As you get your small business off the ground, you will at some point need to hire employees to take care of the day-to-day functioning of your business. Before you start to look for employees, you need to define their job descriptions and what qualifications they should have to fill that position.
You want to recruit the best and brightest, and create a workplace environment that they want to be a part of – and one that will retain them, so they do not get lost to your competitors. You also want a workplace environment that stimulates creativity and productivity at the same time. Just look at what Google, Bing, Apple and Yahoo have done. Yes, those are extreme examples, but there are many things they do that you can scale down to fit your own workplace. Happy and healthy employees are productive and will keep your business going strong.
Recruiting and hiring employees is not as simple as placing a classified ad in the local newspaper – as was done in years past. These days you have compete for the best and brightest. Once you have found the candidates that you want to hire, you need to know what your responsibilities and obligations are as an employer. You need to know how to set up your payroll and be familiar with labour market conditions and labour laws of the jurisdiction you are operating in. Besides federal workplace regulations, their are some provinces and territories that have their own set of rules when it comes to hiring employees.
Health and safety
One of the first steps of bringing in an employee into your workplace is to ensure their health and safety. This does not apply only to workers who are using machinery or chemicals, but also workers that at a desk. Again, there are federal safety standards, provincial safety standards and certain industries that have their own sets of standards.
Every employee you hire needs to get WHMIS (Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System) training. Yes, even office employees who come into contact with what you think are the most everyday chemical – such as cleaning supplies and photocopier toner – need to receive WHMIS training. This also means that you have to follow WHMIS guidelines for labeling and a central list of material safety data sheets for any chemicals used in the workplace. Remember that you and your employees have obligations under the Canada Labour Code and Canada’s Occupational Health and Safety Regulations.
Another part of hiring an employee is to have workers’ compensation insurance for everyone who works in your facility or on the road for you. Each province has its own name for it and its own sets of standards, depending on the industry and work conditions. It is your responsibility to learn these standards and do the necessary paperwork to insure the safety and well being of your employees in the event of a workplace accident. It is important to note that, in some provinces such as Newfoundland and Labrador and the Yukon, you can minimize your costs for workers’ compensation claims – and even receive refunds on your premiums for good occupational health and safety and return-to-work practices.
Here are some websites that will help you to find the appropriate information for the province that you are looking to operate in:
- Alberta – Workplace Health and Safety and Workers’ Compensation Board Alberta
- British Columbia – WorkSafeBC
- Manitoba – Safe Manitoba and Workers Compensation Board of Manitoba
- New Bruinswick – WorkSafeNB
- Nova Scotia – Occupational Health and Safety (Nova Scotia)
- Ontario – Office of the Employer Adviser and WSIB
- Quebec – Commission de la santé et de la sécurité du travail in French only
- Saskatchewan – Saskatchewan Workers’ Compensation Board and Safety in the workplace Saskatchewan
- Yukon – CHOICES workplace safety incentive program and Workers’ Compensation Board
Hiring and managing employees can be a job in itself, so often it will actually save you time and money in the long run to bring in a consultant or a professional to help you get started. When you rent office space at an office business centre, you will often find that these professionals have an office just down the hall from you!
At Telsec Business Centres, we have offices space that are rented by accountants, bookkeepers, insurance agents, actuaries, lawyers and even human-resource consultants. Having these professionals in the same place as you work can greatly decrease your need to have to run around to find them. If you are looking for any type of professional, you can ask one of our staffers to refer you to the right person for the right job.