It isn’t always easy to determine when it’s time to hire new employees. Hire too soon, and there may not be enough work to go around — not to mention, you run the risk of blowing your budget. But if you drag your feet, your staff will have a difficult time keeping up. They’re also more likely to suffer from fatigue, lowered morale, and disengagement, which can lead to a host of other problem.
Luckily, there are signs that can point to the need for additional staff, and here are seven of the most common:
RED FLAG #1: Employees struggle with workload.
While business will always ebb and flow, it could be a sign that you need to look for some additional help when your team is struggling to keep up with their job duties — that, or productivity and efficiency begins to wane.
Before pulling the trigger, however, review the work that needs to be done, seek feedback from those on the floor, and determine whether redistributing tasks would fix the problem. If not, the solution is hiring extra support.
RED FLAG #2: Customer service is suffering.
It’s normal to get the occasional bad review. After all, you can’t please all of the people all of the time. But if you start to see a spike in customer complaints, especially in regard to slow service, missed deadlines, etc., take it as a sign that you’re not staffed appropriately.
RED FLAG #3: Overtime is on the rise.
Most companies have busy seasons, and those busy seasons require a few more hours from employees. When this occurs with greater regularity, it’s a good indication that you should be adding to your ranks. Besides, overtime is an extra expense you can easily avoid with the addition of staff.
RED FLAG #4: Mistakes become commonplace.
Mistakes happen, but when completely avoidable mistakes are no longer the exception, signs often point to understaffing. It should be quality over quantity. If the reverse is true, it’s another good indication that it’s time to add to the team.
HIRING TIP: Write a job description. The process of writing a new job description is often a good exercise to determine whether you should be adding to your team — and we’re talking a detailed job description here. It gives you a chance to visualize how many hours of work are actually available for a new employee. Does it fill 40 hours in a week? If so, you’re good to go.
RED FLAG #5: New systems are on the horizon.
We all know how technology can make our professional lives easier by automating certain tasks. The only problem is that the implementation process can slow things down — unless, of course, you bring someone on staff familiar with that technology. Just make sure you determine whether it’s a short-term or permanent position.
RED FLAG #6: Staff lack specific skills.
All businesses hit a point when certain responsibilities are best handled by a pro. Do you need help keeping the books? What about someone to manage user experience? Maybe you want to build an online presence that requires the skills of a social media specialist.
Whatever the task or goal, you may not have someone on staff with the expertise necessary to bring it to light. Just make sure to ask yourself whether this person needs to be on staff or hired on a project-by-project basis.
RED FLAG #7: Expansion is in the future.
Expansion is one of the most obvious reasons to hire, which is why we left it for last. But some companies attempt to grow business without adding staff. While possible, you miss out on the opportunity to bring in new talent — talent that can offer new insights and may very well improve operations beyond growth.
If you need any additional information about staffing, or would like help finding talent to fill a role, please contact us today. We’d be more than happy to discuss your staffing needs and develop a plan for recruitment and acquisition.