • Experience in interacting with customers

  • Comfortable using point-of-sale system

  • Experience in your industry

  • Flexible schedule

  • Eager to learn

While your budget may dictate who applies for your job, consider whether you are comfortable hiring 16-year-olds who have never worked before (common in restaurant franchises) or whether you’d rather hire more experienced and reliable people.

Draft Your Job Listing

The next step is to create a job listing. This will include a description of the job and required/nice-to-have skills that you developed in the last step.

Alternatively, you can simply put a “Help Wanted” sign in the window, but if you’d rather attract only people who have what you’re looking for, posting the job on an online job board or Craigslist may net you more — and better — results.

Select the Best Candidates

Now it’s time to sift through your stack of applications and pick out the ones that appeal to you the most. Schedule interviews to get to know each of them and get a better sense of how well they would fit in at your franchise.

Ask plenty of questions. While there typically are no right or wrong answers, you are looking to see how confident a candidate is at answering questions. And of course, if you are interviewing teenagers, cut them some slack, since they likely haven’t been interviewed much.

Here are questions to consider:

  • Why do you want to work here?

  • What work experience do you have?

  • What’s your best asset?

  • What would you like doing here best?

  • What does your schedule look like?

Finally, Hire the Best Fit

With information from all of your interviews, decide who best fits with what you’re looking for in your first employee. Make the offer and set a start date. Hopefully you already have a training plan or received training materials from your franchise, as proper training is essential to helping your employee succeed and encouraging her to stay with you long-term.

Once this employee is up and running, repeat the process when you’re ready to expand your workforce.

Susan Payton is the President of Egg Marketing & Communications, a marketing firm specializing in content writing and social media management. She’s written three business books, including How to Get More Customers With Press Releases, and frequently blogs about small business and marketing on sites including Forbes, AllBusiness, The Marketing Eggspert Blog, and Tweak Your Biz. Follow her on Twitter @eggmarketing.

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