How to Hire Your First Employee

So, you’ve started your business, you’re getting some cashflow, you’re solidifying your client base. You’re well on your way to making your millions. But you’re still doing it all by yourself. And the hours of reformatting CVs, answering queries from candidates, writing job advertisements, and dealing with online portals are getting to be too much. It’s time to get some more hands on deck. But where to start? And when is the right time to take the plunge? Here’s your complete guide to hiring your first employee and scaling your recruitment business:


Take out your pen and paper. Jot down the top few activities that take up the most amount of time day-to-day. Is it market mapping? Maybe it’s formatting (or re-formatting) CVs. Perhaps you need someone to be answering the phone and taking notes during meetings. Or are you ready to bring in an extra consultant? Whatever it is – make a clear plan of what you need to be more successful and streamlined in your business.


Second, write down the skills that correspond to the activities you want that person to do. Try to think outside the box. Don’t just assume you need an administrative assistant when your activities and requirements might more suit someone interested in social media recruitment or telephone sales. Does this person need to have fantastic organisational skills? Or perhaps a stellar phone manner is key. Maybe even simply someone with a strong handshake is essential.


Third, connect those skills with previous work experience or qualities you’d expect that hire to have. This becomes your job spec which can be shared with rec-to-rec recruiters or posted directly on job board advertisements. It can sometimes also help to identify what your second and third hire will be afterward. So that you know exactly what the timeline of growth your business will follow.

When’s the Right Time?

Unfortunately, this is an almost an impossible question to answer – because it really depends on your recruitment business and your cashflow. Many recruitment entrepreneurs will advise that you attempt to scale up your business at the first possible opportunity. The theory is that if you don’t do it asap, you might never do it. If your goal is to create a lifestyle recruitment business, and you don’t have any qualms about continuing as the sole biller in the organisation – then please do ignore this. You’ll likely only be needing a resource or admin assistant. But if your ultimate goal is to scale, this has to be a concentrated effort in planning from day one.

First, consider your cashflow for the next 12 months. Can it comfortably handle a full yearly salary of an employee without any danger of having to let them go? Underestimate the financial contribution the employee will make. If you’re thinking an additional consultant will only take 2 months to make their first placement, plan for 4 months just to be safe. In the end, we all know that recruiting employees can be time consuming and financially draining. But if you get it right, the rewards are amazing.

Not sure what kind of person you’re looking to hire? Check out How to Hire the Perfect Recruitment Consultant for tips on finding key qualities and experience in billing consultants, or How to Hire Your First Resourcer for a guide to support headhunters for your team.

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