Your employee has just resigned. You need to fill the role immediately. Or do you? Many organisations fall into the trap of rushing to place an employment ad when an employee decides to move on. Many fail to take the time to stop and review the vacant position. If they did so, what would they discover? That the organisation has evolved and they don’t need a like-for-like replacement? That the role can be distributed among existing employees? Or the role has in fact become redundant? Assessing the organisation’s needs in terms of its mission, its capabilities and the current and future demands of the market will provide some response to the above questions.

Making the decision to hire a worker is a big step, particularly if you are a small business. Balancing financial considerations and business needs may help you to determine if you need a casual, temporary, part-time or full-time staff member, or if you should simply outsource the work to a contractor or specialist.

Seasonal businesses know they can justify a casual or short-term contracted role for the duration of the peak season, but not a full-time ongoing role. A small business experiencing continued growth may determine that a full-time role could be sustainable in the future, but their short-term need is for a part-time employee. It is not unusual to see jobs advertised as part-time with a view to becoming a full-time position.

There are other indicators that can tell you when the right time to hire has arrived. Your employees may tell you that they are overloaded and cannot keep up with demand. Rushing through tasks rather than spending quality time completing jobs thoroughly can lead to poorer delivery of service and a rise in customer complaints. Conducting a comprehensive assessment to eliminate processing deficiencies and a lack of training or resources as the cause of workers inability to cope will likely reveal the need for more workers.

It is better to be prepared though than reach a breaking point that sees employees suffering from the effects of stress. Hiring under stress can result in rushing the recruitment process and hiring the wrong individual. Continually monitoring your business needs will allow you to recognise when you need to hire. You may identify that outsourcing, a virtual assistant or employees working flexible hours such as school hours can manage essential non-time critical work while others concentrate on building the business to a point where all work can be absorbed in-house or by a full-time employee.

A more entrepreneurial employer will realise an opportunity in the market, but to take advantage before competitors foresee the same opportunity, expansion of current operations is required. This may mean that the recruitment of employees with skills and/or knowledge not presently found within the organisation is required. It may also mean that one must overstaff themselves in the short-term in order to achieve a long-term gain. If you can afford to do this, it may just catapult you to the forefront of your industry. If this is the situation you presently find yourself in, calculating the cost-benefit analysis on this will prove interesting to say the least.

Some organisations are just not sure what the right move is when faced with a resignation or a mounting pile of work that no amount of overtime is going to alleviate. This is the time to consult with a recruitment expert. The professionals not only know the right questions to ask when determining your organisations recruitment needs, but with fresh eyes can see options that you may otherwise be oblivious to. A recruitment professional can also negate the time it would take an employer to advertise the role, shortlist quality applicants and interview them. This is particularly advantageous if you do leave your recruitment needs to a time when you are overrun with work.

If you’re still unsure as to the best time to recruit ask yourself this; what is the risk to hiring early compared to the risk of hiring when the workload has become too much?

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