How to hire the right people at the right time
When you and your team are feeling consistently overworked and in need of another set of hands, the time has come to look at building your team. But with payroll as one of the biggest expenses for small businesses, we can understand your hesitance to post that ‘wanted’ ad.
Effective hiring is about finding the right people at the right time – after all, your team is your business.
Key things to consider before you hire
Expanding your team doesn’t have to mean a new permanent, full-time employee. You can bring someone on as permanent part-time, casual or even as a contractor.
Contracting and outsourcing can be the most suitable solution in certain situations. Perhaps the workload fluctuates week to week or the task you need doing requires a very specific, very expensive skill. A strong relationship with a trusted contractor can often offer a positive, long-term solution.
If you’re seriously considering permanent full-time or part-time employment, work with an accountant or financial advisor to determine if the business can sustain the extra costs. Redundancies can be a costly exercise for small businesses, not to mention the well-being and livelihood of your employees.
Consider the benefits of promoting from within, rather than hiring someone new. Perhaps your current staff could add more value to the business by upskilling themselves or obtaining a new accreditation, licence or certificate.
Whatever you do, remember to make decisions based on the business’ long-term performance, not a short-term busy period or a sudden inflow of cash from a non-sustainable source.
Always consider all the costs, obvious or hidden. The time required to review applications, conduct interviews and train new staff members are all time expenses which can quickly add up! Plus there are the costs of another set of tools or even potentially a new work vehicle.
Knowing when to hire
Hiring at the right time can be tricky. Too early and you’ll end up paying someone to sit around waiting for the work to come in. Too late and you won’t have time to source the right person and properly train them.
There are three key indicators to look out for when deciding if it’s time to expand your workforce:
- Your team feel consistently overworked
- Time restraints are affecting the standard of finished work
- There is a significant skills gap in your team that is restricting business growth
For more steadfast data, you can calculate the hours each employee currently contributes to the business and compare against the hours required to complete current and upcoming projects. An accountant or business consultant can help you more accurately calculate these figures.
Sometimes, knowing when to hire will come down to a gut-feeling. Being a small business owner can be about trusting your instincts.
Knowing who to hire
Frequent staff turnover brings with it extensive cost, making it even more important to seek out quality candidates. It’s better to take the time to consider numerous applicants to ensure you have the best option, rather than hiring the first person who applies because you’ve left it too late.
Also, don’t be afraid to ask candidates whether they are looking for a long-term role and what they look for in a good employer. A happy, stable workforce will provide both financial benefits as well as bring a degree of stability to the business.