How Can You Tell It’s Time To Hire More Staff?

Rarely is there an entrepreneur who can work solo forever. While they certainly do exist, chances are good you aren’t one of them. Eventually, you’re going to need to hire on some employees.

The challenge lies in figuring out when you should do so. Moreover, it lies in tackling the fears associated with a new hire. It can, notes entrepreneur and marketing expert Neil Patel, be an incredibly harrowing experience.

There are so many questions – and so much that can go wrong.

What if you’re jumping the gun and hiring someone too early? What if your business takes a turn for the worst, and you suddenly don’t have the resources to pay them? What if your new hire doesn’t work out, and they end up being toxic or incompetent? What if all you’ve got is business expertise, and you’re terrible at people management?

“Finding the right moment to hire can make the difference between a failed enterprise and a successful business,” writes Patel. “As in any area of life and business, there are no single, pat answers [as to the right time to hire].”

That said, knowing when to hire starts with knowing when not to hire. You should never make a hiring decision based on pure desperation, and you should avoid hiring someone if you have no idea what that new employee would do. Bringing a new face into your business is an inarguably bad idea if your only reason for doing so is “well, I feel like maybe I should.”

One valuable piece of advice offered by Patel is that you start by hiring a co-founder. Seek someone with a vision that complements yours, similar values, and the passion and energy to thrive in an intense startup environment. More importantly, seek someone who possesses a great deal of flexibility, emotional intelligence, and integrity – you don’t want to risk them trying to steal your business out from under you.

Once you’ve brought a partner in, any new hires should only be carried out when…

  • You’re certain the task for which you’re hiring will generate revenue.
  • You absolutely need a particular skillset that’s lacking in your current crop of staff.
  • Your business has expanded to new markets, and your current staff isn’t equipped to handle the expansion.
  • Looking at the long-term, you’d be better off hiring someone than you would be leaving it alone.
  • You wouldn’t see greater benefits from hiring a contractor or freelancer. It’s less hassle, and provided you can’t guarantee you’ll need that person 100% of the time, it’s probably a better choice.

Hiring new employees for your startup can be daunting, especially if you’ve gotten used to being a one-man show. But it’s something that everyone’s going to have to do eventually. Teach yourself to recognize the signs that it’s the right time to do so, and you’ll do just fine.

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