When your home is your office, the thought of hiring an employee may be daunting. It’s almost more like finding the right roommate, which makes recruiting and hiring the right match all the more important.
Here are 10 tips for finding and hiring the right person.
- Know what you’re getting yourself into. Hiring takes preparation. Will you hire full- or part-time employees or independent contractors? Hiring employees means dealing with payroll and benefits. Will you handle these functions in house or will you outsource them?
- Ask for referrals. Before you place a help wanted ad, ask for word-of-mouth referrals. Call former colleagues and ask friends and family members if they know any trustworthy, hard-working people. Other places to look for and recruit prospective employees include local universities and community colleges, organizations or trade associations, and chambers of commerce.
- Do your homework. Before you hire anyone for your home-based business, familiarize yourself with your state’s employment laws and with your town’s zoning laws.
- Define your compensation package. Determine what you can afford to pay the employee and what benefits you can afford to offer. If you are trying to cut costs, think outside the box. Offering flexible hours or allowing telecommuting can be very attractive advantages for prospective employees.
- Perform your due diligence. Of course you’ll want to carefully screen your prospective employees; after all, this person will be coming into your home every day. Verify that the person is legally permitted to work in the United States, perform a background check, and check the references your candidate provides.
- Conduct the interview. Get as much information from the candidate as possible. In addition to submitting a resume, ask for references and have them fill out an application. If possible, have someone else with you during the interview. This way, you will have another person’s impressions of the candidate as well as your own. Ask job-specific questions and try to create scenarios to test how a prospective employee would handle typical situations. Determine how they feel about working in an office where family members and even pets may be around.
- Cover your assets. Make sure your business insurance policy includes worker’s compensation as well as any other liability to which you may be open. Consult with your insurance agent or broker before your employee begins work.
- Set boundaries. Make sure your employee understands your expectations for being in your home and in your home office. Let them know which rooms are open to them and what the business hours are. Make it clear that though they are in your home, they are there to help you run a business.
- Compile an employee handbook. This lets your employees know immediately that you take your management duties seriously. Your handbook or operations manual should include policies on sick days, hours, personal use of phones, and performance expectations. It should also include job titles and descriptions, office rules, and procedures for requesting vacation time or reporting an absence.
- Prepare your family members. Because family members may feel resentful having a stranger in such close quarters, you need to set boundaries with the employee and to prepare your family members for their presence. Assure them that the employee will not be interfering with their personal space, and that they are not obligated to entertain, feed, or treat the employee as a guest.