To hire, or not to hire?

That’s the question plaguing many American businesses today.  A shaky economy, fluctuating workloads and pressure to relieve overburdened employees can make it extremely difficult to determine if you need to add permanent headcount.

On the one hand, you need to get work done.  Not having enough direct staff can cause you to forgo important business opportunities, miss critical deadlines and burnout your existing employees.  On the other hand, going to the time and expense of hiring a new employee – and then not having sufficient work for him to do – can be financially devastating.

If business has picked up for you, or if your staff is putting in substantial overtime, you may be toying with the idea of hiring someone.  Before you start writing a job posting, however, use this list of questions to determine if hiring full-time staff is the right move for your organization:

Can you afford to hire a new employee? The cost of recruiting, screening, interviewing and onboarding an employee can easily total several times that worker’s annual salary.  Even though you know that you need the extra help, you also need to be sure that you can afford to hire and pay a new employee.

Before you pull the trigger, look at your operating budget and calculate the total cost of employing another person.  Consider: estimated cost to hire; hourly wage or annual salary; payroll taxes; employee benefits.  Now, try to estimate what that employee would bring to your company.  Will he generate extra income?  Will he give you more time to market your services, expand your business, produce more products or serve more clients?

Although it can be difficult to place a dollars-and-cents value on what this new employee will bring, you should try to determine which is greater – the drain to your company’s budget or the extra revenue this individual will help generate – before you decide to hire.

Would your company be better served if you reorganized responsibilities? Spend some time evaluating the way work gets done in your company.  Do you really need to create a new position/refill a vacancy?  Would it be better for you to shuffle some job responsibilities or make a different hire in another department?  A Snelling workforce consultant can help you answer these and other important questions, to make the best choice for your company.

In the past few months, have you missed important deadlines because there’s just too much work to be done? If increased capacity has forced you to extend deadlines in order to meet commitments, this is usually due to a lack of people.

If you’re unsure whether or not the increase in business is likely permanent, you may want to consider using contract or temporary staff.  Snelling’s People+ can help you meet critical deadlines and get more work done – without adding to your permanent headcount.

Are employees sending you signals? Chronic overwork can lead to an increase in employee complaints, call-offs, turnover and/or health insurance claims.  Rather than addressing the cause(s) of burnout directly, many employees turn to doctors for help, or simply choose not to come in at all.

Are overtime costs trending upward? If they are, run the numbers to determine if it would be more cost-effective to bring on a full-time employee to handle the additional work, as opposed to paying higher overtime rates.

Are you executing your business plan? You created your business plan for a reason.  If you are unable to follow through on it, it may be due to a lack of time and resources.

Is it time for your organization to hire?  Snelling Staffing Services can help you answer this and other important workforce questions.  I invite you to contact your local Snelling office today.  Together, we can evaluate your staffing needs and provide the right mix of services – temporary, temp-to-hire, contract, direct placement or executive recruiting – to help your business thrive.