When it comes to the economy, everyone seems to be waiting for something to happen. Reports we used to pay little attention to, like unemployment, consumer confidence, savings rates and housing starts, capture our attention and are analyzed closely.
Employers are no exception. They’ve weathered the economic storm, and many want to know if it’s ever going to turn around. You may be asking yourself if it’s time to spend some of the cash you’re holding on to, or if it’s time to hire again. Or you may just want to know if you can exhale yet!
We can’t tell you the answer to Questions 1 & 3, but here are some tips for question #2: How do you know if it’s time to hire?
1. You and your employees are stressed out. You might have cut positions, combined workloads, or just kept piling tasks on yourself and your staff. If your people are starting to show signs of discontent, are leaving things undone, or are threatening to walk out—you know you have a problem. It just might be solved with a new employee.
2. You are profitable. Profitability is a very good sign. But only when it happens for several months in a row. Much of this depends on your business, but if you’ve been turning a profit for 18 months, and your current staff is overworked, it might be time to hire. If you’re not steadily seeing profits, see #3.
3. The new hire will produce profit. If you’ve crunched the numbers and a new hire will pay for him or herself and then some, what are you waiting for?
4. You’re paying for temps or independent contractors. If there are services you need enough to pay higher temp and contractor fees, can you afford to turn that expense into an employee? Consider hiring a good-fit contractor or temp. If they have skills you need, then find a way to create a sustainable solution.
When you make the decision to hire, be sure to properly screen employment applicants. Pre-employment screening is an easy way to mitigate the risk of hiring staff with questionable backgrounds, criminal histories, or unacceptable credit problems.