Do you wonder, when is it time to hire your first employee?
How do you know when to hire someone part-time?
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You’ve been doing it all by yourself. You are a proud and accomplished solopreneur. As an entrepreneur, whether a part-time business or take up all your time business, you are your business!
From outreach, collaborations and sponsorships, to content and product creation, you’re the boss and also the help. After four years of being my own boss, running two online businesses I always joke that I’m my own assistant, that I am “the team”. Can you relate?
It’s great to do it all yourself, there’s a huge sense of pride in that, a sense of self-sufficiency. Like, “look at what I did, I don’t need any help.” Especially, if you’re a type-A, a perfectionist who likes things done a certain way.
It’s hard to go from wearing all the hats yourself to trusting another person. You wonder, “will they work as hard as I do?” You question if you can pay them when you’re barely paying yourself?
The Cost of Doing It All Yourself
Let me stop you there before you continue down this road to self-sacrifice. Because the truth is that YES, you could do it all, but should you? And how well are you doing it all? Even more importantly to ask yourself, at what cost are you doing it all?
Yes, your business is your baby, but you shouldn’t sacrifice your health: emotionally, mentally, or physically for it to succeed. That’s NOT sustainable! You should be able to enjoy a healthy life-balance, take weekends off (or at least the nights), escape the endless to-do list, and still have growth in your business.
Are you ready to take time back for yourself? To actually experience massive growth in your business without doing it all yourself? I know I am! Asking for help, finding and hiring your first employee is a smart business move (at the right time of course).
The truth is you CANNOT grow when you’re trapped in the hamster wheel of just staying afloat trying to just “get things done.” That pressure of the day-to-day stifles (if not kills) creativity, ingenuity, passion, and the purpose I know you need to feel in your business.
This is your guide to figuring out when it’s right to hire your first employee. To help you find the right person to run the day-to-day of your business, or to at least part-time take over some duties, you do not need to personally handle yourself. By the end of this post, you will know how to let go and grow with your first employee.
Top 7 Signs It’s Time to Hire Help
First things first, how do you know it’s the right time to hire help? Maybe you’re worried it’s too soon, or you’re just not ready to make this jump from a team of one to two. If so, here are the top 7 reasons why right now is the time to hire your first employee with ZipRecruiter.
Did you know that the third most common reason why startups fail is a failure to hire the right people! According to CBInsights, 23% of startups don’t make it as “A diverse team with different skill sets was often cited as being critical to the success of a company.” Don’t make that mistake in your own business.
As you read, if you find yourself nodding and saying, “yes, that’s me!” then congrats, you’re likely ready to hire your first team member. How exciting!
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#1. You’re Stretched Too Thin
Let’s begin with an honest conversation with yourself. How do you feel right now? Are you tired, burnt out, exhausted, and falling apart working at your desk or in your studio all day? Are you running from meeting to meeting, without getting anything done?
We’re not just talking about physical pain from overwork, but the emotional toll, like being unable to unwind at the end of the day. Do you struggle with leaving work at work?
If doing it all directly impacts your life, your health, and even ruins your relationships. If you are stretched too thin, you cannot be a good parent (especially if you’re working at home while homeschooling your kids), you’re not able to be a good spouse or a partner, let alone available to be a good friend.
For example, instead of paying for childcare or a nanny, you could hire your first employee to manage your business day today, so you can be more present in your child’s life.
When you’re tired, stressed, frazzled, anxious and on edge, you simply cannot work well. Countless studies have linked stress to decreased work performance.
What is being stretched too thin costing you, your personal life, and your business? There’s a famous quote, “you can always make more money, but you’ll never make more time or memories.”
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#2. Your To-Do List is Impossible
Are you drowning in an endless to-do list for your business? Does it feel like a hamster wheel that keeps pulling you out to sea?
One of the top signs you’re ready to hire your first employee is if it is impossible to accomplish all the essential tasks on your to-do list. We’re not just talking random “would be nice” to-dos, but tasks that are essential for the running of a business or for future growth.
With an endless list of to-dos for your business, you can feel confident that you do have enough work for a part-time or full-time employee. Especially, if they are repetitive tasks like social media, outreach, onboarding, launching, advertisement, and content creation.
Plus, If you’re barely just keeping things running on your own, how can you grow? If you got just one more client would everything crumble? If you had a surge in interest could you handle it?
