When Is It the Right Time to Hire?

Now that the economy is starting to pick up, so is hiring. Is it the right time for you to hire some new employees?

Obviously, the first question you should ask yourself is “Can we afford it?” After assessing your cash flow, existing revenue and inventory, you may be unsure. But don’t make the mistake of thinking that the cost of hiring a new employee will have a negative impact on your bottom line. Consider the problem from another perspective by asking yourself the following questions:

1. In recent months, have you needed to extend deadlines, defer product deliveries, or revise schedules to meet commitments? If recent projects have had to be extended or if products have not been delivered on time, most likely you are understaffed.

2. Have a number of employees expressed dissatisfaction about working conditions? If you’ve overheard employees objecting to increases in work, or if people have brought to your attention more issues than usual, they may be experiencing job-induced stress. If a number of them are feeling overworked, it may be time to hire.

3. Have you noticed an increase in doctor’s appointments and sick/personal days? If employees are working too hard, or working in areas beyond their knowledge or skill levels, they may be in legitimate need of doctor’s care or time off. They may also be out looking for a new job that doesn’t present these issues. Either way, the result can be damaging to your company’s finances.

4. What percentage of your employees are consultants or temps? Although using consultants and temps is a wise strategic staffing move for different reasons at different times, over-reliance on consultants is a common sign of understaffing.

5. Have you spent too much or too little time and money on training? If you have had to train more employees than usual, that could mean that too many of your current employees are missing skills that you need, or that they are being asked to do work beyond their assigned function. If you are spending less time and money on training, could it be a sign that your staff doesn’t have the time?

6. Have you noticed an increase in overtime costs, employees working through lunches, or people having to arrive early/stay late in order to get work done? If so, your company is probably understaffed.

7. How frequently are new solutions, methods, technologies or workflow enhancements integrated into your workplace? If productivity and efficiency have stalled, or if new ideas and technologies are not being implemented, then workers may be overwhelmed. They may be too focused on routine tasks and don’t have time for process improvement.

If you detect more than three or four of these issues in your workplace, then it’s time to start thinking about hiring.

Just be sure that you budget the time and energy that you will need. If you have a specific start date in mind for the new hires, make sure you start the process far enough in advance to meet that deadline. Depending on the position you are trying to fill, estimate that the entire process will take anywhere from 3-10 weeks and plan accordingly. If the skills you seek are considered hard to find, you can expect to add 2-6 weeks to your timeframe. And if you feel you don’t have the time, Morgan Hunter Corporate Search is here to help.

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