By James Pruitt, Senior Staff Writer

How and when should a new business welcome a new employee? Is the company a sole proprietorship that finally needs help, or a larger organization with an existing culture? All are relevant questions for a growing company.

  • Understand the Employment Relationship, Especially your Needs vs. the Ambitions of the Employee.

Employers’ needs vary. Some businesses only need certain employees on a seasonal basis. Others require workers possessing a comprehensive set of skills relevant to a specific industry. Some companies need workers on-demand or on-call. Others require ongoing monitoring of business processes. Once a business owner realizes the need for help, they should carefully develop the job description.

Any recruits should understand the expectations and needs of the employer. The best employment relationships strike a balance between the needs of the employer and the ambitions of the employee. Finally, the nature of the relationship could mean the difference between a 1099 and a 1040 for tax purposes.

  • Consider an Ideal “First Day on the Job.”

Assuming an on-site position with organized training, consider methods to place your new employee at ease and make he or she feel at home. Owners should prepare the new hire’s workstation before they arrive.  An agenda for the job description generally helps the new employee orient themselves. Perhaps even small gifts such as candy, company paraphernalia, or welcome letters might help the new employee orient themselves and feel welcome and more comfortable.   Additionally, a tour of the office and introduction to the team may smooth the transition for both parties. At the end of the day, many companies call the new hire into their office and discuss first needs and impressions.

Of course, not all new businesses have the resources for an elaborate welcoming ceremony. Indeed, most small businesses hire their first employees quite informally. Such employees may be independent contractors, temps, or remote employees. Informal rather than formal onboarding may prevail in these situations. Informal onboarding generally involves learning by doing, on a spectrum with the above formal onboarding, based on each organization’s resources.

  • Look to the Future: Consider the Stages of Employee Development

A good resource is the website  This website describes four phases in an employee’s experience over the course of a job:

The first phase is onboarding. For the smallest companies, the value-added should match the company’s expenditure in this process. Letting an employee go after a drawn-out onboarding process wastes money. An effective relationship can be very informal or even personal. Veteran owners should consider their own interests before spending valuable time and resources on new hires that may not work out.

The second phase is initial development. From the start, businesses should consider their contributions to the future of a new hire. The new employee’s ambitions may not match the employer’s needs. Sometimes, the employer really does only need a few minor tasks. Good business operations require honesty and straightforwardness regarding the scope of the business, the needs of the job, and the employee’s future within the company. Many smaller businesses can only promote their employees to a certain point, if at all. However, they can still provide basic needs such as income and references. Employers should recognize that relationships with employees are always a tradeoff. Ideally, in the best of circumstances, we should all get what we deserve.

The third phase is ongoing development and retention. Industries vary in necessary retraining throughout the employment relationship. Relevant factors include the employer’s plans for the employee over the development of the company, and whether the employee’s role falls within a professional specialty that may have education programs. For the former, the employer should consider the prospects of the company and the plans for expansion.

The fourth phase, finally, is separation. Believe it or not, many a business owner starts their business with plans of ultimately selling it. Sometimes, the planned sale occurs after years of development. Keep in mind, though, separation often sparks trauma in employees. Hence, best practice is honesty from the get-go.

In conclusion, strike a deal. Ensure an understanding. Onboarding a new employee should reach a “meeting of minds.” Each party should understand the other’s needs. At the same time, they should understand that their own needs are being respected.

VAMBOA, the Veterans and Military Business Owners Association hopes that you have found this article on “When and How to Bring in New Talent” to be helpful and that it provides you valuable information.

VAMBOA invites you to become a member.  There are not any dues or fees.  VAMBOA is the “go to” online venue for Veteran and Military Business Owners.   You can also use the VAMBOA seal for your collateral and website.   Below is a link to join and register here: