Thursday, April 25, 2013

Hiring Staff: When to Hire Employees

Welcome to a four part mini series of blog posts on hiring staff! Please check back each week for a new entry. 

Small-business owners may be slow to admit that it is time to add staff. It's not always easy to decide to spend capital on a new hire, particularly if you've leading a one-person (you!) operation. Considering the following issues may help you reach a conclusion on whether to increase the size of your staff.

Overworked. If you find that you are constantly juggling too many tasks, are consumed with handling crises as they erupt instead of focusing on daily operations, cannot find time to attract potential clients or market to new customers, or lack the opportunity to keep your business on track to achieve its full potential, it is time to call for reinforcements. There are only 24 hours in a day, no matter how hard you work.

The same is true for your employees. Employees who are overworked, over stressed and overloaded are going to be under-productive. Burgeoning overtime may be another indication that you need to hire more staff. Excess overtime can be inefficient from a financial standpoint and it may lead to worker burnout. Hiring additional staff could eliminate those concerns.

Need for Specific Skills or Expertise. Many small business owners mistakenly assume they can do it all. Eventually, they reach the point where they must acknowledge they lack the time or expertise to perform a function critical to the success of the business. Be honest. Is there an area of your business operation that is suffering because you lack an employee with the right experience and knowledge base?

Sales Backlogs. Order backlogs may indicate the need for extra help. It may be worth your while to add an employee now to take advantage of a surge in demand for your product or service, even if you cannot yet determine whether the surge is temporary.

Spotty Customer Service. Take an honest look at how well and how quickly you are serving your customers? Are you exceeding or even meeting your customers' expectations? Satisfied customers are repeat customers and will often refer others to businesses that do a good job. Hiring extra staff could boost your ability to be responsive to your customers and market to new customers.

Check back for Hiring Staff: Before You Start the Search, where we will cover what to do BEFORE you start the search.

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