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Taking on your first employee in your small business

Whether it’s because your business is expanding or you’re replacing someone who has moved on, here are three things to consider that can smooth the process and save you time and headaches later on.

1. Take a step back and be really clear on what you’re looking for from a new employee:
  • In addition to the skills you need now, what might you need in the medium term? Can you recruit someone who can grow with your business?
  • Can you find someone whose skills and passions complement yours? As a small business owner you wear lots of hats – can you find someone who loves the hat you hate?
  • In addition to skills, what sort of attitude and values will fit with your business?
  • Do you need someone full-time or could it be a part-time role?
2. Be clear about the Government regulations or rules that apply before you start
  • You can read about whether your business falls under the State or National system at the WA Small Business Development Corporation website
  • Knowing this will help you create the right contract of employment
3. Flexible employment options – casual, contractor or employee?
  • If you need a flexible workforce, you can employ staff on a casual or contractor basis but…
  • …it’s important to understand the difference between a contractor and employee – there are Government regulations which it’s useful to understand to avoid a headache at a later date

These are just some of the things to think about. There are lots of free resources online to guide you through the process – in WA a good place to start is the Small Business Development Corporation.

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