So, the time is finally here … you’re ready to hire your first employee! This is an exciting step forward for your business, but it can also be a little intimidating if you’re not sure where to start.

I get it. There’s a lot to figure out. You’ll need to decide what role that employee will fill, how you’ll train them and how much you can pay them. And that’s all before you’ve even posted a job listing!

But don’t panic. While it might seem overwhelming, there is a proven path you can take to make it all work out for you and your new hire. (Trust us, successful companies just like yours depend on us to find and onboard new employees for them month after month.)

Here are the first 4 steps to a successful hiring experience:

Step #1: Decide if You Need a Contractor or an Employee

Before you get started, decide if this function in your business can be done by a contractor or if you need a full-time employee. Let’s break down the difference.

A contractor is someone who works for themselves and is hired to perform specific services. They will produce deliverables for your business on an agreed upon schedule. Contractors might be temporary or a long-term part of your team, but either way, they’re not on your payroll as a W-2 employee.

An employee, on the other hand, is someone who works only for your company and is a permanent part of your team. They’re also hired to do a specific job, but they usually have more responsibilities and are more involved in the day-to-day operations of your business.

So, which is right for you? That depends on a lot of factors, including the size of your business, the type of work you do and your budget.

If you only need a specific task performed and have a small budget, a contractor is probably the right choice. But if you want someone around to support you in a more holistic way, you’ll want to bring on an employee.

Step #2: Determine Your Hiring Budget

Bottom line, bringing on a new team member will cost your business money. And you need to have a real understanding of what your business can afford before you make a hiring decision.

The salary is the most obvious expense. You also need to factor in the cost of benefits, like health insurance and 401(k) plans. And don’t forget about payroll taxes and workers’ compensation insurance.

All these costs can add up, so it’s important to start budgeting for them well in advance. That way, you can be sure you’re making the best decision for your business and your employees.

If you’re not sure about your budget, make sure you consult an accountant who can help you break down expenses and get a clearer picture of what your business can afford.

Step #3: Define the Role You Need to Fill

Before you go searching for candidates, you need to clearly define the role you want to fill. What are the specific duties and responsibilities that you want the new employee to handle? What will their day-to-day look like?

From there, you can draft your job description. Your job description should be clear and concise, and it should list the duties and responsibilities you came up with. It’s also important to include information about the company culture and what kind of team the applicant will be joining.

Step #4: Consult an HR Pro for Guidance

Real talk, there are a lot of steps to hiring an employee. Having an HR pro on your side helps streamline the process and prevents you from making potentially costly mistakes. From writing the perfect job description to getting the new hire onboarded, we’ll help make it a win-win situation for everyone.

Hiring your first employee might feel like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. Establish who you need, know your budget and work with an HR pro to make the process seamless!

Book a discovery call to learn how outsourcing the hiring process could help your business:

Barbara Mason is a HR consultant that brings over 20 years Human Resources experience and has been in senior level roles for Fortune 500 companies. She is the owner and CEO of Career Pathways Consulting and  is an expert at helping female led companies build amazing teams, scales their businesses and increase their revenue.

To learn more about working with her, visit