How to Hire Employees

Linda Jenkins, April 05 2014

Your business has grown and you've made the decision to find people to help you manage things. What now? Every business owner should follow this basic hiring process:

Once you do decide to hire an employee, you will first need an Employer Identification Number, assuming that you do business in the United States.  You can reserve your EIN from the IRS by calling toll-free 1-800-829-4933. You must also obtain workers' compensation insurance coverage.

Prepare a job description. This document contains a brief description of your company, the duties of the job, the job type - part vs. full-time, required qualifications & certifications, compensation range, application deadline, and required checks (such as drug, credit, criminal and/or reference checks.)   Select & post the job description to several advertising sources (such as Careerbuilder, Indeed, local papers, professional organizations, etc.)

Review the applicant resumes. (Refer back to the job description to ensure that the resumes you tag for future contact match up with the qualifications you specified).

  • Select the top five candidates for screening via phone.
  • Complete phone interviews.
  • Select the top three candidates for in-person interviews.
  • Complete in-person interviews.
  • Have these candidates complete a job application form.
  • Select the top candidate for background checks and/or drug testing.
  • Complete required checks.
  • Extend a verbal & written offer to the top candidate.

Once the top candidate accepts, notify the other candidates that the position has been filled. Retain candidate resumes for future job openings. If you expect frequent hiring, consider purchasing an Applicant Tracking System to make organizing and retaining information on your company's hiring efforts as easy as possible.

Employee Retention:
Invest in training. Offer bonuses or incentives for good performance. Complete yearly performance reviews so the employee knows where she/he stands.

Important Documents:

You must have your employee complete and sign Form I-9 (from the Immigration and Naturalization Service) and retain that information in the employee's file.
Every new hire must complete a Form W-4 so that you can withhold the proper amount of income tax from each paycheck.  You must also withhold Medicare and Social Security. It's important to remember, however, that you are just holding this money, and you must file IRS Form 941 (Employer's Quarterly Tax Return) and pay these taxes quarterly, so don't withhold this money and then spend it later!  You will also have to match FICA (Medicare and Social Security). Managing these processes can be made easier by using a payroll services provider.

Retain an official file on each employee that contains: The job description. The employee's resume. The completed job application form. Results of checks. Terms of the official offer. The signed acceptance letter. The signed I-9 & copies of accompanying documents. The signed W-4. Results of completed performance reviews.

Also, make sure you create and distribute an Employee Handbook to all new hires. This is an important document that educates your employees on your company's policies and procedures, and should describe your obligations as an employer, and your employees' rights. In fact, this is the first document your attorney will refer to should your business ever be involved in an employment dispute, so be sure to include the Employee Handbook as a key part of your hiring process.


Is it possible to attract and hire the right people for the right job the first time?

Yes,it is! AND it is a matter of:

-Understanding the position requirements

-Attracting the right candidates and

-Discerning the right fit


Sound Simple?

It may sound simple, but it never seems quite easy. Most interview processes fail because business professionals:

Do not understand the key elements to adequately prepare for an interview

Have inconsistent execution

Often ask irrelevant questions

Believe interviews are just a gut feel or a formality

Have a haphazard or non-existent onboarding process once the offer is made setting the employee up for failure before they even step foot into the organization

Hire with Confidence

Through Your Participation in Interviewing Made Easy Online Webinar-Based Course

Who Participates?

Whether you’re hiring your first employee, have interviewed but were never trained, or need to sharpen your skills, this 2-part webinar-based online course is for you. This course is great for solo-CEOs, small business owners, consultants, chiropractors, franchisors, franchisees, non-profits, associations, and any other business professional who needs to hire someone.

(Course content for US-based businesses only). 

Learn More about The Course:


Interviewing Made Easy business course


Do you think your company is too small to attract an ideal hire? Not so. Be sure to read:

6 Ways Your Small Business Can Attract Top Talent

Other stuff you should read:

Employment Laws