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Hiring & Firing: What You Need to Know

July 11, 2022 | posted by Abacus Payroll

With a growing small business comes managing employees.  You’ll quickly learn that the process of recruiting, hiring, training, and potentially terminating can be exhausting. You also are under pressure to follow labor laws precisely to keep your business compliant when it comes to state and federal regulations.

While it is time consuming, it is important not to let it fall to the back burner in terms of priorities. Assembling the best staff for your business’s needs is crucial to having a well-run business. On the same note, knowing when it is the right time to let someone go in the best way possible is equally as important.

Here are some tips for hiring and firing that will benefit your business.


Clearly outline job responsibilities – When looking for a new employee, clearly outlining what you are looking for will make your search easier, along with theirs.  Positions that have vaguely described tasks or confusing responsibilities will make your posting less appealing and will make it harder to find exactly what you are looking for.

Start by making a quick list of the things that you need done. Think about how these tasks fit together and what other responsibilities could correspond with your needs. From there, organize and clarify what you are looking for in a job posting.

Coordinate an interview team – Whether it is a full team of people or one designated person, figure out who will be interviewing potential candidates and what questions and topics must be covered in an interview. The person(s) who will be conducting the interview should be someone who will be working with the new employee and has a good understanding of what the position entails.

Reviewing the topics to be covered in an interview prior to the interview will help prevent awkward pauses in conversation or not talking about crucial job responsibilities. For example, if the position requires a lot of time management because they will be functioning in a fast-paced environment, you should ask the candidate about how they work under pressure and what experience they have in a time-sensitive workplace.

Prepare an onboarding process – Even if you have found the perfect candidate for the job and they accept your offer, there is still a lot of work to be done. Now, the onboarding process begins. The onboarding process includes showing the new employee the lay of the land, introducing them to company policies, getting them up to speed on current tasks and pressing issues, and integrating them into the company culture. Effective onboarding is the first impression the new employee sees of your company management and processes, and has been shown to help reduce turnover.

With many things to teach and introduce, it is best to have a plan in place beforehand. Preparing an onboarding process is beneficial for the employee while also creating a system that will make it easier to hire other employees in the future once established. It will also ensure all the correct paperwork is filled out each and every time a new employee is hired.


Be aware of your obligations – There are set procedures and laws that must be followed and acknowledged while carrying out a termination. Between accrued paid leave and final paychecks, it is crucial that you are aware of everything that must be done in order to properly remove someone from your staff.

There are also potential claims that may be placed against you if you do not correctly handle a termination. Properly understanding policies, like antidiscrimination laws, will help you take steps to reduce the likelihood that former employees would file such claims.

No surprises – Creating an environment where surprise terminations are possible is a good way to ruin trust and open communication with your employees. Complete transparency is best when running a business because it allows your employees to trust you feel safe. You don’t want your employees wondering if they are about to lose their job every time you ask them to call you or that you need to talk to them.

Depending on the situation, multiple warnings should be issued and conversations had regarding the employee’s performance. Giving them a heads up that you are unhappy with their work or that they need to do something different may allow them to make the changes necessary and will prevent them from being completely blindsided if termination must occur.

Stay organized – There are many steps and issues that must be sorted out when it comes to letting someone go. Whether it is collecting keys or equipment that the employee must return or finding a way to cover their workload while you search for their replacement, having a list of necessary tasks will help keep you organized and on task.

Organization is also important when it comes to properly and professionally carrying out the termination process. For example, if the employee is being let go due to complaints from other staff members, it is necessary to have a list of written complaints in an organized fashion that can provide legitimate reasoning for the employees termination. While notice should have been provided, you want to ensure that the termination does not seem rash or unnecessary.


Now add remote employees to the mix, and there’s extra components to adjust in your virtual onboarding process or that you’re still compliant when paying and/or terminating a remote employee. If you have questions regarding the hiring and firing process of employees at your business, contact an Abacus Payroll advisor today! Our HR Help Center can provides downloadable guides, checklists, Q&As, state law summaries, and more that can keep your hiring and firing processes thorough and compliant.


Sign up for the HR Help Center for More Resources:

  • New Employee Onboarding Checklist
  • Employee Turnover Calculator
  • First Impressions: How to Welcome a New Employee
  • Making the Most of Job Interviews
  • Four Ways to Make Terminations Less Stressful

About the Author: Abacus Payroll

Abacus Payroll, Inc. is a leading provider of payroll solutions for businesses of all sizes. Whether yours is a family-owned small business or a national corporation, we provide payroll, tax and other financial services on time and at an affordable price. Unlike other payroll providers, Abacus Payroll will assign your very own payroll specialist who will understand your payroll needs inside and out. So no more speaking to a different person each time, no more sitting on hold for hours and most importantly no more missed deadlines! Contact us today to see how we can help your business. You can count on us.