When you’re a solopreneur who’s building a business from scratch, everything you do feels like it’s working towards success. Being successful can feel like this far-off destination, but what happens if you wake up a success? Do you have the infrastructure, the capacity to handle it?
If the answer is no, and you’re close to “making it” or “your big break” is near, then you absolutely need to hire your first employee with ZipRecruiter. You will not make it to the next level without help.
#3. You’re Working All Day and Night, Every Day
Are you up late every night working on your laptop or phone in bed? Do you work each and every day of the week without taking serious breaks? Are you chained to your devices?
Listen, I get it, I joke that I work the day shift, then shower and coffee to start the night shift at 7 p.m., but how healthy is that? If you’re overworking the passion you felt when you started your business will fade fast.
You become a soulless employee to yourself, and it’s NOT a good place to be with your business. When you’re overworked you are more likely to break down and then need massive amounts of time off, leave and even medical attention.
Trust me. I overworked myself last year while running two online businesses by myself while writing two books back to back. The short version is that my back “gave out,” I could barely sit or move for weeks. And I am not the only one, workplace injuries from oversitting and sedentary work are on the rise. This can bring a whole host of other health complications that I won’t even mention (they’re scary).
Here’s the kicker: you are self-employed! There is no HR department you can contact to get workers’ compensation and take paid medical leave. In most cases, you may NOT qualify for disability either.
So, what happens when you break down and can’t work for months on end? Hiring your first employee is not just about reducing your workload, it’s about increasing the security of your company. If your business cannot run without you, that’s a huge liability.
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#4. You’re Hitting Pause on Growth Opportunities
No time to collaborate or take on sponsorship opportunities? What about pitching yourself to the media or approaching new, higher-paying clients?
Can’t launch that course, membership, or partnership because you don’t have the time? Do you have ideas or even solid plans for growth and expansion, that you can’t start? That’s a BIG problem!
If human-power is the reason you’ve refused, rejected, or reduced growth opportunities then you really need to hire help ASAP.
Without growth opportunities, your business will NOT thrive, much less survive. A lack of growth is essentially a slow death for your start-up. You have to get out there, innovate, create, and connect.
If you’re the visionary, you need someone else to be the day-to-day operator. If you’re the face of the company, you cannot be stuck behind a computer screen or buried in your studio all day every day. Free up your time by posting your first job on ZipRecruiter (it’s free!).
#5. You Can’t Handle Customer Service or Administration
Are you spending your entire day replying to emails, onboarding clients, managing complaints, researching, doing outreach, or even updating databases or records? Depending on how big and complicated your business is, ALL of that can be a job in and of itself.
Or let’s be honest, you just hate it, so you don’t do it. Administrative and customer service are the best types of tasks to hire your first employee for. Not only are they typically time-consuming and low-revenue tasks, but they’re also a great learning experience for new employees.
By handling customer service, administration, or bookkeeping, your new employee gets to learn about your business, how you make money and how everything works from the inside out.
The more your business grows, the more customers you have, and the more revenue you generate, the more important administrative tasks become. Especially when it comes to taxes, financial records, and bookkeeping.
You do NOT want to be unorganized in this area, as you could be audited at any time. Then, that’s an even bigger expense when you need to hire an accountant to sort out your paperwork.
Plus, if you ever intend on selling your business one day, you need to ensure your process and systems are organized. If you are your business and it just lives in your mind, that immediately makes your business less valuable to potential investors, partners, and buyers.
#6. You’re Already Outsourcing More Than One Task
Do you have a social media manager, bookkeeper, and/or a virtual assistant? Do you frequently hire out projects, jobs, or specific tasks? Always using job boards and Facebook groups to find help?
If you’re already paying multiple people to do work for you on the regular, that’s a huge sign that it’s time to hire your first employee. Why pay three people when you can pay one?
The administration, organization, and communication required to work with multiple people on an ongoing basis is argument enough to seriously consider hiring a dedicated person.
The benefit of having your own employee is that you can grow with one person. As your first employee gets to know your business, your preferences, and your mission as an entrepreneur, they increase in value to you.
You can trust them with more complicated tasks as well as give them more responsibility. Today you might post your first job posting on ZipRecruiter, hire tomorrow and one year from now be looking to hire a whole team. Then that first employee can move up in the company you’re building.
