How to hire employees for a small business

How to hire employees for a small business

When you're running a small business, it's important to have the right team in place to help you grow and succeed. However, lots of small business owners struggle with this. And for a good reason, because hiring employees can be tricky - there are a lot of things to take into account. 
10. July 2022  • 6 minute read

How to hire employees for a small business

In this blog post, we'll walk you through everything you need to know about hiring employees for your small business. We'll cover how many employees you need, what it costs to hire them, and the rules and regulations you need to be aware of. So read on for all the information you need to make the best decision for your business!
rules for hiring staff

How to define the required amount of employees you need

The first step in hiring employees is to figure out how many you need. This will depend on a few factors, such as the size of your business, your budget, and the nature of your business. If you're just starting out, you may only need one or two employees. But if you're expanding or growing quickly, you may need to add several employees at once.

To figure out how many employees you need, start by evaluating your business's needs. Consider what tasks need to be done and how much time each task will take. Then, determine how many hours you need your employees to work each week. Once you have an idea of the number of hours you need to be covered, you can start to look for employees who can fill those roles.

Labor rate

A great way to identify if you're under or overstaffed is by mapping out your labor rate. This will help you see how many hours of work you can get done with the staff you have. If you're constantly running into overtime or working weekends, then you may need to add more employees.
On the other hand, if your employees are often bored during their shifts, then you may be able to reduce your staff. Optimizing your labor rate can have a big impact on your business's bottom line, so it's worth taking the time to figure out.
labor rate

How to determine what type of employees you should hire

The type of employees you need to hire depends first of all on your type of business, a restaurant, for example, has different needs than a store. A great way to determine in which area you could use some extra hands is by looking into the tasks that need to be completed.

In this case, it could be something like this:

  • Restaurant: cooking, cleaning, dishwashing, serving
  • Store: stocking shelves, cashiering, customer service


After defining in which areas you want to strengthen yourself, you can define which roles would be suitable to fill this gap.


Common roles in the restaurant industry, for example, are:

  • Front of the house: waiter, hostess, bartender
  • Back of the house: chef, kitchen staff, dishwasher
Take into account that each role requires different amounts of experience and expertise. A good way to validate the candidate you're looking for is by looking at job postings from similar businesses in your industry. This will give you an idea of the types of positions that are typically available.

You can also look at job descriptions for positions that are similar to the ones you're looking to fill. This will help you understand the skills and experience that other employers are looking for in candidates.
hiring staff

The costs of hiring staff

You should also consider your budget when hiring new employees. Employees come with a cost - not only do you have to pay their salary, but you also have to provide them with benefits like health insurance and paid time off. If your small business is on a tight budget, you may need to look for employees who are willing to work for less pay or fewer benefits.

Employment taxes

Another cost to take into account is employment taxes, there are federal, state, and local taxes that will need to be withheld from your employee's paycheck. These taxes can add up, so be sure to factor them into your budget when you're calculating how much it will cost to hire new employees. Other taxes to consider include workers' compensation and unemployment taxes.

Part-time employees

You can also save money by hiring part-time or seasonal employees. These employees may be willing to work for less pay because they understand that their position is not permanent. This can be a great way to get the help you need without breaking the bank.

Part-time employees are well suited for businesses in the retail and hospitality industries. If your business has a busy season, you may want to consider hiring seasonal employees to help you during that time.

The cost of training

When you're calculating your budget for hiring employees, don't forget to factor in the cost of training. New employees will need to be trained on your business's procedures and policies. This can take some time and money, so be sure to include it in your budget.

Some great ways of training your employees are by having them shadow another employee, providing them with written materials, or sending them to training courses.
cost of training

The different rules for hiring staff

There are different rules and regulations to take into account when hiring new employees. The most important one (in the USA) is the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which sets the minimum wage and overtime pay standards. These laws can differ per country so it's important to stay up-to-date and compliant.

You'll also need to consider laws on employee benefits, vacation time, and sick days. These laws again vary from country to country, so it's important to be aware of the rules in your area.

Furthermore, you should have a policy in place for sexual harassment and discrimination. This will help protect your employees and your business from legal trouble.

