How To Hire and Fire Employees

03/03/2017 | by Mark Vega

Hiring and firing employees is one of the many thankless jobs a small business owner must do as the leader of a growing business. Although bringing on new employees and letting go familiar ones can be a task fraught with emotion and uncertainty, it’s important to get comfortable doing both. While this post isn’t a complete instruction manual, it offers key characteristics to look for when hiring and firing and how to protect you and your business during both processes.

What to look for when hiring

Let’s cut to the chase. You want to bring onboard employees who will help you execute your vision for your company. Some employees may have terrific personal qualities but fall short when it comes to the skills necessary to do the job effectively. Others might have plenty of skills but don’t mesh well with the rest of your team. Here are some of the essential characteristics your employees should have.

  • Competence

Can they do the job? In some cases, potential hires may have too much experience or have been trained at a previous position in a way that might not make it easy to integrate them with your company. In other cases, an employee with little experience may nevertheless have a strong aptitude for the position and will thrive with a little bit of training. Look for employees who possess the requisite skill and who can be guided in training to step right in and do the job.

  • The right attitude

A great hire is someone who makes a mistake, learns from that mistake, and performs their job admirably from that point on. This indicates a willingness to learn and the willingness to improve. That’s the kind of attitude you should want on your team.

  • Intelligence

Does your potential hire exhibit the capacity to find creative solutions to workplace challenges? Workplace intelligence is a quality that combines experience, training, and attitude. The motto for this type of employee? Yes, I can.

  • Integrity

Every business owner wants employees they can count on. By that, we mean employees who show up, do what they say they’re going to do, and who fellow employees can count on.

Next Steps – Hiring

You may know right off the bat whether an employee might be a good fit for your company but there are still some requirements to meet before that person actually starts working. Here’s a quick rundown of what you and your employees must do after you make an offer.

  • Get an Employer Identification Number (EIN)

An EIN is necessary for a business owner, when it comes to filing returns and documents during tax season. The U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) lets you kick off the EIN application process for free on its website.

  • Set up a record keeping system for withholding taxes

The I.R.S demands that businesses keep employment tax records for four years. Regardless of this demand, it’s a great idea to diligently keep records of all documents and records associated with the business.

  • Verify employee eligibility

Another federal requirement. Employers must verify an employee’s eligibility to work in the U.S. They can do this by submitting a completed I-9 form and examine documents that verify an employee’s citizenship and eligibility to work. Form I-9 specifies the documents employers must review.

  • Fulfill Your State Requirements for New Hires

Your state will have its own requirements when it comes to reporting new hires. These requirements usually involve reporting employees within a short period of time after they are hired. Make sure you’re aware of your state’s unique requirements.

How to Fire

No employer wants to admit they made a mistake in hiring a new employee but every business. Firing an employee, especially someone who is doing their job well, isn’t an easy decision to make. Nevertheless, taking quick action when it comes to letting someone go can save you a headache. Consider whether the following personality types really contribute to a positive workplace. If the answer is “no,” strongly consider having a sit down with them or letting them go before they affect other members of your team.

  • The Bully

Someone who browbeats or insult other people on the team probably won’t enhance your business and may end up damaging team cohesion.

  • The Super-Ego

No, we’re not talking about Freud here. We mean the people who prioritize their image and their reputation over everything else, including team unity.

  • The Downer

You want employees who can tell you when something is wrong or when some aspect of job can be improved. What you don’t want is employees who nitpick everything or who exhibit constant pessimism.

These aren’t the only personality types you should beware but they represent traits you’ll want to keep out of the workplace before they can suck up your team’s attention and energy.

Next steps- Firing

The power to fire someone shouldn’t be abused. For example, it’s illegal to fire someone on the basis of age, race, gender, religion, or disability status, among other things. Check the federal guidelines—as well as the guidelines for your state—to make sure you’re following the proper procedures for letting someone go.