6 Signs that You’re Ready to Hire
Updated: Mar 27, 2019
As a business owner as well as a talent specialist, I’ve been asked this question countless times; “When do I know it’s time to hire staff?” I can answer this very simply by comparing your business to a wardrobe and your staff to your clothes. “When do you know it’s time to buy new clothes?” Is it because you need a new image? You need a new outfit for an important occasion? You are trying a new sport and need the required kit? Your current clothes are losing their quality as they’re being worn too often? You have far too many occasions to go to for the number of clothes you have? You are using the same pair of shoes for work, running and the beach?
From a business perspective I have put it into 6 simple signs that you can look out for to know that you’re ready to take the plunge and hire.
1. If you’re spending more than 30% of your time doing tasks other than generating business, you need to hire.
As a business owner you need to review the tasks that do on a daily basis. Do you spend 80% of your time doing administration, finances, fulfilling orders? In this case surely your time would be better spent being out in the market place generating business or working on perfecting your product or service offering? Hire someone to do the above tasks such as a bookkeeper, client account manager or an accountant and make yourself more available for clients and strategies around growing your business effectively.
2. You can afford it
Staff don’t come cheap. There are salaries, PAYE, UIF, travel, commission and any other benefits you may decide on. To help you decide whether you can afford another employee it’s important to generate a 12 month sales projection and deduct any expenses. If you realise that there will be enough money to sustain another employee and you are needing to free up more of your time. It's probably a good time to hire.
3. Are you hiring fit?
In terms of hiring fit I mean, do you have the necessary management skills and structure set up in order to manage people correctly and fairly, as well as the ability to decide on the right people to hire? Bad hiring decisions can not only be costly, but can also indirectly take away your precious time. Unlike your old clothes, you cannot just give your staff to the Salvation Army, labour laws are very challenging and rightly protect the employee. Most importantly, you need to hire people who buy into your core purpose and values.
4. Are you turning down work?
A major deciding factor in hiring staff will be whether you are turning away good business because you don’t have the capacity to handle any more. If your growth is being stunted by the number of hours in a day that you can work, it’s time to consider hiring someone. However, you need to be exploding at the seams before your hire.
5. You’ve identified a new revenue stream but don’t have the resources or skills to match.
In this case you will need to do thorough research as to whether the revenue stream will be profitable and worth the investment. Diversifying a business is a very intelligent move and if you’re faced with a great business problem that in solving will generate money, and that you’re not equipped to fulfil, then it’s time to hire someone who does have those skills and expertise required.
6. Complaints have increased
Often when entrepreneurs are incredibly busy, they spread themselves too thin and delivery and quality may take a knock, thus increasing complaints. It’s important to monitor any complaints coming in and if they are more each month it’s time to take a long hard look at whether it’s because you don’t have the time to deliver the quality or service that is expected. If this is the case, it’s time to hire.
An alternative to the above however can be that of the outsourced model. The concept is simple, no delivery, no pay. For entrepreneurs this is a great way to get scalability without the hassle of fixed costs especially for very specialised skills. The world is moving to a free-lance or gig economy where technology is allowing people to market their skills all over the world, making it easier for entrepreneurs to harness very unique skills, easily. Read more about the Gig Economy here.
Hiring employees needs to be a strategic goal for your business. If it is in your long term plan to grow your business extensively you will need to plan accordingly. Once you realise that the time has come to hire the only way forward is to dive right in.