Another factor to consider is how much are you paying multiple helpers? Let’s do the math together:
- Social media management starts at $350 per month per account (for a super basic package, usually just for one platform, closer to $500 for just an Instagram or Pinterest manager)
- Bookkeepers and accounting costs upwards of $400 per month (working part-time hours)
- Virtual assistants start anywhere from $500 per month for 10 or fewer hours (for a good one)
- Graphic designers charge anywhere from $300+ per month for about 10 hours of work
Does all of this add up to hiring your first part-time (or even full-time) employee? It just might, if you list your job on ZipRecruiter.
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#7. You Can Actually Afford To Hire Someone
Alright, let’s get down to the nickels and dimes of it all. You and I both know that your biggest concern about hiring your first employee is money. You wonder, “can I afford to hire help?”
Sure, we’d all love to have thousands in the bank before starting the hiring process to find you the best candidate on ZipRecruiter. But, that’s not always realistic, so instead, you need to look at how much profit you earn each month, your hourly wage potential, and your ability to increase your income.
Let’s look at each of these. Odds are if you’re in any of these positions right now, hiring help is a good move for you to make. (Please keep in mind, I’m not an accountant, I don’t know your financial circumstances, and it’s up to you to decide.)
A. Savings in the Bank
How much savings do you have right now to pay an employee? You want to make sure you can still cover other business expenses and manage any life crises.
You can always make more money, and if for some unforeseen reason you can’t, that’s enough time to responsibly give them notice. Or at least you can post your position as a three-month contract, allowing you time to decide if they’re the right person and if you can afford to continue their employment.
B. Profits Earned Each Month
How much profit does your business earn each month? Don’t guess, figure out the exact amount by averaging the profit of your last 12 months of income. Even better, what’s the year over year, or quarter or quarter sales growth rate?
Need more? Then, look at your expenses and determine where you can cut back on costs to increase the profit margins. Savings can be found in:
- Canceling services you’re not using
- Switching monthly plans to annual plans
- Selling equipment you’re not using
- Switching from office space to online
Of course, you want to remove any personal expenses and your monthly payments from this figure. Remember, you’ll need your income to pay the amazing first employee you hire with ZipRecruiter.
With your average monthly profit, you should be able to predict if you can afford to hire help.
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C. Your Hourly Wage Potential
How much could you earn as a consultant? Can you take a higher earning position, even part-time or contact? What’s your hourly wage potential?
Think about how much you could earn vs how much you could pay your first employee. For example, if you could charge $100+ an hour as a consultant working in your genius zone and you could pay your employee $20-25 per hour for an entry-level, admin-type position. Then, for one of your hours = 4-5 hours for your employee.
All you would have to do is land a couple of consulting jobs or one high-paying client that takes up a minimal amount of your time to cover your first employee’s wages. And you’d save time, because all those long hours, low impact tasks you identified would be handled by your employee.
Make a list of your gifts and skills that you should charge a premium dollar for. Landing a client or consulting job in this way could give you the confidence you need to post your first job on ZipRecruiter.
You could even take on a contact position listed on ZipRecruiter at a higher wage level and then hire an employee or two to handle your business’s day-to-day. So, what are you a master at? What’s your wage potential?
This especially makes sense if you need to hire someone who has a different skill set than you do. The time it takes to learn new skills your business needs to grow is not always worth it. For example, if you need someone with knowledge of Facebook Ads or UX, why learn when you could bring on an employee who’s already a master.
D. Your Ability To Make More Income
What’s your business’s capacity for growth? Can you easily increase your income? If yes, is it a sure thing? Do you have a reliable record of success? You need to know!
If being caught up in the day-to-day of your business is keeping you from growing, then your first hire should help you expedite your next boost in revenue.
For example, if you’ve done product launches in the past, how much did you earn? Look at the numbers, factor in a margin of error, and determine if you can replicate that process shortly after hiring your first employee.
Ask yourself honestly, how many new clients would you need to land or product sales you would have to make? Figure out a number.
With all these four factors, you should have a very realistic picture of whether or not you can afford to hire your first employee. If yes, click here and get started on ZipRecruiter.
How to Hire Your First Employee With ZipRecruiter
To find your first employee, you need the #1 job posting site in the US: ZipRecruiter. Why? For one, you’re busy and you do not have weeks or months to waste searching for perfect candidates on your own.
No posting in Facebook groups, LinkedIn, or on message boards, it’s 2021 and ZipRecruiter is the best way to hire your first employee. Forget paying a recruiter, relying on word of mouth, networking, or even posting to other job sites.
