Do I really need to hire someone else?
Almost without exception, the biggest expense for any business is staff salaries and expenses. When employing additional staff, the added expense of their wages and benefits will always immediately be obvious on your income statement or general ledger. As such, many businesses or companies give the matter of employing new staff some serious thought before starting the recruitment process. This is even true for when a staff member resigns; do you really need to employ someone else? Can your current staff members pick up the slack? While it may be tempting to allow your remaining staff members to meet the demands of a previous employee, you need to remember that there is a fine line between giving your staff the opportunity to rise to the occasion and be noticed, and to incapacitate your staff so that productivity and efficiency actually decline. This is contrary to reaching your goals, and will ultimately cost you a great deal more than if you had simply hired another member of staff.
As the leader of your business, you need to be intimately aware of three things: your goals for the business; your budget; and the roles your current staff members fulfil. If you are not well informed about these aspects of your business, you need to go back to the drawing board. You need a good idea of where the business is heading, what resources are available to reach those goals and how the current staff complement fits into this puzzle. The last requirement is where many business leaders or managers fall short, and if you are one of those that have neglected this aspect of your business, you need to become familiar with your staff and what they bring to the business very quickly. This may seem like an obvious first step, but the best way to know whether you need another member of staff is to know what each of your current staff members already bring to the table. This is how you can determine whether another employee is critical to the success of your business, or whether you would simply be carrying dead weight. Unfortunately, you have limited time to investigate whether you need another employee. Hire someone too quickly, without doing your due diligence, and you place unnecessary stress on the cash flow of your business. Hire somebody too late after the need for another staff member becomes obvious, and you risk seeing a drop in the efficiency of production, which, again, places unnecessary stress on your business. That is why it is imperative for managers and business leaders to already know their staff, and the roles they fulfil, to hopefully speed up this process of knowing if and when you should employ someone else.
As with all things in life, however, the answer to the question whether you need to hire somebody else is not always obvious. Luckily, there are some signs you could look out for.
Perhaps the first sign that you need to expand your staff complement is a decline in service. If you find clients complaining about not having work done on time or emails going unanswered, for example, it could indicate that your employees are not able to complete all their work timeously. Of course, this is working under the assumption that all your employees are working optimally, which again indicates that you must be well aware of what each individual brings to the table to determine if they are performing optimally.
Another indication that your staff may not be coping is an increase in the number of sick days being taken. While your business may not be showing obvious declines in production, it is important to remember that your staff is a long-term investment. Over the short term they may be coping, but if they are becoming increasingly despondent or sick, it may be an indication that they are not coping with their workload. This will eventually lead to a decline in productivity and demotivated staff. As mentioned in previous articles, the best investment you will make in your business is in employing dedicated, loyal and motivated staff members. Without them, your business will struggle to reach its goals.
If your employees are starting to do or manage tasks outside of the work for which they were initially employed, this may also be a sign that you need to grow your staff complement. In fintech, for example, highly-skilled individuals are employed to perform very specific functions, and it’s likely that you are paying them a large salary to fulfil these functions. If these individuals are beginning to do work that is of a lower perceived value than that for which you employed them in the first place, you need to seriously consider hiring someone to take these duties off their hands, so that they can focus entirely on the work for which they are paid.
Every business, including the world’s biggest companies, are restrained by budgets. Even if another member of staff is required, your budget may not allow for any additional employees. This is particularly problematic in a sector like fintech, where highly-skilled individuals are needed to build and run sophisticated systems. This is where you may need to consider cutting other costs to make hiring that much-needed employee a possibility. Cutting costs may include looking at your current staff complement (as already mentioned) and deciding what skills could be replaced. For example, instead of hiring staff to manage the recruitment processes of your business, it may be better to employ a company to provide this service for you when it’s needed. There is no quick and easy way to manage budget constraints, but not hiring that critical employee is not a good idea: you may get short-term relief in terms of your cash flow, but the business will ultimately flounder without the right talent in the right roles.