One of the main elements of a successful coffee shop and the core of every business out there is made of its employees and their qualities and skills.
Hiring right employees might seem like an overwhelming work for many entrepreneurs; finding the people who will do a good job, create a positive atmosphere and overall, deliver a quality service is what you should aim for.
In the last post I wrote, I covered how to hire baristas for your coffee shop but that’s not where you should end things. There are other people you should hire as well, and having the right tips, techniques and methods will help you prepare for all of this.
The idea of this guide is to give you the information you need to do before you start interviewing candidates and how to set up an entire system that will work flawlessly.
Here are all the points you should be aware of:
Get your Employer Identification Number (EIN)
Employer Identification Number of more commonly known as EIN is a necessity when setting up a business. This will allow your business to become eligible for tax purposes. It should be done before you even consider hiring your first employee.
Register a Business With State’s Labor Department
To be eligible to hire employees, you need to register your business with the labor department.
When you hire employees, you are required to pay state compensation tax. Getting everything worked out on a tax level may require hiring an accountant who will advise you whether you need to pay this tax, and that will depend on the size of your business.
Set up an Insurance Policy
The insurance policy is another necessity that is required in case of an injury on the job. You probably already figured out you will need this, so start looking into options early, before you even consider candidates you are going to hire.
Laws may vary depending on the size of each business, so your worker’s compensation policy may differ. Do not advice with businesses 10x smaller or bigger than yours, because you will get a wrong idea of payments you should be making.
Again, hiring an accountant or a consultant is advisable.
Set up a Payroll System
When it gets to paying your employees, you will be responsible for taking a portion of their income and placing it to the IRS, and you will need to make security and medical care tax payments.
The program you will choose for a payroll system will depend on your needs. Most recently, QuickBooks has come out as the most popular option for many small and large size businesses.
Moving to the fun part
All the legal taxing work is boring for every entrepreneur out there. Nobody likes dealing with paperwork and setting up a system. The good thing is we are finished with that and now we are moving to the fun part.
It’s time to start meeting potential candidates. Before you even start, have one thing in mind. Every employee you hire represents your business. Anyone you hire will give a new shape to your business, it can sink it down or help it grow. It can contribute or make it a lot worse.
Figuring out what exactly you want in an employee is of the utmost importance. Find what skills and personal qualities employees must have and you will be on your road to find the perfect fit.
Write a creative job description
When writing a job description, you should aim to be fun and creative and write a clear description that describes what type of candidates you are looking for.
Make sure you let them know what is the job title (make it sound good) and what are some of the responsibilities every employee in your company has.
Post a job opening
Now, to attract the right candidates, you need to have an idea of where they spend their time, how they look for jobs and how they can contact you with ease.
Nowadays, it is a lot easier to reach a broad audience of candidates because of the Internet and the ability to post your jobs on websites like Indeed, Craigslist, Monster, Career Builder and others.
If you are living in a small town, the Internet won’t be that helpful. You should rather aim to advertise in local newspapers announcing you are looking for employees.
It’s important that you figure out where a potential candidate can find you. If you are looking for a designer for your website, then you should aim to post a job on LinkedIn and hunt candidates that live all across the world. Local newspapers won’t help there.
Figure out what questions you should ask
Before you start interviewing candidates that responded to your job posting, you should have some questions planned out. It’s important for you to determine a candidate’s skills, evaluate their experience and see through their personal qualities to be able to make the right decision.
Also, remember that some questions shouldn’t be asked mostly because of discrimination. You can never undermine a candidate because of the gender, race, nationality or any other factor.
Set an interview date and start interviewing candidates. This can also be considered a fun part of the job, as most entrepreneurs love getting to know potential employees and getting to that first contact.
Hiring can be tricky because you should aim for candidates with both experience and exceptional personal qualities. Finding an employee that has such balance might seem impossible, and you need to know whether you should put emphasis on personal qualities or on skills and experience.
Just remember that you can teach and train someone to make good coffee, but you can never train someone to be loyal and honest.
Once when you have decided on candidates you are hiring, you need to immediately proceed with all the right paperwork to make it official.
Before any employee starts working for you, he/she should fill out a W-4 and I-9 form. Again, this is all done to protect you from any tax fraud.
Once when you finish that, you are obligated to report the hiring of a new employee to the reporting agency so they can be eligible to receive medical care.
Setting up workplace
Now that you have hired your employees and finished up all necessary paperwork (make sure you consult with an attorney or accountant to make sure you’ve done everything correctly), you need to prepare your workplace for your employees.
That means you need to let them know their rights and provide them a safe place to work with and adopt the safety measures of every workplace.
You are obligated to post federal posters in your coffee shops as a way to alert your workers of their rights.
When it comes to safety measures, you need to make sure your workplace is hazard-free.
Prepare your employees
Now, when you have everything else ready, you should start prepping and training your employees. If you want them to do the best possible job, then they need to know what they can or can’t do, what they should or shouldn’t do.
Set up clear expectations that they can follow. Before you became an entrepreneur, you probably worked as an employee somewhere and you must know how bad is a feeling of the employer not giving you clear directions but expecting you to do a good job.
Train them to follow what you say and make sure you let them know they can ask any question they want. Be open to them and make sure you are there every moment in the beginning. They are going to be confused and the best way to set up a system is to do it right away. Take notice of things they do good and things they do bad and show them how you think it’s supposed to be done.
Also, do not forget about stating the dress code, how important timeliness is and how much you value a positive atmosphere in your coffee shop.
Lead with an example. You expect your employees to show up at 5am every morning ready to work, positive and full of energy? Then, do the same. Come even earlier and always be vibrant, ready to work and instill confidence in others.
Keep track of all employee documentation files
It’s very important that you keep all of your employee documentation files. This needs to be everything starting with application letters, resumes, and all other obvious legal documents.
Keeping these documents safe in a place where they can’t be accessible to anyone is a smart idea.
Before you open up a coffee shop, there is one more thing you need to provide your employees and that’s their health insurance benefits.
There is always room for encouraging your employees with offering more benefits like starting a wellness program or other incentives that may motivate them to be even better at work.