Congratulations, you have completed the process of starting your small business and now you are ready to hire your first employee. 


There are a lot of things to keep in mind when hiring your first employee. Even though the hiring process can be quite exciting, it can also be complicated and is a very important decision that can have a major impact on the success of your business.

6 things you need to know when hiring your first employee


A business number is required


The first step before you can hire your first employee is to make sure that you have registered your small business and you have received a business number from the Canada Revenue Agency. Anyone hiring an employee, including a sole proprietor, is required to have a business number.


What to include in an offer letter or employment contract


An offer letter is an official document that is sent to the employee outlining the terms on which you plan to offer. This letter should list everything the employee needs to know about their employment. This might include wage, hours of work,  job description, and anything the employee should know before officially accepting the offer. 


Alternately, once a verbal offer is made and accepted by the employee, these details can be included in an employment contract that the employee will review and sign.This will be a more detailed version of the offer, and should include all details the employee should know about the position.. It is helpful to have the help of a small business lawyer to ensure nothing is missed and everything is fair within the contract. Employee contracts are essential for any business, as they are a mutual agreement between the employer and employee. 


Some things to incorporate in your employment contract: 


  • Description of the business 
  • All aspects of the job description 
  • Pay, compensation, benefits and time off
  • Schedule, work hours 
  • Protections provided by the company and specific job requirements involved
  • Probationary period and any performance reviews b


Familiarize yourself with Employment Standards Act


Learning about the BC Employment Standards Act will help your business run smoothly and will also help avoid any misconduct or negligence when it comes to your employees. 


Some things to know within the Employment Standards Act BC: 


  • Employees taking time off 
  • Terminating an employee
  • Payroll requirements
  • Work hours and overtime
  • Statutory holiday pay and hours 


Keep your employee’s information on file 


Organization is key when it comes to running a business. One thing you can do to keep yourself extra organized is to create a physical and digital space for your employee’s information and keep every individual’s information separate from each other. 


Some things to keep within their personal file: 

Legal file 

This might include the employee’s full name, address and date of birth. It is also important to keep a record of their social security number (SIN). 

Leave of absence 

Anything that has to do with pregnancy, sickness, personal emergency or family leave should be documented and kept in the employee’s file to keep on record. 


Any termination information that may include date of termination, reason for termination, last paycheque, ROE and formal resignation letter. 


This may include current wage, wage increases, other forms of compensation, paid time off, tax forms, direct deposit information or any general payroll documents. 


Worker’s health and safety 


WorkSafe BC has great resources to ensure that you are taking every precaution to keep your employees healthy and safe on the job. The important thing to remember is that you are responsible for any injury or general issues your employees might have on the job that has to do with their safety. Becoming familiar with WorkSafe BC and engaging in any workshops, investing in safety equipment and accommodating any safety needs your employer(s) might have during their shift.  


Being a great business owner 


Treating your employee(s) with respect, and creating positive relationships while still having boundaries, is something every employee looks for in their employer. Though everyone is looking for a job, applicants are also looking at how you are as an employer and how you treat your employees. Having a positive reputation as the boss you want to be will help your business strive and create a safe, fun and professional workplace. 


Ready to hire your first employee? Contact us today, we are here to help.