Knowing when to add new talent can be difficult for any business, but especially small businesses. There’s usually a lot going on, and when employees wear many hats, it can be difficult to see where the hiring needs are.
Thankfully, there are some surefire signs that usually mean it’s time to staff up. Whether you’re a recruiter, HR manager or small business owner, here are five key indicators it’s time to staff up.
- Your business is growing.
Adding new clients to your roster or seeing an influx in business is good news for your bottom line, but it also means more work is being created for your team. A growing business is one of the most common and clear indicators that you might need to hire new people. If you don’t, your team’s performance and your business as a whole might suffer. And the last thing you want is to land a great new client, only for that client to be disappointed with your products or services.
“A spike in client acquisition requires a well-staffed team to address operational needs and customer support,” says Yasmin Sahami, senior manager of talent acquisition at ZipRecruiter.
Keep in mind, a seasonal flux (like the holidays or a busy quarter for your industry) isn’t necessarily a sign that you need to hire. If seasonality does increase your team’s workload, consider bringing on a few temporary workers. It’s the simplest way to keep operations running efficiently and make your team happy while keeping your hiring budget in check. New full-time hires should only be added if they’ll be needed year-round.
- Your employees are underperforming or unhappy.
As a hiring manager or small business owner, you have to take the input of your staff with a grain of salt. But their collective attitudes and opinions can be invaluable when it comes to making hiring decisions. Pay attention to your employees’ performance and work attendance. Ask yourself:
- Are they working after-hours regularly or calling in sick more than usual?
- Are productivity and efficiency lower than expected?
- Do you have multiple employees expressed that they feel overworked or overwhelmed?
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, some changes may need to be made.
Discuss with your team and try to come up with solutions to boost morale and productivity. Try reshuffling the workflow to play to each employee’s strengths and eliminate unnecessary meetings so there’s more time to tackle important tasks. To energize your team, schedule fun team-bonding events or outings. If the situation still doesn’t improve, it may be time to hire.
- Your business goals have changed.
It’s not uncommon for companies to increase their quotas or expectations for a department. But when a team is tasked with meeting new goals, the resources allocated to that team should reflect the change. That includes people power.
If your company wants to deliver better customer service, it might be time to hire new phone and chat representatives. If your sales department is asked to hit increased revenue goals, it’s time to consider adding new talent to that team.
- There’s a talent gap.
A talent gap can refer to a few different things. If a function is created in your company that can’t be managed by existing team members, hiring someone new might be the solution.
“Adding a new function usually means it’s time to hire,” says Sahami. “This includes situations like adding a restaurant position to manage catering orders or retail job that handles tailoring services.”
A talent gap can also form when there aren’t enough junior team members to support your more experienced staff. When a senior-level employee is doing the work of someone more junior, it’s an ineffective use of her time and your company’s money and resources. Hiring more senior-level people might seem smart, but it can create holes in your business’s workflow that should be filled with junior-level staff.
- You’re restricting your business.
Restructuring your business often comes with shifting around a lot of resources and responsibilities. Sometimes, it also means adding new people to your team.
“Any time you’re transitioning tasks in-house that were previously outsourced, you’ll have to build an internal team,” says Sahami.
Restructuring can also shine a spotlight on any holes in the company that have previously gone unnoticed. You might notice a gap in operations that could benefit from adding new or dedicated positions.
Also, it’s important to take note of anyone with a hybrid title. Make sure to note how their focus and responsibilities will shift after the restructuring. You might decide it’s time to split those hybrid roles into multiple, standalone jobs.
Hiring is a huge decision for every company. For small businesses, choosing when and who to hire matters that much more. It’s important not to make inefficient hiring decisions but failing to bring on talent when it’s needed can hurt the business too. Before you use a hiring solution to find the right people, use our five indicators to decide if it’s really the right time to grow your team.
ZipRecruiter is the fastest-growing online employment marketplace. Powered by industry-leading AI matching technology, they’ve connected millions of businesses and job seekers through innovative mobile, web, email services and partnerships with the best job boards on the web.