Ask Dr. Deborah | How do I know if it’s time to hire employees?
Dear Dr. Deborah,
I’m not sure if I need to hire my first employee or not. Some days it seems like I have things under control, and other times I feel completely overwhelmed with work. How do I know if hiring someone is the right move?
– Lexi, FL
Growing your one-man-show into a larger production is a very big step for most self-employed business owners, which is why you want to be one hundred percent sure that it’s the right move before you sign on for the additional responsibility. While it may in fact be time for you to hire your first employee, you may instead be having time management and productivity issues.
It’s not uncommon for business owners to feel overwhelmed with the amount of work necessary to support a growing business, but much of this has to do with the lack of effective management control within the company. Businesses often do not manage their time use and tasks properly. In order to determine if this is the case for you, the first order of business would be to run a Functional Task Analysis. This allows you to determine the daily tasks being performed, as well as how often and how long they are being performed. You can then see if you are spending an unnecessary amount of time in certain areas or if you are simply squeezing too many tasks into one day.
Your next step will be to analyze your processes and procedures for the tasks detailed in the Functional Task Analysis. Today there are endless apps and tools designed to streamline many of these processes in order to make them more manageable. For example, you can share data between your accounting, CRM, and email marketing systems – making it easier to keep complete records of customer engagement and avoid having to re-enter data. Using tools with benefits such as these can significantly cut down on time requirements and improve efficiency.
If your Functional Task Analysis reveals that you are trying to fit too many tasks into your schedule, even after eliminating inefficiencies, it may well be time to hire an employee. At this point you will want to start preparing for becoming an employer. ADP®’s Hiring 101 e-book can help guide you through this entire process from writing a job description to applying for an EIN. Also keep in mind that you have multiple options for bringing on extra help. You can hire an employee full-time, part-time, or even temporarily to help manage busy periods. If you feel that you’re not ready for all the responsibility of becoming an employer, you could instead hire an independent contractor who works as needed or opt for a co-employment relationship with a PEO.
Hope this information helps! Best of luck.