plan-aheadHow do you know when it’s time to grow your business by bringing on additional employees? For many smaller companies, this tricky question should be front and center. Grow too slowly, and your staff and resources can become overstretched, leading to production disruptions and customer services headaches. Grow too quickly, and all that superfluous staff and extra equipment or office space will bleed your bottom line. Getting growth just right is part science and part art. You’ll need to keep your finger on the pulse of your company – both financially and emotionally. Below you’ll find helpful hints that will help you figure out when it’s time to start looking for candidates, and how to put together a strategy for getting the right ones in the door.

Know Thy Business: Facts & Figures

Knowing your business inside and out is the single most important factor in achieving exemplary workforce management. If you don’t keep a close eye on your sales figures, revenue, employee-related costs, seasonal growth patterns, and any fluctuating staffing needs, you won’t be able to react in time to unforeseen changes in your business. Plus, you won’t know if you have room in your budget to move boldly. The science side of knowing your business involves tracking these numbers while considering how those figures might impact staffing needs. If your revenue stream is increasing steadily, should you pay yourself and your staff a little more? Or maybe invest in new equipment? Or hire additional staff?

Know Thy Business: Feel

To answer the above questions, you’ll need to know your business on a more personal and emotional level. This is where the art comes in. Most attentive owners and good managers will have an almost preternatural “feel” for their business, as though that business had a soul. This soul emerges from the general state of your business, and the specific state of its staff. Your business will often “speak” to you both through hard figures and through atmosphere. Have things felt off at the office or the plant lately? Your business might be trying to tell you that you need to reorganize your processes or workflow. Is your office space bursting at the seams with interns? Maybe you need to hire more staff. Stay attuned to these messages from your business and you’ll keep it healthy and happy. Speaking of healthy and happy, don’t forget to listen to your staff just as closely as the murmurs of your business! They’ll be sure to tell you in very easy-to-understand language when they’re overworked or bored, and you’ll be able to make adjustments to your workforce accordingly.

Plan Ahead

When you’re thinking about workforce management, think ahead. Even if your business isn’t ready to grow by leaps and bounds just yet, are you prepared in the event that a celebrity endorses your product or you score a huge new account? If not, it’s time to start making a plan of action. After all, knowing the right time to hire new candidates also involves knowing how long it will take to find them. Whether it lasts for a few weeks or a few months, recruiting and onboarding should be a structured process. Get the jump on hiring by creating job analyses for existing and possible future positions at your company. Use your job analyses to write punchy job descriptions. Then set up a recruiting strategy and checklist to make sure you can move swiftly and surely into the future.

Knowing when to hire new employees is a challenge that can be best met through a combination of attentiveness to your company and its staff and effective workforce management strategies.

For more information on workforce management and other employment-related issues, contact the staffing experts at Masiello Employment Services.