New - whats a hireling good for?

Hello I recently obtained this game.

I am currently fine with playing one class, so buying another char slot for the reason of another option is not important to me, however…

The game recommends me to get a hireling (which needs another char slot). Is it just advertisement or how important is it?

1 - What is are the benefits of this function?

2 - What are the disadvantages if using a hireling? For instance… Will he steal experience?

So generally what should I know of this function?

3 - (ps) do I need to level up the hireling to my level first?

Different build on hireling than main and maybe or not a different class

Read all the builds on here. But if you have just got a second character slot then pick a different class. All classes are good.

Whatsapp about exp. Is it devided by 2 , so for everyone ?

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Yes. Same for goldfind and luck etc. But if your hireling is of an higher level then main exp slows down for main . But if your main has an higher level than hireling then the hireling gets most experience.