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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.

As an employer, what are my responsibilities for background checks?

Background checks are not required for most positions (expections may be DOT requirements, School Personnel, Medical and Mental Health Professionals) but you may want to run them before you hire. You need to gain permission from job candidates to run background checks and you should do this in writing on your applications. There are many reliable service providers online who will run checks for a nominal fee.

How do I register to become an employer?

To register as an employer, you need to obtain a federal Employer Identification Number (EIN) You will also need to register for state income tax withholding and for unemployment contributions by filing the Application for Tax Registration. Have employees complete and keep in employer’s files: Employee’s Withholding Certificate W-4 obtained from the IRS. Employment Eligibility Verification Form I-9 obtained from the U.S. Department of Immigration and Naturalization Obtain Worker’s Compensation Insurance from your business insurance carrier.

What other financial responsibilities do I have for 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.

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?

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 or handle tasks that free you to do one of these two things? Would an extra employee allow you to give your customers more efficient service or quicker delivery, with the result that higher quality would lead to more customers? 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 a verifiable contractor be most 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 labor office to determine the labor posters that are required in your State.

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