15. Hiring and Developing Employees

Characteristics of Successful Entrepreneurs

Employees are often a company’s greatest resource. In most businesses, employees are responsible for carrying out the vital duties of the organization. For example, often, it is the employees who are involved in the manufacturing of the company’s product; and it is usually the employees who greet and serve the company’s customers—the lifeblood of all businesses. Since employees can directly make or break a business, the owner must spend considerable time, energy, and dollars to ensure that the best employees are hired and developed.

Hiring Process

To ensure that you hire the right employees for your business, you should follow an organized and well-planned hiring process. This process should include the following steps:

    • Employee Target Marketing: Know the kind of person(s) you wish to hire. Develop a job description and include in it the skills and experience necessary to perform the job and the wage/salary you are willing to pay.
    • Promote to Attract the Best: Put time and effort into your advertisements. Examples of promotional features include strong industry, good working environment, career advancement, flexible working hours, competitive salary, and benefit package.
    • Screen Applications & Prepare for Interview: Only candidates who meet your pre-determined job criteria should be contacted for an interview. Prepare a list of questions to ask each candidate. This will ensure that you evaluate all equally.
    • Select Candidate: An organized selection process will allow you to rank your candidates. Select your first choice and then contact his/her references. If references are positive, you are ready to make the offer to the successful interviewee. First notify the candidate in person or by telephone but make the actual offer in writing. If possible, hire first for a probationary period, such as three months, before offering term employment.
    • Follow up: Contact and thank all unsuccessful candidates for their interest in your business. This is both business courtesy and business professionalism.


Making new employees feel welcome and part of the organization is a must. Do not assume new employees know how to do the job. Take the time to explain the specifics of his or her duties and remember, it takes time for both the new person and your company to get used to each other. Check in with the new employee regularly, especially during the first few weeks, to see if all is going well and to answer any questions he or she might have. This will be appreciated.

Employee Development

Employee development is a natural business function. Just as your company must grow to survive, so must your employees. The most obvious form of employee development is through management motivation, increased responsibility, and training programs.

Through encouragement, patience and praise, employees will become self-motivated to work for your company. By giving increased responsibility, employees will learn confidence and efficiency; and by making training available, your employees will be kept up to date with new approaches and technologies. All this works to your advantage and, at the same time, demonstrates to your employees that you care about their future. Since small businesses are run by a small number of employees, it is critical they are efficient and of high quality.

To learn more about Human Resources, you can check out the PEI HR Toolkit by clicking here.

If you are looking for payroll-specific information, you can refer to the page from the Canadian Revenue Agency by clicking here.

If you employ more than one person on PEI, you must register with the Workers’ Compensation Board, which you can find by clicking here.

Ready to learn more?

Check out our New Business Checklist to find more helpful resources and considerations for starting a successful business.