You hear it every day in the media—small business owners are the backbone of our country. Entrepreneurs gutsy enough to put their dreams in motion are slowly building their empires from kitchen tables and basement crannies. If you have decided the time is now or never for you to enter the marketplace, you might be wondering how to build a strong team of employees to support your goals. Unless you’re an accountant, exploring online payroll solutions is a good starting point.
Why Start With Payroll?
Whether you have five employees or 50, they’re going to want a paycheck of some kind—even if they share your passion and vision. Using online processing centers and human resource tools is more efficient and saves you time and money. As your business grows, reports help you compare employee performance and skills with new job duties. The primary reason to consider online payroll processing might be the constantly changing tax laws business owners are face. Keeping up with the tax code is a full-time job—FICA, Medicare percentages, state income tax, insurance deductions and garnishments require constant monitoring. While it’s important for you to stay informed about payroll costs, you need time to focus on growing your business, not on handing out the checks every Friday.
The Hiring Process
Ann MacDonald, a contributor for LoveToKnow, suggests you focus on detailed job descriptions when screening employees. If you know what you expect from your employees before the interview, you have a better chance of identifying potential employees. Following some of her suggestions, you could break it down to five steps.
- Write a job description.
- Pre-screen candidates.
- Conduct Interviews.
- Order background checks, fingerprints and drug tests, if needed.
- Hire the best qualified person.
Look for Passion
Although business owners should be vetting their employees for skill, education and experience, shared passion could be one of the top factors that catapult one candidate to the top over others. It’s often necessary to pay less in the early stages. Employees that share your vision and goals are typically more willing to take lower pay in exchange for future benefits.
Another reason passion should be high on your list of “qualifications” is branding. Consider the entrepreneur entering the beauty industry. Even in tough economic times, people like to feel good and look good. They continue to buy food to stay healthy and, even if they have to shop on a budget, they spend money on cosmetics, haircuts and manicures. If your new business is rubber nail polish, you want employees that wear nail polish every day; love nail polish; eat, sleep, talk nail polish every chance they get.
Applicant Qualities that Payoff for Employers
Even among a team of great workers, some stand out as superior. During the interview, look for things that show an employee is genuine. Does her body language match her words? Does his attire reflect his commitment—is he wearing white socks with black dress shoes? According to a Jeff Hayden article reprinted on Small Business Beat, you must go beyond the normal requirements of dependability, experience and reliability. Look for qualities like the ones below that will make a difference in your business.
- Look for employees that are willing to step in when they see something that needs attention—even if it isn’t part of their job description.
- Great employees complain in private and praise in public.
- Fantastic employees are always looking for a better way to do the same thing.
- Terrific employees speak up, even when others aren’t willing to, or if it challenges the boss.
Starting a new business can be exciting and rewarding and physically taxing and emotionally exhausting. It can be the greatest journey of your life. Surrounding yourself with a staff that shares your vision and passion will make the journey more enjoyable. Delegate duties whenver possible to save money, time and effort. Use vendors that will grow with you. Make a plan, but leave room for adjustment if one of your innovative employees has the vision to expand your horizons.