How to Hire Employees for a Small Business (8-step process)

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The success of a small business often hinges on the team of employees behind it. Employees are instrumental in influencing company culture, dynamics, and trajectory. 

If you’ve recently started a small business, you may be in the beginning stages of developing your hiring process.

As a result, you may feel confused about how to hire the right employees – and that’s why this article exists.

By the end of this article, you will be well-versed in the steps required to hire employees for your small business. 

Once the 8 steps have been completed, we’ll talk about onboarding and hiring to ensure that your new employees are suitable for your company and ready to hit the ground running your small business.

The 8 steps to hiring employees effectively

  1. Assess your needs
  2. Create a compelling job description
  3. Advertise and recruit
  4. Review applicant resumes
  5. Candidate screening
  6. Make an offer of employment
  7. Notify rejected candidates
  8. Handle legal and paperwork

1. Assess your needs

Before you decide to hire employees, it is important to assess your needs as an organization.

Why are you hiring employees? What role will the new employees play in helping the business succeed? 

You may be able to craft job titles and descriptions based on those needs, which will ultimately reinforce your decision to hire and leave no room for confusion in your candidates.

2. Create a compelling job description

In order to attract the right people, you should consider creating a compelling job description. Writing a job description is an art; you want to include all of the important details of the job, but not make it overly wordy. 

You also want to cater to the interests and qualifications of candidates, while sticking to the exact requirements of the position (or positions) at hand. 

Although challenging, your job description is the face of your company for potential employees.

Make it count!

3. Advertise and recuit

Advertising and recruitment during your hiring process gets your name out there. One of the more prevalent methods for recruiting is through different career-based websites, such as LinkedIn.

LinkedIn is a professional social networking platform that connects employees and employers through shared industry interests.

The platform basically offers a live resume for potential employers to view and inquire about. You may also want to put your job posting on job sites such as Indeed and Glassdoor.

Once you have enough candidates, you can move on to the reviewing step.

4. Review applicant resumes

Reviewing applicant resumes by hand can be time-consuming, so you may want to consider implementing an applicant tracking system.

These software programs allow you to filter our potential candidates that do not match your expectations.

5. Screen and interview top candidates

Now that you have made a list of top candidates from your application review, you will want to screen and interview them.

Setting up interviews might take some time, so use the downtime to think about potential questions that you might ask during your interviews.

6. Make an offer of employment

They’ve got the job! If you’re ready to select a candidate for hiring, you should send them a formal email offering employment, including salary information. 

They may want to negotiate the terms of the employment, and this can be done over Zoom, the phone, or during an in-person meeting.

7. Notify rejected candidates

It can be difficult to break the news to rejected candidates of their unsuccessful applications. However, sending a personalized email message that is direct (but supportive) is key. 

For example, you can begin your email by saying, “Unfortunately, your application was not successful this time, but we enjoyed reviewing your resume. If other positions become available, you will be notified and asked to apply.”

You may also want to encourage rejected candidates to apply for future positions at the company as they open up. 

In order to make this process easier, it’s a good idea to start a mailing list that notifies old candidates of new opportunities within your small business.

8. Handle legal and paperwork

Once you have chosen your new hires, you should refer them to legal documents and contracts that solidify the employment relationship.

This can be facilitated by you or human resources, depending on your business’s structure.

Onboarding Your New Employee

Once you’ve found the perfect employee for your small business, you’ll want to onboard them efficiently. 

Fast and effective onboarding is ideal for both employees and employers as it will make both feel secure in the new arrangement. 

Here are some key aspects of onboarding to remember:

  • Procure a welcoming environment for the new employee to enter into on their first day. Make sure to introduce them to everyone around the office, too.
  • Ensure that the new hire has all of the required access and information prior to starting such as their badge, desk, and other assigned items.
  • Provide the new hire with onboarding materials and encourage them to ask questions as they arise.
  • Make sure to check in with your new hire periodically in a non-judgmental and friendly manner, letting them know that they can ask for help at any time.
  • Plan an after-work outing if possible, where the new hire can socialize with the rest of the company. 

As long as you maintain a professional and supportive tone with your new hires, they will feel more capable of completing all of their new tasks and responsibilities – integrating into the role as seamlessly as possible.

Hiring the perfect employees for your business

Hiring the perfect employee for your business takes time and practice. Be patient with the process and make sure to change your strategy if your results don’t match your expectations.

If you adhere to the steps above, your small business will be bustling with excellent employees in no time.

Best wishes on your current hiring journey and those to come in the future.


What is the best way to hire employees?

The best way to hire employees is by using an applicant tracking system. These software applications allow you to categorize and reach out to employees based on their compatibility with your job posting.

What do you need to hire employees?

You need to have established your business in terms of structure and goals. Also, you should have the job description of your employees clearly defined before hiring.

How do I hire an employee for the first time?

You should send them an offer letter for employment. If the candidate accepts the offer, then contract signing and onboarding can commence.

Remember, make sure that your onboarding process is ironed out before bringing the new hire in for a more seamless transition.

Should I hire a recruiter to find potential candidates?

Recruiters can assist in finding potential candidates that are aligned with the jobs that you’re hiring for.

If you have to hire a large number of employees or for a very specialized role, you may want to consider hiring a recruiter.

Ricky Torres mission is to help entrepreneurs and businesses receive the guidance and support they need so they can maximize their potential and achieve economic prosperity. He is a SHRM certified professional as well as a data analytics certified professional.