THE BLOG
12/10/2014 10:55 am ET Updated Feb 09, 2015

5 Lessons on Hiring Your First Employee

Thomas Barwick via Getty Images

Boy, have I had my share of hiring and firing and everything in between. Some of it's awesome and some of it sucks (to be quite frank). But there are five important lessons in hiring your first employee that I learned the hard way. So after the fact, trust me, these are important and suggestions you want to take to heart:

Hire someone just like you that can wear multiple hats.

The only way to start off on the right foot in building your business and your team is hiring your first employee to do what you do. That way that person can learn about all the hats you wear and how to juggle multiple things. You will appreciate the versatility, and your new hire will appreciate learning how to run a business. It's a win-win.

However, if you hire someone for a really specific role instead of the more versatile role, you're going to set yourself up for failure in growing your business. Eventually, you can hire for exactly the assistance you need. But at the beginning, hire someone like you, so there's more of your heart and your goals in the business during the crucial growth phase.

I hate to be boring, but Legal, Insurance, Financial and Tax are so important even if you're super-duper small.

Dang, I've learned this lesson a few times. Please, please be sure you have contracts in place for everyone you hire. Make sure those agreements are reviewed by a lawyer. Also, have insurance in place if someone were to sue you (ah um, this happened to me!). And lastly, make sure that financially and in regards to taxes, that you are all setup to record and pay this individual on a regular schedule.

Check social media.

I know you might be thinking: Why would a CEO or an HR person review someone's social media before you hire that person? Well, to be honest, I'm a creeper. I check out all social media profiles when someone is applying for a job to work at Solamar. And it tells me so much. I actually base my decision off of what I find. It saves me from hiring a crazy, ranting lunatic that's over the edge. And that's the honest truth!

Make sure you hire someone that believes in entrepreneurship, small business . . . and isn't just out for themselves.

You need to make sure you're not hiring someone that wants to actually BE you someday. I mean, it's okay to have someone that is excited to work for you, but make sure they are interested in helping you build your company. You want them to understand that you're investing in them . . . in their energy, their love for the work, and their willingness to help build a business you both will love.

Don't hire someone that seems to think the world revolves around them. Try to avoid those that tell you know what works for their schedule and their needs. Instead hire someone dedicated to building WITH you and meeting your needs and objectives.

Finally, be good to them. I can't stress this enough.

The quickest way to team success is by supporting and loving your team. This is the #1 most important thing I've learned, and the only thing that defines my success.

If your team isn't happy -- you're doing something wrong, and you need a course in leadership. If you hire the right person, they are worth your time, your leadership, and your love. Be good to them in every faucet of their life. Provide on-the-spot bonuses, gifts, celebrate with them when they have good news. Do this or else you'll set yourself up for failure.