Too many employees can break the bank, but too small a staff can lead to poor service and missed opportunity. So, how do you know when to buckle down and when it’s time to hire an additional employee?
One of the first indicators that it may be time to hire someone is if your customer service isn’t what it used to be. If customers are complaining that your service or turnaround time is slipping, or you’re being forced to turn away work, it might be time to add a new position. If you have no desire to grow your company bigger than it already is, turning away customers might just have to be a fact of life. And that’s okay so long as the customers you are taking on are being treated with a level of service that leaves them with a good association with your business.
In another scenario, your customers may still be happy, but your employees are not. Running your staff ragged is not a sustainable business model. An overloaded worker may feel it’s impossible to catch up, that they are unable to take on a single additional task, and may even leave the company in search of a healthier work-life balance. Talk to your employees regularly to gauge where they’re at. Being aware of their task load will help you determine if a disgruntled employee simply doesn’t like being busy or if they are truly struggling to keep up. Telling signs of an overloaded employee include the desire to take on other tasks but feeling unable to do so, and feeling as if their workload is too heavy to take a few days off.
You may know without a doubt that you are in need of additional help but before you start accepting applications, you have to know if you can afford an additional employee. Crunch the numbers and compare the amount the employee would be making against your projection of how much this employee will help your company bring in. How much more will you be able to do with this new hire?
Equally as important as deciding to hire someone new is making sure you are hiring the right person. Don’t fill the space for the sake of filling the space. You need to know exactly what you are looking for in a potential hire and be willing to wait for the right person with the right skill set to come along. Hiring the first application to slide across your desk may be tempting because you “need help now” but you know what a big deal it is to add an additional salary to your ledger and to trust someone else with your business. Make it worth your while.