3 out of 4 First Hires Remain with the Company, Intuit Study Says

First Employee Statistics: 3 out of 4 First Hires Are Still With That Company, Per Intuit Study

As a small business owner, you probably remember the first person you hired, whether they were great or left much to be desired. As a matter of fact, a new survey from Intuit (NASDAQ: INTU) says it is very likely that person is still with you.

The 2018 Small Business Recruitment Survey from Intuit revealed three out of four first hires are still with the same company today. This data point is very telling when it comes to loyalty and finding the right help.

For many small business owners, sticking with employees who were there from the beginning provides a sense of security, reliability, and continuity as the enterprise grows. And the respondents in the survey are willing to compensate and retain their first great hire for as long as possible.

QuickBooks Payroll carried out the survey in June 2018 with the participation of 400 US business owners who had a workforce of 1 to 20 employees. The owners were independently chosen and contacted by Pollfish to conduct the survey.

More First Employee Statistics

Slightly more than three out of four or 76% of small business owners in the survey said their first hire is still with their company today.

According to Danielle Higley, who wrote the report on the survey on the QuickBooks site, first hires know better than anyone else how much work goes into running the business. She goes on to say they understand the sacrifices which have to be made, and “Like business owners, first hires are often personally invested in the company’s success.”

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For this sacrifice, business owners are willing to pay more to keep them around. Almost half (49%) said they pay their first employee more than they do themselves.

Hiring Today

Even though there are more tools today for acquiring talent, 72% said it would be much harder to find a good first employee.

When business owners are looking to hire their next employee, they said LinkedIn was their best recruitment tool. This was followed by recruitment agencies and even newspaper ads, which was higher than recruitment websites, online marketplaces, and social media.

Word-of-mouth/referrals were last on the list. And according to Higley, this might be because business owners don’t trust their first hire to just anybody. One of the biggest reasons for this is the first hire was brought onto the company as a jack of all trades.

First Employee Statistics: 3 out of 4 First Hires Are Still With That Company, Per Intuit Study


For 29% of the respondents, this was the case because the first hire did a bit of everything.

Survey Takeaway

The data from the survey not only reveals the importance of hiring the right person when a small business owner is establishing the enterprise but also how much they rely on their first employee.

According to Higley, this reliance is based on the fact most small business owners don’t have all the necessary skills or the time for the day-to-day operations of the company. Having a trusted employee, which in most cases is the first hire, solves these problems as the company grows and finds its footing.

Photo via Shutterstock

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Michael Guta Michael Guta is the Assistant Editor at Small Business Trends and currently manages its East African editorial team. Michael brings with him many years of content experience in the digital ecosystem covering a wide range of industries. He holds a B.S. in Information Communication Technology, with an emphasis in Technology Management.

2 Reactions
  1. This is because there is always greener pastures. It is rare for employees who would want to stay at a particular company.

  2. First hires are usually multi-disciplinary and have an unrivaled knowledge of the product/company. You’d be crazy to let them walk if you’re succeeding.