6 Tips on Protecting Your Business While Finding and Hiring the Best Talent

Question: I've never hired an employee before, and now my business demands that I hire several. What are some ways I can ensure that I am finding and hiring the best employees as well as protect my business if the hires don't work out?

Start Everyone as Contractors

"Even the best talent recruiters hire crappy people at times. Minimize your risk of hiring the wrong person by hiring everyone as a temporary contractor. Set up 6 month initial contracts with new people and set expectations that it's a trial 'fit' period. If the person is good, then offer a full-time job. If the person isn't good, then you have an excuse to show them the door due to lack of fit"

- Eric Bahn | Advisor, Webflow

"Start slow. Before you jump into managing a team of full time people, start off by managing a contractor or an intern or two. Just because you're excellent in business doesn't necessarily mean that you're a natural manager --better to ramp up slowly than find out you're in over your head & have tons of people on payroll. "

Subcontract First

"If possible, I recommend hiring someone on a contract basis first. This gives you the ability to see what someone is like to work with on a project before you make a long-term commitment. Also, this means you don't need to go through the paperwork required to pay their employment taxes and benefits, only to find out you don't want to keep them on board."

- Elizabeth Saunders | Founder & CEO, Real Life E®

Protect Your Company

"If you're giving equity as part of the compensation package, make sure that there is a cliff of 1 year and that the equity vests in 4 years. A 1 year cliff ensures the employee has been at the company for at least a year before he or she accrues equity. A vesting period of 4 years ensures that the employee earns equity at the company over an extended period of time."

- Jun Loayza | Chief Marketing Officer, Bunny Inc
Find the Round Peg

"As an entrepreneur, your job is to be a constant promoter, but often I see business owners make the mistake of hyping a position too much during the interview. The result is that they try to push a square peg in a round hole. Instead, use the interview as an opportunity to set clear expectations of the job and then work to find someone who is qualified and excited to fill that particular role."

Hire Top Talent Early

"Before you make quick hiring decisions, realize that it's much more important to hire the best talent early in the game so you don't waste them firing and hiring in the future if things don't work out. Get recommendations from your network and really analyze the person's online presence to see if they qualify."


Consult A Lawyer and Potentially A Recruiter

"First, consult with a lawyer to make sure you have a solid employment contract in place and are following the law in terms of hiring employees. Employment law varies state-to-state. Additionally, if you've never hired someone before, you might want to hire a recruiter to help you determine your exact needs and narrow down your candidate pool."

- Heather Huhman | Founder & President, Come Recommended

Core Values

"It is all about core values, discover them, know them, and use them in the interview process to screen out the people you do not want."

- David Hauser | Co-Founder, CTO, Grasshopper
Avoid Big Titles with Little Real Experience

"Look behind impressive resumes for inherent flaws. Don't get gamed. Verify the legitimacy of references before you contact them. You never know when someone is using his or her mother or friend as a "former employer." "

About YEC

The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world's most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched StartupCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.

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