Michael Klazema has been developing products for the background screening industry since 2009 and is lead author and editor for a background checks community.
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My business was growing by leaps and bounds. I was waking up at 5am and working til midnight, when I'd get a couple of hours sleep and go right back to the grind. I loved my business, but I was getting burnt out on doing the work for it - work that I knew that I could hire someone to do. It was time to hire my first employee.

When I first started, I wasn't thinking about the little steps along the way. I was thinking about the fact that I would bring in millions of dollars. I was like one of those starry eyed kids who dreams of fast cars while driving a Pontiac T-1000. Here are some of the guidelines and steps that I didn’t have when I hired my first employee.

Before You Advertise

Get an Employer Identification Number
The government loves its money. The first thing that you need to do before hiring your first employee is to get an identification number. This assumes that you've already registered your business with the IRS.

Talk to the Labor Department
Once the federal tax portions are taken care of, you move on to the state labor department. There are several forms which you need to file with the state to prove that you are a business entity and to pay your state's unemployment taxes.

Worker's compensation
Worker's comp insurance is required in many states. The coverage is intended to protect those workers who might end up in an on-the-job injury. Even if your workers are office workers, you need to have this type of insurance.

Payroll
Taxes are a lot easier when you are doing them for yourself. When you add another individual to the team, you need to get yourself someone to do the payroll taxes and withholding. It is easier to have a trained professional do this rather than spending your own time figuring out the numbers.

Have necessary paperwork for new employees
Each employee needs to have at least a withholding allowance certificate (W-4) and an I-9 (Employment Eligibility Verification) on file with your company. You can get these forms online at www.uscis.gov.

Getting An Employee
Once the groundwork has been laid, it's time to start the process of finding the right new employee for your business. What I most needed was someone who would be able to coordinate operations and free up my time for growing the business. The first steps in getting the right employee are crucial.

Decide what you want
Before you start advertising for your new employee, you need to figure out exactly what you want in your new employee. What do you want them to do? Get very specific about this. It will save a LOT of time in sorting through resumes.

Advertise In Your Circles
The first place to start looking for your new hire is within the circles that you've already established. There might be people you already know who are looking for jobs. If they are, they might be the perfect fit.

Use Social Media
Once you advertise using social media, you'll get a boatload of people applying for the position that you've got available. There will be people from all walks of life, and what seems like every experience level under the sun. For me, it was a roller coaster ride to find someone who could do what I needed.

Narrow Down the Results
You are the one who's in charge of finding the perfect fit for your position. It's fairly easy to sift through the junk like a hiring manager, as a lot of unqualified people will apply for your position. You should be able to discount around 80% of the resumes that you receive.

Schedule Interviews
The interview process was the most enjoyable for me, because it reminded me of all of the times that I was on the other side of the table. Set aside a few days at the beginning of the week to do interviews. If you’re placing your employees into a money handling position, make sure that you receive permission from them for the background check.

Background Checks
Once you've got your permissions in order, it's time to do the background checks. This step will help you make the right decision, as it will provide independent verification of the information that you received in the interview. Do this after the field has been narrowed to the few applicants that you are seriously considering.

Offer the Position
Make sure that you have an established benefits package and know how much money that you will offer your new employee. Once you have that taken care of, you can make the call and deliver the good news.

Hiring my first employee took around three weeks. In the beginning, I thought that it would be the paperwork that would take the longest. The initial paperwork is the easiest part of the process, and it only gets easier on your second, third, and fourth employees. Finding the right person for the position is an art form - it takes a mixture of gut feelings, background checks, and asking the right questions.

Tags: Social Media, Advice, Workers' Compensation, Background check, Employer Identification Number, Employment eligibility verification, I-9, IRS, Labor Department, Payroll, USCIS, W-4, Pontiac