How to work out it’s time to hire

Business is going well and you’re looking at how you’ll meet business demands or where it could be possible to free up time and capacity for you or other team members. But how do you know if it’s the right time to bring on a new employee?

Hire too soon and you may risk cash flow problems and an employee with too little to do, too late and the work pressures may take their toll on you and your existing team.

You also don’t want to miss a critical business opportunity for your business to grow.

This article is part one of our ten-part series on hiring and onboarding. In the series, you'll learn how to prepare for the recruitment process, select the best candidate and successfully onboard your new starter. You can see other articles in the series at the bottom of the page.

Are you ready to hire?

There are some tell-tale signs that can help you decide if it’s time to expand your team, whether it’s your fifth employee or your fiftieth. After assessing your business needs, consider:

  • Are you or your existing team overwhelmed with work to the point you risk failing to fulfil customer orders or provide the level of service that defines your business?
  • Are you turning down business due to a lack of capacity?
  • Is there a set of skills your business is lacking that would allow you to meet existing demand or grow into new areas?
  • Is the cost of overtime or freelance/temporary workers close to or exceeding the cost of bringing on a new employee?
  • Are you finding that you don’t have time to look for new business opportunities?

Financial considerations

If you’ve decided to hire a new employee, then there will be plenty to consider before starting the recruitment process. Most notably, how you’ll find the funds to pay a new employee. If this is something that might be a challenge, it may not be the right time to hire. Take the time to consult with your financial leads and make sure you won’t be overcommitting financially if you bring on a new employee.

Matching needs with skills

When considering a new hire, matching their skills to your needs is key. Before starting a recruitment process, it may help to clearly define the key responsibilities they’ll undertake and what skills you need to meet them. Then compare this to the skills which already exist within the company.

By doing this you’ll get a clearer picture of the type of person you want to fill the role, which will help guide you through the rest of the process.

Key takeaways

  • Assess your business needs against the capacity of your team
  • Consider what skills a new employee would need and what challenges they would help you to overcome
  • Look at all the options you have for support, such as financial incentives or schemes that would help you to bring on a new employee

Take the next step in our hiring and onboarding series

Preparing to hire a new employee