Adding your first employee is such a scary prospect. I compare it to selecting a nanny for your first born. This business is my baby of sorts and I’m not going to allow just anybody in to help me care for it.
Many times, the pain goes away after that hire. You may not put as much emphasis on checking references or finding THE perfect candidate. But it’s still important. These people that you’re hiring directly influence your company’s culture and its success.
Hire staff better than yourself. Surround yourself with intelligent people who have expertise and knowledge in areas you may not be as well versed.
Hire passionate people. Employees that believe in the company are far more effective internally. Optimism and passion can be infectious (and that’s a good thing!)
Listen to your gut. I always say that I trust my gut before my brain. So many times your intuition weeds out the yuck – listen to it!
Check references’ references. Talking with references is a given, but listen to me: Call the references and then ask those people for references. If you go one level deeper, the people that are not merchandise front and center, you have a better chance of getting the real picture.