Is it time to think about hiring talent? Will making an investment in people help fuel the growth of your business?
Has your team had too much to do lately? Are people increasingly overworked and stressed, because of the volume of tasks they must complete? How do you know when to consider creating a new role and hiring new people? This is not always an easy decision to make.
When NOT to Create a New Role
Needing more help is fine, but do you need to hire in-house? Hiring a team member at the wrong time or for the wrong reasons can cost you time, and waste money. There are several factors that do not justify a permanent addition to your team:
- Seasonal increases in workload – If your team is overworked at specific times of the year, then hire temporary help to relieve the workload.
- One-time or unusual projects – If your people are responsible for delivering an unusually large project that’s outside either the type or volume of “business as usual” work, then consider using contractors to meet this temporary change in staffing requirements. You can use contractors to do the project work itself, or you can use them to do the regular work of your permanent staff, whose expertise you need to deliver the project.
- Sick or vacationing team members – Do you have enough ‘coverage’ when regular staff is away? Does it make sense to employ temporary staffing to help fill short-term gaps.
- Complaining staff members – If people on your team complain about their workload, then make sure they’re managing their time well. You can fix poor time management skills with proper training more economically than by hiring someone new to do their work.
It makes sense to do a careful evaluation to determine if the current heavy workload isn’t just temporary.
Consider Your Long-Term Strategy
So, what justifies creating a new role in your organization?
- Consistent work overload – Are your people in need of extra help? Are they consistently overloaded with tasks and projects? By adding a new position, will it increase the productivity of the team as well as reduce overall stress?
- Regular use of contractors – Do you already use a lot of temporary workers, contractors or freelancers? If you regularly hire outside help, this could mean that you need a permanent person. Contractors always are more expensive than permanent staff – and in more than just financial ways. Contractors generally don’t know your organization as well as permanent employees. Analyze hidden costs, as well as the more obvious costs, when determining how to get the best overall results for the investment in people.
- Improvements in the economy – Is it time to evaluate the potential of the business, the value of consistent individual contributions, broadening the scope of work and the importance of TEAM?
- Growth curve for products or services – Is the demand in your business showing a sustainable increase? Is this a positive trend and not just a blip on the radar?
- Time spent on tasks that don’t need senior level skills and expertise – How much time is being given to day to day tasks that could easily be done by someone with the focus, specific skill set and initiative to perform the work? Are senior people spending their time on their more profitable tasks and strategies?
What Are the Costs of NOT Hiring?
For small – medium sized businesses, it can be difficult to swallow an initial investment in a new position even when everyone knows continued growth is no longer possible.
- Stalled growth – Would higher quality services, adding robust product features or another set of skills (or hands) produce more customers, more revenue or the ability to attract more investment? Would better management of payables and receivables provide the short term ability for the ROI of a new hire?
- The whole is greater than the sum of its parts – Is the company at the point where it is time to begin developing company culture, a cohesive team and creating employee loyalty? What would be the benefit of allowing individuals to build long term relationships and take on a sense of ownership in the business?
- Permit everyone to be the best they can be – When senior staff members wear too many hats, there just isn’t enough time for anyone to do more than simply cover the bases. Each individual has their own strengths and weaknesses and the company will always be more successful by creating the environment for staff members to focus on what they do best and what keeps them motivated.
- Risk of inconsistent productivity and quality – Why create the need need to continually train transient staff on processes, methodologies and direction? Continuous ramp up costs can be avoided with creating permanent roles.
- Retain your talent – A company builds their reputation through their people. Don’t let the great ones get away when the ‘fix’ is easier than the replacement.
When and How to Structure Team Growth
- Option 1: Hire in advance – Proactively hire someone before your team gets really busy. Hiring in advance allows you to train new people before workloads increase, so that you can maintain turnaround times and quality levels.
- Option 2: Wait until the need is obvious – If you wait until work volumes increase to a level where people are over-stretched, then you’ll have to recruit and train during a very busy time. And by the time your new worker is trained enough to be effective, you’ll have risked upsetting existing staff because they’re overworked and stressed.
Both options have benefits and risks, and it’s important to choose a path that’s right for you, your team, and your organization.
Thinking Points on Hiring
If you answer “yes” to the majority of these questions, adding an employee might just be the ticket to your company’s growth
- Your current employees are unable to finish their work.
- The overall quality of work in your company is slipping.
- There’s a lot of frustration and stress about getting work done.
- You unquestionably have new clients and additional work coming in.
- Employees are complaining about long hours and demanding work conditions.
- You haven’t had time to review your increasing profit, but when you do, you realize you have plenty of money to hire more help.
- You rely heavily on vendors and contract work.
- Overtime costs have increased.
- Employees are unable to take lunches, breaks, and vacations.
- There have not been any improvements in technology or processes because employees don’t have time to focus on developing more efficient methods.
- Sales revenue is going above and beyond payroll costs.
- It’s easy for you to justify how a new employee would improve your bottom line because the employee would complete work that brings in more profit.
When the business forecasts an increase in revenues, customers requiring higher service levels, project deadlines are no longer unattainable or significant workload lies in the near future, carefully consider your two main options above. Each situation may be different but in both cases, ramp up time is inevitable.
Does your business have the right people – in the right numbers – to grow and run smoothly?