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A Beginner’s Guide: Hiring Your First Employee

Every real estate investor eventually looks to make a name for him or herself. Whether it is in a particular niche – or as the most successful investor across the country – visions of grandeur come with the job. However, for your real estate investing business to reach said level, you must first accommodate growth. Of course, with growth comes more responsibilities and work. If you are relatively new to the world of real estate investing, chances are you will be wearing many hats. In fact, you have probably already executed the duties of boss, accountant, office manager, and maybe even the janitor. That said, there will come a point when you can’t cover every aspect of the business. There are not enough hours in the day, and somewhat menial tasks take you away from what is really important: deals. This is why you must hire your first employee to help with tasks around the office when the time comes.

The prospect of hiring a new employee for your real estate investment business can be intimidating, and maybe even a little scary. It is not always easy to let someone into the company you built from the ground up. If this is you, you are not alone. In fact, 42 percent of small business owners acknowledge that finding a new team member will be one of their biggest challenges in the coming year.

Man hiring the right employee

Fortunately, there are certain steps you can take to make the process much more manageable:

Make Sure Applicants Know What You Are Looking For

The real estate hiring process is ambiguous, to say the least. That is partially because the parameters of specific positions are not easily defined. However, it is of particular importance to investors to break this trend. Avoid placing a vague hiring ad, and actually divulge what it is you are looking for. Don’t say “I need help,” but rather determine exactly what kind of help you need.

According to Tricia McLaurin, a senior human resources representative with Paychex, “writing a clear, detailed job description with tasks outlined and skills identified will help you find the ideal employee.” The importance of defining the job duties and company’s needs can’t be underestimated. Removing any potential for misunderstanding will help filter through potential hire candidates. In stating exactly what it is you need, you can remove anyone that is unqualified. At the same time, specifics will attract more qualified employees.

In identifying what it is you are looking for, be sure to comply with state and federal laws. Remember, there are certain things you can and can’t do, according to the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Independent Contractor Vs. Employee

In clarifying what it is you are looking for, you will need to determine whether you are hiring an employee or an independent contractor:

  • Employee: According to Score.org, an employee is “someone who performs services or labor for you on an ongoing basis, and you control what will be done and how. Employees stay on past the completion of each project. They tend to work at your businesses location, using equipment and tools that you supply.”
  • Contractor: According to Score.org, a contractor is “someone who performs services or labor for you, but is responsible only for the results, not how the project will be executed. A contractor’s work is usually done at the completion of each project— there are no ongoing responsibilities. Often they charge more, use their own equipment, set their own schedule and take care of their own business expenses.”

Recruiting Candidates For Your Real Estate Investment Company

Once you have successfully drafted a job description that meets your criteria, your next priority is to find a suitable candidate. Hiring your first employee should, therefore, span a number of different marketing outlets. Today, advertising in traditional media or online job boards may not be enough. The advent of social media has changed the employee hiring landscape. Not only are talented individuals relying on social media for potential job postings, but employers are finding that social outlets provide more quality talent. In fact, employers who incorporate social media as part of their hiring process found a 49 percent improvement in candidate quality over candidates sourced only through traditional recruiting channels.

Hiring The Best Employee That Comes Your Way

In compiling a pool of potential candidates, it is up to you to pick the one that best suits your company’s needs. Therefore, be sure to mind due diligence. At this stage of the process, it’s important to be thorough. You are only hurting yourself if you cut corners. The Department of Labor estimates bad hires and employee turnover can cost a company 30 percent of its annual earnings. Don’t let this happen to you.

Narrow down the applicants to the top candidates and schedule interviews. In the event an interview leads to someone that you are considering hiring, be sure to conduct reference checks. The more you can learn about a person, the more you will be able to understand their personality and work ethic – both of which are very important.

Remember, you do not have to hire anybody you don’t want to. Just because they are the best applicant out of the small sample size you had to choose from doesn’t necessarily make them a fit for your company. In the end, you have to want to hire your first employee. If you have any reservations, feel free to continue your search.

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