Picture this: your business is expanding and it’s time to hire your first round of employees. Congrats, that’s quite a milestone! All you need to do now is
- fill out the right business forms,
- draft role descriptions,
- create a job application,
- find great candidates,
- review resumes,
- have them fill out all the necessary paperwork, and
- make sure you have a strong company culture for them to enter into.
Let’s hit the pause button for a moment — is your head spinning? For most business owners, this is new territory, and navigating it alone will be a long, stressful process with the potential for a lot of trial and error.
When hiring employees, there are two facets to consider — finding the right candidate for the job and being able to break down the role and the skills involved so that candidates have a strong sense of what they are applying for. Then there is the compliance side of it. Businesses hiring employees need to be set up properly, from a legal standpoint, so that they don’t have issues down the road.
Ramon sat down with Donna Morris, CEO of Xtra Pair of Hands DC, who is gearing up to hire her first round of employees. Joining them was Kedma Ough, VP of Business Coaching at Automate Grow Sell, and Jaime Lizotte, HR & Tax Compliance Solutions Manager at ComplyRight Inc. Their discussion was well-rounded and detailed, hitting all aspects of hiring. Whether you’re a business who has been hiring employees or you’re just getting started like Donna, there was a lot of good information going around.
Build the Right Team
You can’t build a team until you know what you need them for. Kedma talked about a common occurrence among entrepreneurs: being control freaks. That means thinking you can do it all, and do it better than others. So, in order to hire employees, you need to step out of your own way. Kedma also brings up the point of how business owners tend to hire people just like them, but that’s where the mistake is. You need employees who bring additional skills to the table and can help look at situations in new ways.
“What we want to do is we want to build a team around the culture. That's why it's so important...because we can get out of our way and we can stay in our own lane.” - Kedma Ough
Preparing to Hire
Jaime brought up an interesting (and kind of scary) statistic: the average cost of a bad hire is about $17,000.
What does that mean? It means that businesses need to be well prepared before jumping into interviews. Jaime recommends creating a job application, and not just leaning on someone’s resume to tell the entire story. A job application can ask questions that a resume might not normally answer, so this will give you a more well-rounded understanding of who you’re interviewing.
But you can’t just ask anything in an application, you need to make sure it’s compliant. If you’re not sure what’s compliant, then it’s important to find out. Certain questions shouldn’t be asked, and can put a business into hot water if a candidate reported it.
There are also penalties that businesses can face if other legal documents aren’t filled out properly when a hire comes on board. Jaime also brought up something called “accidental discrimination”, which she describes as, “...we call it accidental discrimination because [business owners] don't know that they're actually doing it. It's not intentional. They just don't know what they don't know until they know…”. Accidental discrimination can happen during the interview process if discriminatory questions are asked by the employer. And in many cases the employer doesn’t realize how this can be held against them. This is why utilizing a company like ComplyRight is so helpful when you’re starting this new phase of your business growth.
Why It’s Important to Get it Right the First Time
As a business owner, Donna found all of this information priceless, and she made the interesting point of how many small business owners are used to the hustle — basically, doing whatever you need to do to get it things done. Unfortunately, for many small businesses, that could mean cutting corners when it comes to HR and compliance. But if you want to take your business to the big leagues, as Donna coins it, you need to make it all legal. Donna mentioned wanting to potentially franchise her business one day, and she knows that won’t be possible if she doesn’t set a strong foundation of compliant practices now. It can cost a little money and add time to the hiring process, but it sets your business up for long-term growth without consequences.
Tune In for the Full Interview
Miss the live interview? Don’t fret — you can’t catch the Hiring Pain Points conversation, below. But make sure you’re ready to take notes, there is a ton of great information for businesses in all phases of the hiring process.
Here’s a little background on each panelist, as well:
Kedma Ough, MBA, is a nationally recognized business development and business funding expert. Kedma is an innovation and entrepreneurship thought leader, award-winning champion of small business, and business advisor for independent inventors. She is also a proud fifth generation entrepreneur, whose great-great grandfather peddled various products across Ireland.
Donna Morris is the Founder and CEO of Xtra Pair of Hands DC – an event planning and staffing company she started in 2001 which currently employs fifteen staff and has over five hundred clients in the metropolitan area. It started out because a friend got stuck hosting Thanksgiving dinner at the last minute and didn’t know how to pull off such a big dinner. Being a hustler at heart and helping her grandmother in the kitchen, Donna saw a business opportunity. Staffing smaller events was a niche no one was addressing in the Washington, DC area, and with Donna’s personality, attention to detail, and strong customer service background, the rest is history.
Jaime Lizotte is an HR and employment expert with ComplyRight. Jaime joined the product development team at ComplyRight in 2007. Since then, she has managed and developed numerous HR solutions, from training tools and safety products to HR and tax reporting software.
Before joining ComplyRight, Jaime was a practicing HR Manager at a small marketing firm. Her hands-on experience as an HR practitioner gives her unique insight into the day-to-day challenges of small business employers as she develops next-generation products to make employee management easier.
And in case you don’t know his background, Ramon Ray has started four companies and sold two. He's the author of several books, including his latest, "Celebrity CEO - How Entrepreneurs Can Thrive by Building Community and a Strong Personal Brand". Ramon is a global speaker and in-demand pundit on small business starting and growing.