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Hiring Your First Employee: A Step-by-step Guide Paperback – June 15, 2008


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 250 pages
  • Publisher: NOLO; 1 edition (June 15, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1413308597
  • ISBN-13: 978-1413308594
  • Product Dimensions: 7.1 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #886,614 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Everything you need to hire Employee No.!

About the Author

Attorney Fred S. Steingold practices law in Ann Arbor, Michigan. An expert on small business law, he represents and advises many small businesses. He is the author of Legal Guide for Starting & Running a Small Business and The Employer's Legal Handbook. His monthly column, "The Legal Advisor," is carried by trade publications across the country.

More About the Author

Attorney Fred S. Steingold practices law in Ann Arbor, Michigan. An expert on small business law, he represents and advises many small businesses. He is the author of Legal Guide for Starting & Running a Small Business and The Employer's Legal Handbook. His monthly column, "The Legal Advisor," is carried by trade publications across the country.

Customer Reviews

Like all NOLO books, it is well written and thoughtfully presented.
Sam I Am
This book offers information starting from when to hire a new employee, how to do it and helps you prepare for everything including legal information.
Gene Cloner
Overall, five stars, great book, highly recommend, this is a must have for small business owners looking for their employees.
BeagleGrin

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By randomartco VINE VOICE on December 30, 2008
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I have a small business that I started about 2 years ago, and I have considered some whether to hire an employee or not: at this time, I plan to wait a bit more & continue doing the work myself, but I will end up hiring someone in the not-too-distant-future, and I found this book to be quite helpful in making the decision to either hire my first employee now, or wait (as I have chosen to do): it explains the pros & cons of hiring employees, also bringing up other alternatives like independent contractors, leasing an employee, adding a co-owner, etc.

Many great topics are discussed (some in more detail than others), like: anti-discrimination laws, responsibilities of a business owner when they hire an employee (insurance, taxes, etc), employment at will, hiring & firing and much, much more:

It also highlights things like: have you formed your business correctly for employees (should you now incorporate, form an LLC, etc.), and payroll: minimum wage & overtimes rules...how to decide how much to pay an employee, wheter to hire a young or experiences worker, types of benefits & leave to offer, health care coverage, etc.

One of the things I liked is that it really seems to help you as a business owner clarify what it really is you need to hire someone to do, and how to find a person to fill those needs & craft a good job description. There is a sample job application in the book, as well as others like sample job offer letter, etc. There are tips for where to find employees, and it delves into how to conduct interviews & actually make the decision, and then helps you prepare for their start (goes into the necessary paperwork, how to keep proper files, dealing with safety concerns, as well as paying your employee and how to take care of the taxes.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By poltroon on July 18, 2009
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
As a small business owner, this Nolo title seemed like a book I should have on my shelf. I found it useful, but I also wished it had been more comprehensive on some of the legal and tax issues.

One of the most useful sections of the book is the first section, which gives a handy chart and discussion about whether to hire an employee at all, and what other options you have: bringing on a partner, referring business out, using a temp, or bringing on an independent contractor. (Another choice might be outsourcing to another firm.)

One of the problems with this book is that it seems a bit disjointed in terms of the intended audience. In some places, they assume a fairly sophisticated reader, and in others, fairly straightforward issues (to me) are broken out step by step.

There is a section on health insurance that is just two pages, talking about the difference between PPO and HMO, but that's probably one of the least important things to know about health insurance as an employer. If I had written this section, I would have included a discussion about the employer's obligations to offer it in a uniform fashion to all employees and some of the tax and regulatory advantages to employer-purchased group insurance.

One area that the book misses is that there are payroll service companies that can make hiring the first employee much easier in terms of the regulatory issues - for a fee, of course. These payroll companies also sometimes have set up health insurance arrangements, giving a small business the advantage of being able to choose from more plans.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Paper Pen VINE VOICE on June 1, 2009
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
For any small business getting ready to hire its first employee, this book offers solid legal guidance. It does not, however, really tackle issues of how to find and best select that candidate.

One well-done section, called "Myths About Being an Employer," addresses doubts a business owner may have about hiring help. It says that firing an employees is not as legally risky as you might think, regulations are not as complicated as you may fear, and you don't necessarily have to provide costly benefits.

There are other carefully written chapters that address minimum pay and overtime requirements, background checks on prospective employees, and handling payroll and other taxes. For such practical aspects of hiring an employee, this is a valuable book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Dave Millman TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 2, 2008
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I have purchased many Nolo Press books, like Incorporate your Business, The Corporate Records Handbook, Copyrights & Trademarks, and How to Form a Nonprofit Corporation. In particular, I rely on Nolo Press books for their high standards of accuracy, completeness, and "knowing when to refer you to a live attorney or other resource."

Using these three attributes (accuracy, completeness, and appropriate references), I checked how the book did on a number of topics which have caused me challenges in the past. Here are the results:

Deciding the type of employee relationship (contractor, employee): Clear, appropriate-length discussion plus comparison chart of the advantages and disadvantages of each type.

Documentation required for a new hire: Great information plus lists of required documents, forms, etc. and where to get them. The legal requirements in this area have evolved recently, and this book covers the topic well.

Screening/background checks: Good upfront discussion, plus detailed chart of the state by state rules regarding employers checking applicant criminal records. The book includes sample release forms for the applicant to sign, plus instructions to "contact the school" or "contact the DMV." Although it is usually easy to find the DMV online, it would have been easy for this book to list the URLs and telephone numbers. A bigger omission is that there are no instructions on how to obtain criminal records, other than a brief admonition to avoid online background checks. This omission is uncharacteristic for a Nolo book, as Nolo is known for their step-by-step guidance through issues like this, and it is especially strange given the detailed chart of state rules mentioned above.
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