Hiring Employees

As a new business owner, one of the first decisions you'll have to face is whether to hire someone to help you. And, of course, there are other related decisions: if you decide you need someone for 40 hours per week, should you hire one full-time employee or two part-timers? And so on.


Employee expenses are often the largest single category of operating expenses for a small business and can make the difference between profitability and going out of business. It is also difficult to hire and fire employees, both psychologically and legally. The small business owner should consider applying "just-in-time inventory" planning to employee usage as well, utilizing part-time employees or single-project contract labor (e.g., from temporary help agencies) to obtain additional help exactly when and as long as needed.

The way to start figuring out your employee-related costs is to project your staffing needs. When you think about your need for employees, remember to take into account nonworking time, such as vacations, absences, and employee turnover. For example, what happens if you hire one full-time person and he wants to take a vacation? What will your new business do while he's on vacation?

Business Tools

Included among the Business Tools is a projected staffing schedule. The worksheet is an Excel 5.0 template. Because it's a template, you can use the worksheet over and over again and still retain an original copy of it.

The worksheet is set up to be used for projecting and completing your new business staffing arrangements for a weekly time period. All you have to do is put in your employee names and the hours to be worked and it will show you and your employees at a glance the weekly staffing arrangements. This tool provides an example and a template for a weekly staffing schedule.

Once you've downloaded the worksheet, feel free to modify it to fit your own needs.

For a detailed explanation of employee hiring, including specific steps to take in the hiring process, see our discussion of recruiting and hiring. For some tips about low-cost alternatives to hiring a full-time employee, see our discussion of choosing a staffing method.