Two employees talking at the cash register.

Are you ready to hire your first employee? This important milestone requires a lot of thought and preparation. If you are in a situation where your business needs additional help, you’re feeling overwhelmed as a business owner, or you feel like your business is in need of fresh ideas, hiring an employee may be the best solution.

Before taking further steps, define exactly what you are looking for. Determine the type of employee you would like (part-time or full-time) and what you can budget for the employee. Remember that salary is not the only expense of having employees - benefits, taxes, and insurance are other considerations.

Once you’ve determined what you’re looking for, you’re ready to start taking steps to hire your first employee.

Here are the basic steps you will need to take to hire an employee in Oregon:

  • Establish your EIN (Employer Identification Number). If your business is already established, you have likely registered for your Tax ID (EIN). If you have not, you will need to do so before moving forward with hiring. 
  • Define and establish benefits. You will need to determine the benefits that you’d like to offer your employees. Rivermark has partnered with ADP to offer benefit packages, human resource assistance, payroll systems, time management, and more!
  • Have an onboarding plan. Employees need to be trained in order to work effectively. This includes teaching how the job is expected to be performed and any skills necessary to perform the job. To help set expectations, you can document procedures and develop an employee handbook. 
  • Get worker’s compensation insurance. Oregon requires employers to have workers' compensation insurance in most situations. This protects both the business and employees in the case of accidents or fatalities on the work site. Rivermark Insurance Agency offers workers' compensation along with other types of business insurance, including general liability, commercial auto, commercial property, errors & omissions, and more. Get a free quote.
  • Be prepared to keep records. In Oregon, payroll records must be kept for employees for seven years. This includes social security numbers, proof of US citizenship, and payroll records for each employee. 
  • Post required notices. Oregon law requires employment-specific notices to be posted at each work site.

Tips for the Hiring Process

It's important the first employee hired for your business is the right fit. They could potentially drive the future growth of the business. Look for potential in each candidate. 

Finding the Right Candidate

  • Develop a job description. Think about exactly what you need, both in skills and personality type.
  • Hire for your weaknesses. Your business likely doesn't need a clone of you. Find someone who fills in the gaps in your expertise. 
  • Consider how each candidate can grow with your company. As an early hire, this employee could grow into a leadership position.

Hiring Process Tips

  1. List your job position in the correct places. Make sure your position is listed in the places qualified candidates would be looking. Consider industry-specific associations, as well as online sites like Craigslist. Worksource Oregon has a great list of resources. 
  2. Google candidates before setting interviews. Type their name into any online search engine. Seeing their LinkedIn and other social media profiles will give you a glimpse into their personality. Don’t waste your time with employees you do not feel are a good fit culturally. 
  3. List your interview questions. Know what you legally can and cannot ask during the interview process. This includes the applicant’s age, race, religion, marital status, etc. You may also consider setting a phone screening before setting an in-person interview.
  4. Conduct a background check. They usually cost less than $25, and they will confirm the candidate provided you with the correct information.
  5. Check with references. You will speak directly with past employers to understand how they have worked within those environments. 
  6. Make the job offer. Be prepared with a start date and all the necessary paperwork.

Congratulations! You've hired your first employee. 


Required Paperwork for Oregon Employees

Once the employee is hired, you will need the following paperwork:

We’re Ready To Help

Schedule an appointment online with a Rivermark Business Banking Specialist to get the help you need to manage your growing business.

Additional Resources:

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