Business Plan Center

Hiring tips part one: Before you hire new employees

If you plan to hire a new employee, make sure you recruit the right applicants at the right time.

Hiring a new employee is an exciting milestone for growing businesses. Leverage these tips to post job listings, recruit new talent, and conduct quality interviews.

Determine if it's the right time

The appropriate time to hire a new employee will depend on your business's strategy, growth, and financial situation. In deciding when to hire and when to hold off, ask yourself:

  • Am I keeping up with demand? If demand has increased to the point that you're turning down work or receiving customer service complaints, you may need more help.

  • Will my business continue to grow? You don't want to add staff and then discover that demand has dropped. Make sure growth isn’t just temporary.

  • Do I have enough time to run my business? Tasks like bookkeeping and customer service can take time. If these duties are keeping you from running and growing your business, you might outsource them to an employee with more time and expertise.  

  • Could an additional hire help me enter a new market? Beyond helping with your current workload, new employees can provide expertise that allows you to expand in another direction. If you're entering a new market, determine whether your staff has the skills to tap into the opportunity or whether you need new talent.

  • Can I afford a new employee? Hiring new employees costs time and energy in addition to wages, benefits, and taxes. Review your accounts to ensure you can afford it, and evaluate your workload to ensure you have time to read resumes, interview applicants, and train new hires.

If this is your first time hiring, ask yourself if you're prepared to take the leap from entrepreneur to employer. Managing a staff means additional paperwork, payroll, and compliance with federal and state labor laws, so determine whether you're ready for additional responsibility.

Recruit qualified potential employees

A smooth hiring process begins with a clear job description. Job descriptions help employees understand job responsibilities and requirements. They also help you review employee performance, develop recruitment strategies, and ensure compensation is competitive.

Find the right employee by writing a description that includes:

  • Job title

  • Classification (contract, hourly, salaried, part-time, full-time, seasonal, etc.)

  • Duties and tasks

  • Required skills and experience

  • Expectations for performance and methods of performance evaluation

  • Purpose of the position and its relationship to other jobs

  • Description of the working environment

  • Compensation

After crafting your job description, decide where to post it:

  • Job listing websites: Sites like,, and can help you cast a wide net and connect with potential applicants.

  • Social media platforms: Use your social networks to post job openings and spread the word.

  • Industry associations: Industry networks can share your job openings with their members on their websites and through email newsletters.

In addition to posting descriptions, ask for referrals from other employees and associates. For executive positions, consider paying a recruiter to help you find the right candidate.

Conduct effective interviews

Once you've narrowed your list of applicants, screen the frontrunners with phone interviews. Then, invite the finalists for in-person interviews.

Don't focus interviews entirely on job duties and employee qualifications; remember to discuss company culture. During your interviews, describe your business's working environment, and ask questions that will help you determine if the candidate is qualified and a good fit. Keep your conversations related to the position and the company. It's illegal to hire or not hire based on factors like race, sex, and religion, so avoid questions that lead to these subjects.   

Be strategic in determining the type of position and candidate that will best meet your business's current needs as well as your plans for future growth.

As you create or update your business plan, include your recruiting goals to ensure that your hiring strategy aligns with your overall business strategy.