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Human Resources/Managing Employees

Who should I have on my team?

Having a working relationship with the following professionals will save you time and money down the line, and put your business on solid ground: CPA (Certified Public Accountant), Lawyer, Insurance agent, Banker, Bookkeeper, Coach (us!). If you’re finding these hard to come by, call us. We’ll help you think about the characteristics to consider in developing a trustworthy team.

How do I register to become an employer?

To register as an employer, you need to obtain a federal Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS and secure workers compensation insurance. You then need to establish state income tax withholding and unemployment insurance tax accounts by filing IBR-1. Have employees complete and keep in employer’s files: Employee’s Withholding Certificate W-4 obtained from the IRS and Employment Eligibility Verification Form I-9 obtained from the U.S. Department of Immigration and Naturalization.

What financial responsibilities do I have for my employees?

You must withhold federal and state income taxes, contribute to unemployment and workers compensation systems, and match Social Security contributions. You may also wish to inquire about key employee life or disability insurance and consider establishing an employee health insurance program.

What is OSHA?

The U.S. Department of Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) oversees workplace safety. All employers are required to provide a safe and healthy workplace and are subject to no-notice safety and health inspections by OSHA. Employers with more than 10 employees are required to maintain a record of injuries on the OSHA 200 form, which must be available for inspection for a period of five years.

How do I know if I should hire my first employee?

When you are considering hiring be sure to address these conditions: Can you afford an employee? Will this employee create more sales, help you deliver your product or service more efficiently or handle tasks that free you to do one of these two things? Would an employee allow you to give your customers more efficient service or quicker delivery, with the result that better service would lead to more customers or an increase in sales? There’s a tension between how much the employee’s salary and benefits will drain your business’ budget and how much extra money the employee’s presence will bring in. Another item to think about is: Do you need someone full time, part time or will an independent contractor be more effective for your business?

How can I effectively interview applicants?

Interviews should be as relaxed of a meet and greet and you can make them. By staying relaxed, you allow the interviewee to shine. Ask questions that allow them to talk about themselves and their knowledge, their attitudes and opinions. Don't spend a lot of interview time talking about you or your business. If they ask questions, be willing to respond. If you decide to pursue a candidate, you can talk about your job in more detail at that time. Use interviews along with skills testing, personality assessments, background checks and references in order to help determine whether or not the applicant is suitable for your position and your business. This way, you will have an idea of the applicant’s personality as well as qualifications.

Which federal posters do small businesses need to post?

The federal posters that should be on display for your business vary widely depending on the type of business that you are in. The U.S. Department of Labor has an interactive Poster Advisor tool that will walk you through the steps to determine the posters that you will need specifically for your particular business. In addition to knowing what federal labor posters you should have on hand, you should also visit the state Department of Labor to determine the state labor posters that are required.

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