When you post your job for FREE on ZipRecruiter, you’ll start receiving qualified candidates with the right experience immediately. ZipRecruiter also immediately pushes your job posting to 100+ job posting sites for you. With one click, you reach qualified candidates everywhere.
As they say, “80% of employers who post a job on ZipRecruiter get a quality candidate through the site within the first day.” Imagine, by tomorrow you could be interviewing qualified candidates and on your way to alleviating the overwhelm and overwork of doing it all yourself.
ZipRecruiter can help you level up from being just a solopreneur to a team of two or more. Imagine your perfect first employee is waiting for you to post your job posting.
#1. Sign Up for a Free Account
Ready to create your first job posting? Click here to sign up for ZipRecruiter.
Let’s walk through the signup process together.
A. Create an Employee Account
Fill out your name (your legal first and last name, not your business’s name), add your best email (such as your info@ or your professional email), then create a secure password. This is where candidates will apply directly.
B. Tell ZipRecruiter About Your Company
Up next you’ll add your company name. This is the official name of your business, whether that’s your website’s name, your LLC, or your corporation’s name. It’s the legal entity that your first employee will be working for. (Learn more about legal tips for hiring employees).
Decide how many jobs you need to fill? Anywhere from 1 job to 250+ jobs. Then, specify your hiring needs. Whether infrequently, every few months, or if you’re always hiring.
Hiring your first employee with ZipRecruiter? Select “1 job” and “I hire infrequently”.
Add your company website if you like, then hit continue to finalize your details. Remember, candidates will Google you and your company before hiring, why not be transparent and helpful at this step.
On another note, it would be wise to polish up your social media presence, or at the very least your LinkedIn profile. Put your best foot forward and all that!
Then, click continue!
C. Finalize Your Details
Select your current job title. There’s no wrong answer, just choose what fits the best. As solopreneurs, it’s easy to not take titles seriously, so go ahead and select “Business Owner” or “Other.”
Add in your company phone number (or your mobile number) and the postal code of your business (your business’s registered address, your PO box, or your home if that’s where you work).
Select whether or not you have an Applicant Tracking System, then let ZipRecruiter know how you heard about them. If it’s this post, select “Other.”
When you fill in all the above details, a free trial promo code with autofill (thanks ZipRecruiter) and you can post your first job at no cost. Hit continue and let’s get your job posting up on the next page.
#2. Creating Your First Job Posting
Ready to craft an irresistible job posting in no time flat? ZipRecruiter’s custom templates guide you through all the steps to creating your job posting.
Not to worry if you’re still working out all the details, most of these auto-fill examples help you.
If you want to prep beforehand, here’s a list of all the details you’ll need to submit:
- Job Title (ZipRecruiter has a helpful drop-down menu to help you)
- Job Location (if it’s a remote position you can indicate that later)
- Employment Type (part-time, full-time, contract, and other options)
- Job Description (experience, skills, and all the job details)
- Why Work at This Company (one-liner, 140 characters maximum)
- Benefits (Medical Insurance, Dental, Vision, 401K, Life Insurance, or None)
- Compensation Ranges (Optional – starting at to Maximum, Currency, Pay Period)
- Street Address (Optional – increases the visibility of your job posting)
Things to consider when posting your job description
A. Part-Time or Full-Time
Just so you know, part-time employees work 20 or fewer hours per week, and full-time employees work 30 or more hours weekly. How many hours will your first employee work? Take a look at the list of tasks you have available for them.
Knowing the number of hours will help you work with your hiring budget and figure out your starting and maximum compensation range.
For example, if you can budget $4,000 a month for an employee, that’s $25 per hour, working 40 hours a week. That’s a full-time position.
But, if your budget is only $1750 a month for your first hire, that’s only about 17 hours per week, so a part-time position.
B. Per Diem, Contract, or Temporary Position
How confident are you in your continued ability to afford your first employee? Or do you just need someone for a few months? If so, consider posting your first job listing as a minimum 3-month contract position.
This way, if your situation changes financially in a few months, you’re able to not renew the contract without disappointing your first employee. However, if things work out perfectly, you can extend their contract or offer them a full-time position.
Thirdly, depending on your business model, you can also hire a Per Diem worker with a set wage per day of work.
So, what’s the best type of job for your company?
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C. Job Description
I recommend you draft the details of your job description in a separate document. Make a list of all the tasks, skills, knowledge, and experience your ideal first employee should have.
