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Human resources topics of interest to small businesses.  

Going from Sole Proprietor to Employer

By Renée Bucklin

Congratulations!  Your business is taking off and you admit you just can’t do it all yourself – you have to hire people to help you.  Now, you are an employer!

As an employer, there are some additional layers to your organization you need to put in place, and some additional systems you need to think about.  You’ll have to decide:

  1. What you duties and responsibilities you want these people to assume?
  2. What skills they need to have to best contribute to your organization?
  3. What culture do you want your organization to be – laid back, strict, 9-5, flexible hours (some of this is determined by the nature of your business)?
  4. What benefits will you offer?  What are you required to offer?
  5. How are you going to pay them:  weekly, bi-weekly, monthly?
  6. Will they fill out timesheets, timecards, or punch a clock?
  7. Will you do payroll in the office or through a 3rd-party vendor?
  8. What paperwork will you need to have the people fill out at each stage of the process:  interview, first day, other milestones?
  9. How will you determine starting salaries?  Subsequent raises?  What is your budget?
  10. What kind of system will you have for measuring performance?
  11. Do you have time to do all this?

A human resources professional consultant can help address these issues and establish the policies and procedures you will need to put in place.

Adding employees changes the nature of your business and the day-to-day operations.  The laws require that you act responsibly toward them, that you provide basic needs and that you treat them fairly.  If you have the right systems, procedures and benefits from the very beginning, adding more employees will be a seamless function as your business continues to grow.