Panel Talks Finding Talent and Labor Laws for Small Businesses

At this Entrepreneur Road Map, we delved deep into chapter six of our DC Doing Business Guide, focusing on considerations for small business owners when hiring employees. Our experts discussed workforce development for entrepreneurs, including labor laws, hiring the best talent, employment agreements, and everything in between.

  • First, Daniel King from the Department of Employment Services (DOES) spoke about wage and hour compliance and important employer posting requirements for small businesses. In short, be sure to pay your employees regularly and fairly. In Washington, D.C, that means providing at least $13.85 per hour to DC Contractors or $11.50 per hour (as of July 1) for all other workers, protecting against wage theft, and giving employees access to paid sick leave and commuter benefits. Also from DOES, Clayton Witt encouraged business owners to take advantage of the variety of resources available from the Employer Services Program to help connect regional employers to qualified District job seekers.

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  • Next, we heard about the importance of small business employment agreements from Venable Partner and labor and employment litigator, Kishka Ford McClain. Employment agreements help to hold both employers and their employees accountable, and provide a framework for handling potential workplace disputes. Also keep in mind that these contracts should always be custom fit for your business and the specific position, making sure to include specific terms of employment, an employee’s duties and responsibilities, compensation information, and what to do in the event of a termination.

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  • Management consultant Timothy Howell spoke about how staffing for small businesses has evolved from newspaper listings to being more akin to online dating. He noted the importance of being prepared when looking to staff your business: this means having job applications and interviewing and hiring processes ready. Also, be aware that while some positions regularly turn over, it is still important to invest in each member of your staff to encourage their best work.

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  • Lastly, FiscalNote’s Senior Director of Operations Mike Stubbs discussed hiring strategies for rapidly evolving startups. Often times, the most skilled employees aren’t the immediately obvious best candidates for the job—Instead, individuals with a higher capacity to learn end up being most effective in the long run. Mike also encouraged entrepreneurs to provide strategic advice throughout the interview process and to ask situational questions to see if the person is flexible, an adaptive learner, coachable, resilient, and is motivated by the core mission of your business.

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Remaining 2016 Entrepreneur Road Map Dates

Tuesday, July 12 Protecting Your Business
Wednesday, August 3 Financial Incentives
Wednesday, September 7 Starting a Nonprofit Organization
Wednesday, October 5 Doing Business with the Government
Wednesday, November 2 Marketing Your Business in DC
Headshot: Erica Moore

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Contact Erica Moore for any questions.
(202) 661-8693 | emoore@wdcep.com