Here are some questions to help you brainstorm:
- What work and real-world experience should they have? What type of educational background or employment experience do they have? Think departments, job titles, or type of work.
- What essential, everyday tasks will they be responsible for? Make a list and determine what skills are required. If they need to balance accounts, manage certain types of databases, have customer service or administration experience, for example, be clear.
- What type of clients or customers do they need to have experience with? If any insider, hands-on knowledge is required for your first job posting, be sure to mention it. For example, the corporate and legal clients would be completely different from community and outreach clients.
- What technical, hard skills and expertise is essential? Make a list of the software, technology, hardware, equipment, vehicular, or any other licensed or certification-required skills they need. Think about any associations, leagues, or membership they need to belong to. Some examples could be CSS, a truck license, Adobe Photoshop, or even a travel agent license.
With everything written out in terms of experience, skills, requirements, and expertise you’re ready to post this position on ZipRecruiter. If you’re stuck, remember you can always look up similar job postings to get ideas. ZipRecruiter is also a job board too!
Lastly, don’t forget to check your inbox for a confirmation email titled “Please Verify Your Email” from ZipRecruiter. You do not want to miss out on any qualified candidates contacting you.
#3. Review Qualified Candidates
As soon as you submit your job posting, ZipRecruiter gets to work scanning resumes and profiles and invites qualified job seekers to apply. How cool is that? Your first employee is out there and ZipRecruiter reaches out to them for you!
No time to sort through hundreds of applications for your job posting? No problem, ZipRecruiter also filters job seekers and highlights the best matches for you. Just log in here anytime to review qualified candidates.
Looking for more candidates like your “best matches”? When you give a “thumbs up” to a job seeker, you’re helping ZipRecruiter learn your preferences, so they can seek out more candidates with the same skills and experience.
No wonder ZipRecruiter is “the smartest way to hire.”
#4. Check Your Limiting Beliefs
When you’re an entrepreneur, mindset is everything! From the moment you had a business idea and started your business, to growing your business to now hiring your first employee, there are so many limiting beliefs you need to overcome.
You can’t go into interviewing and even reviewing candidates with a negative mindset clouded by limiting beliefs like:
- “I can’t afford it”
- “It’s not the right time”
- “I’m just not ready yet”
- “Good help is hard to find”
- “The hiring process is a headache”
- “They’ll never work as hard as I do”
It will not be a productive experience for you or your potential first hire if all you’re thinking is about how much they cost, and if you’re even ready. Here’s why: say you hire someone, they will feel the stress of your anxiety, distrust, and uncertainty. Frankly, these limiting beliefs will make you a bad boss leading your first employee to feel undervalued.
I know you understand the challenges of limiting beliefs. You’ve likely cleared them surrounding money and your abilities, do the same for hiring an employee. Remind yourself of all the reasons why you are ready to hire, why now is the right time, and why you can afford it.
And if you’re unable to check these thoughts, then perhaps it isn’t the right time. Either way no worries, your first job posting was completely free on ZipRecruiter. No harm, no foul, just a learning experience.
But if you can grow and move past your limiting beliefs, then it’s time to interview your qualified candidates. Get in contact with them and start booking interviews. Thankfully Zoom and Google Meetings make it easy to meet face to face. Remember, stay positive!
Finding Your First Employee is Easy with ZipRecruiter
Isn’t it exciting to post your first job posting? To connect with qualified candidates without the stress? Using ZipRecruiter makes finding help for your business as easy as posting on social media.
With step-by-step prompts and just a few clicks, you’re able to connect with job seekers who are just as excited to work with you, as you are to hire!
Having gone through the process myself, I will say that I feel completely comfortable and confident in my ability to grow my team from one to more with ZipRecruiter.
I’ve been a solopreneur for 4 years now, and I’ve worked informally hiring one of the projects and design jobs, as well as hiring a monthly virtual assistant. That experience was always daunting, frantic, and honestly overwhelming.
Previously, I’ve felt like finding the right person for the job was solely dependent on my ability to post in Facebook groups, begging others to share their contacts with me, and learning the hard way.
Don’t do what I did, avoid the headache, and let ZipRecruiter help you. That’s the only contact you need: ZipRecruiter.com.
Having that team member who is as committed to your company as you are is the dream after all.
If you’re ready to not only be your own boss, but someone else’s too click here to post your first job posting with ZipRecruiter. It’s free!
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Last Updated on April 2, 2021