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Tips for hiring your first employee

Once you’ve got past how to start a business, you’ve developed your business plan and you’re enjoying life as an entrepreneur, you can start to think about the best ways to grow your business. Whether you work from home or from other premises, one way to get more done in your business is to hire some extra hands to help.

Hiring your first employee is a big step – and an exciting one. There’s more to hiring an employee than finding the right person for the job, including understand payroll, legal requirements and tax. Here are some tips to help you get started.

Work out what kind of skills you need to bring in

If you need help with just one specific task, such as bookkeeping or an accountant to help you understand tax rates, you might just need to pay for their advice as a contractor. If you need someone to help with the day-to-day running of your business and to look after clients or customers, you may need an employee.

Take a look at exactly what you need help with in your business. Write a list of the tasks you would like someone to do and the kind of skills and experience they might need to do this well. You can use this list later to create the job advertisement and job description.

Factor in the costs of employing someone

Your prospective employee’s salary is a major consideration, but you may also need to allow for:

  • Whether you need someone on a full-time, part-time, casual or other basis and the entitlements for each type of employment
  • Superannuation, payroll tax and other legal requirements
  • Recruitment costs such as advertising the role or using a recruitment firm
  • Training courses or materials
  • Added insurance
  • Uniforms, technology (such as a mobile phone or laptop) or other equipment

You should also consider the type of costs that aren’t related to money – such as the cost of your time during the recruitment, training and ongoing management of the new role.

These costs can all add up, but it’s also important to weigh this against the benefits of having extra help. With an employee on board, you might have more capacity to follow up leads, expand your range of products or services or find even better, more efficient ways to serve your customers.

Understand industrial relations

In WA we have two industrial relations systems: state and national. You’ll need to know which system applies to you – this depends on the type of business you have.

In general, if you have an incorporated business (with ‘Pty Ltd’ or ‘Ltd’ in your business name), you’ll probably fall under the national industrial relations systems, while other business types follow the state industrial relations system. Learn more about WA’s state and national industrial relations systems.

Know your employer obligations

Hiring someone in your business means you become an employer, and this comes with a new set of responsibilities beyond working for yourself. As an employer, you’ll need to know about:

There’s a lot to know when you want to bring your first employee on board – and we’re here to help. The information on our blog is intended as general information only. To discuss your business and get your questions answered, get in touch with our free small business advisory service.

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