Creating an employee handbook can be a helpful way to ensure that everyone is on the same page when it comes to the rules and regulations.
the hiring process

The hiring process

Now that you know all the ins and outs of hiring for a small business, you're ready to start your hiring process by looking for the perfect candidates. The best place to start is by writing a great job description. This will help attract qualified candidates who are a good fit for your business.

Writing a job description

When you're writing the job description, be sure to include the job title, the duties, and the responsibilities of the position, as well as the required qualifications. You should also include information about your company culture, the company's mission, the company values, and what it's like to work for your business. To make the job description as appealing as possible, it's a great idea to mention the salary range and employee benefits like health insurance or paid time off.

Publishing the job description

Once you've written a great job description, you're ready to present it to job seekers, you can do so by posting it on a job board and on websites. You can also involve a hiring manager or a recruitment agency to find suitable candidates for your job posting.

The interview process

Once you've received a few applications for your job posting, it's time to start the interview process. This is where you'll get to know the candidates and see if they're a good fit for your business.

Screening candidates

The first step in the process is to screen the candidates. This can be done over the phone or through a video call. During the screening, you'll be able to ask questions about the candidate's experience and qualifications. 

As you progress through the screening phase, consider incorporating psychometrics assessments to delve deeper into candidates' cognitive abilities, personality traits, and skills. To define psychometrics, it involves the scientific study and measurement of individuals' psychological attributes, providing valuable insights that complement traditional screening methods.

Things to take into account when screening candidates are their resume, their cover letter, and the job description.

Interviewing the candidates

After you've screened the candidates, it's time to invite them in for an in-person interview. This is where you'll really get to know the candidates and see if they're a good fit for your business.

When you're conducting the interview, be sure to ask questions about the candidate's experience, qualifications, and why they're interested in the position. You should also ask them about their availability and whether they have any questions for you.

A great way to keep track of which candidates you have interviewed and how the interviews went is a Recruiting CRM.

After you've interviewed all of the candidates, it's time to make a decision. This can be a difficult task, but you should base your decision on the candidate's qualifications and how well they fit into your business.
How to hire employees for small businesses

Finalising the hiring process

Once you've made your decision, it's time to end the hiring process and extend an offer to the successful candidate. Be sure to include information about the job title, salary, employee benefits, and start date in the offer letter.

Now it's almost time to welcome your new hire, but before you can start working together, there are a few things you need to do.

The first thing you need to do is get the new employee's contact information, such as their email address and phone number. You should also collect their bank account information so that you can set up direct deposits.

Next, you'll need to fill out some paperwork to get the new employee started. This includes their tax forms, their employment contract, and any other necessary documents.

Welcoming your new employee

Now that you've made your decision and all the details are worked out, it's time to welcome your new employee to the team. This is an exciting time for both you and the new employee.


To start off on the right foot, be sure to have a plan in place for onboarding your new hire. Involve your existing employees in this process to help your new employee to land with ease in the new environment. This will help them get acclimated to their new position and your company culture.

On the first day, be sure to give them a tour of the office and introduce them to your existing team members. You should also provide them with any information they need to get started in their new role.

The first few weeks are an important time for your new hire. Be sure to check in with them often and see how they're doing. Provide them with feedback and help them get settled into their new role.

After a few weeks, your new employee will be settled into their new role and will be an integral part of your team.
the onboarding process

Retaining your employees

While it's important to focus on hiring new employees, it's also important to retain your existing employees. There are a few things you can do to keep your team happy and motivated.

First, be sure to give them the opportunity to grow within the company. This can be done by providing them with training and development opportunities. Second, be sure to recognise and reward their achievements. This can be done through bonuses, promotions, and other recognition programs. Finally, be sure to provide them with a competitive benefits package.


Hiring staff for a small business can be a tough task, but it's important to make sure you take the time to do it right. There are a few different things to consider when hiring new employees, including the cost, the different rules and regulations, and the interview process. By taking the time to understand all of these factors, you'll be able to hire the best employees for your small business. Thanks for reading! We hope this article told you everything you wanted to know about how to hire employees for small businesses.
Berry van Waarden
Berry van Waarden
Head of Marketing

You may also like…

Save time on staff scheduling

Get the scheduling app you deserve.

Workfeed puts all your shift scheduling and timesheets into one tidy little app that help you engage staff, automate admin and take control of your time.
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram