Without possessing the ability to evolve, even seemingly successful businesses will soon fade into anonymity. This is another way of saying that growth is essential for all businesses. Growth can come in numerous forms. Common examples include moving to a new office, targeting a novel target demographic and offering new products to customers.
Hiring new employees is arguably one of the most powerful steps, as this strategy will inevitably impact the other approaches highlighted above. This is especially the case for small businesses.
When is a good time to consider onboarding new team members? As the hiring process requires both time and money, it needs to be completed correctly the first time around. Let’s look at a handful of signs which could indicate that change is needed.
Ailing Customer Service
One of the “barometers” concerning ongoing operations involves customer satisfaction. Satisfied customers usually remain loyal and provide repeat business. Therefore, end-user services should represent a core component of any successful business. Unfortunately, there can be times when less-than-satisfactory results happen. Here are a handful of warning signs:
- Negative online feedback.
- More inbound complaints than usual.
- Missed deadlines that customers highlight.
- Unanswered or improperly addressed emails.
Even if only one of these scenarios happens, chances are the team are being stretched too thin. Hiring somebody new can help resolve some of these issues.
Has your payroll increased over the past few months due to overtime? While there is nothing wrong with employees taking the initiative to finish a project, this is much different when compared to being forced to work long hours simply to make ends meet.
Therefore, another tell-tale sign that new talent may be required involves excessive amounts of overtime. Not only will this place a significant amount of strain on the existing budget, but overworked employees are more likely to make mistakes; further confounding an existing pipeline.
A Lack of Morale
Believe it or not, a recent study found that more than 50 per cent of all American workers are dissatisfied with their current positions. This is an issue in terms of morale, and it could be caused by an undue amount of stress within the workplace.
Employees who are forced to constantly rise above their roles will inevitably suffer from some form of burnout. This will quickly affect productivity and ultimately, the reputation of the business. Management should first speak to staff members and team leaders to determine the cause of problems. If numerous individuals state that they are being overworked, it is undoubtedly time to hire more staff.
Expanding into a New Marketplace
This is one of the biggest reasons for hiring new employees. Expansion is an important stage within the lifecycle of any business and without such growth, stagnation will occur. Still, it is unreasonable to expect the same levels of efficiency if workers are challenged with new markets and unfamiliar client personas.
If in-house staff are already being worked to their capacity, it is only logical to assume that additional assistance is required. Not only can this help to prevent exhaustion and burnout, but it will allow the business to onboard individuals with specific skill sets e.g. speak a second language or have experience within a regional marketplace.
High Turnover Rates
Are employees leaving after only a few months? How often are you forced to hire new staff members? Turnover rates are another key indicator of how a business is performing from a macroscopic perspective. They reflect employee satisfaction and more importantly, they could illustrate that too much strain is being placed on existing staff members.
Look at longitudinal data that has been compiled over the past few years. If the rates have increased, changes should be made. This is even more relevant if higher turnover figures seem to have coincided with new responsibilities or an expansion into a novel market.
The Inability to Accept New Business Opportunities
It is frustrating to be forced to turn down a lucrative project due to a lack of staff. There are several reasons why this could occur such as:
- Not even people working in the company.
- Insufficient revenue generation.
- Employees are not up to the task.
Assuming that payroll is not a concern, it is advisable to hire new employees.
Adapting to a Hybrid Work Environment
Thanks to the pandemic, the notion of remote working has taken center stage in many companies. Some employees may be better suited to it than others. It is a good idea to hire remote workers because they can often reduce traditional in-house costs.
Hybrid work provides additional advantages such as more flexible hours, higher levels of employee satisfaction and a better work-life balance. While not every business has fully embraced these notions, the simple truth is that we are all heading towards a hybrid work lifestyle.
Quality Concerns Within the Workplace
Take a moment to think about your most valued employees. The chances are high that these are individuals who have remained loyal for quite some time and who are associated with roles such as team leaders or project managers. So, what if their work begins to slip?
This is another indication that they may no longer be satisfied with what is being asked of them. If it is discovered that senior staff members are performing at lower levels, this could indicate that another round of onboarding is needed.
Embracing a Proactive Mindset at the Appropriate Times
Hiring new employees is a big step for any business. Not only can new workers help to define the company culture, but they will have a direct impact on future operations. The onboarding process itself needs to be taken seriously. Preparing in advance will help to ensure that the right candidates are selected and that they possess the right talents for the opportunity at hand.
Above all, keep in mind that all the scenarios mentioned above might not necessarily signify that onboarding is necessary. Therefore, it is crucial to establish active communication channels with all staff members. If a staffing problem is indeed discovered, it will be much easier to make informed decisions that provide actionable solutions for the company.
Paula O’Gorman is Promotive’s Design & Marketing Manager and is responsible for planning, leading and coordinating the activity of the marketing agency. She graduated with a distinction in Design & Communication from Waterford Institute of Technology in 2003 and joined the Cantec Group immediately afterwards. Starting as a junior graphic designer, she now manages her team at the senior management level. Paula’s favourite part of the job is logo design and graphic design.