One thing we have learned is to leave LOTS of time for your first hire(s). The process of hiring someone is full of ups and downs, offers, counter-offers, negotiations, discussions with lawyers, time for reflection, and a few other variables. Ultimately, there is a saying that says, “hire slow and fire fast,”and it is a very worthwhile thing to take note of when going through this process.
Its not that we have or anywhere near firing someone, but giving yourself time to find the right person, can mean a bunch of time that you never thought it would take. For us, we are still not 100% certain who our first hire is, for a variety of reasons. I can only speak generally about it, but it goes like this. You may find the right person, but you may not agree on compensation or start date, or you may find the wrong person but everything seems so easy to move forward, but it still feels like a square peg in a round hole.
This is the generalities I can make from things on our side:
- Your first hire is super important, so make sure you make the right choice here
- Look for someone who can do a variety of tasks, as you will have a lot of things to do in the brewery that you will need a hand with
- Get an employment agreement early on so that you are not struggling with this at the wrong time
- Be definitive in your actions and your approach to things. Go with your guy, but also do thorough checks and questioning to make sure all is good
- An ability to work hard and honesty are two traits that should be found in every candidate you are considering. These should not be anyone who you would question this with
- Structure the agreement so that it is beneficial to both your company and to the employee.
- Overpay for the right person.
Both Iain and I have little experience hiring staff. Actually Iain has more than I do. I have been interviewed a lot of times, but never on the other side of the table. It is a little different, and definitely not as nerve racking, but it is tough and intense all the same. I can think back to people who were great interviewers, and others …. not so much.
We have worked with our lawyer to create the employment agreement that we have. It is a good place to start, as they usually have boilerplates that you can add things and take away other stuff to suite your needs and what you want to achieve. If you need a employment agreement boilerplate, there are lots on the internet. Unfortunately, I can’t share our agreement with you, otherwise I would.