Signs it’s time to hire (and when to hold off)

Running a Business

Most likely, your company started out small. Perhaps it was even a team of one: you. But there comes a time when you need to grow. It’s exciting! However, it can also be stressful. Hiring is a hard process, and we’ve put together a few tips from our own experience for finding the right people. But before you can even consider WHO to hire, you have to decide, well, to hire.

Growing your team, even by just one person, is a big decision. But here are some signs it may be time to hire— and also some false positives to watch out for.

Don’t hire because you’re too busy. Hire because the work to be done could be a job.

Everyone is busy. Surely you have hectic days that have you thinking, “I could really use a hand here!” But a full schedule isn’t a sure sign you need an employee to help get everything done. If you make the mistake of hiring simply because you’re busy, you may end up hiring someone who eases the load, but doesn’t play a role.

A good question to ask yourself is, “am I too busy because I’m doing the work of two?” If you can put together a list of tasks that could amount to enough hours a week to be a full time, part time, or even contractual job, go ahead and hire someone to do those things. But remember — these tasks should be recurring and should not be attached to you. That is, someone should be able to do them autonomously.

Don’t hire because you could use some help. Hire because certain tasks require a specific skillset.

If you were to hire someone, what role would you they play? This seems like a very obvious question, but it’s easy to overlook when there are many tasks on your plate that you’d like to delegate. A good way to consider what sort of role to hire for is to consider the tasks that just don’t fit in your own wheelhouse. Maybe you love marketing, but are feeling bogged down by customer support. Or maybe your engineering skills got your SaaS off the ground but won’t cut it in the long term. Ask yourself, “what sort of skills should I add to the team to increase my success?”

With those skills in mind, your job listing writes itself. And before long, you’ll be free to focus on the things you do best, while someone else can come in with fresh perspective and know-how to help you grow your business.

Don’t hire because you can afford it. Hire because a new employee will increase your revenue.

It’s a fantastic feeling when you can afford to hire an employee. But just because you can doesn’t mean you should. Even a strong employee with many items to accomplish week-to-week can become a burden on your company if they aren’t growing your business.

Ask yourself, “who could I hire that would increase my revenue?” Maybe a strong marketer would do this for you, or a customer support officer who decreases your churn. But your first hire should help you bring in more than they cost — maybe not right away, but in the long term.

Once you’ve identified what tasks you’d assign a new hire, what role they’d play, and how much they’d increase your company’s value, the process of finding the right person becomes much simpler. Take the time to ensure that you’re truly ready to grow your team.

And if you are, congratulations! Your business is growing, and that’s reason to celebrate.

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