Hiring for Growth: Who? When? How many?

You started a small business.  Now, after all your hard work and dedication your small business is achieving success and growth.  Congratulations! .

Growth means a larger client base which brings about more work, takes more time, and ultimately requires more resources.  Attracting and onboarding quality people with the right skills and experience who will work effectively within your team and your business also takes time, consideration and a good plan.

The question therefore is, how do you get this resourcing for growth decision right? How do you make sure you are aligning your recruitment strategy with your overall Human Resources strategy and planning? What should trigger this investment in the time it takes to resource your business?  Read on to find out.

Identify if you need to hire additional resources to meet the demands of growth

There are a few signs that you can look out for that will identify you need to make a change.

  1. when you realise you are working a lot more or at times when you don’t want to be working, 
  2. you can’t meet client demands or 
  3. that you are not working on the right things (i.e. tasks that don’t generate income).

When you experience some or all of these triggers, then you need to consider

  1. what skills and experience your business needs to meet this additional demand, 
  2. how the work will be divided amongst you and your employees. 
  3. planning for projected growth of your business for the coming years

Once you have identified that your resourcing needs to change,  you thenneed to maximise your resource capacity to meet growing need; possibly without unnecessary spending. 

There are a few approaches that you can consider. 

Human Resources Planning

A great way to review what resourcing you need is to incorporate human resources into your annual business planning. This will help you to identify what is going to happen in yourbusiness and develop a strategy of how you will respond.

Review your services and products

Just because your business has always offered a service or product does not mean that you necessarily need to continue to offer it. Take the time to review which services and products are most utilised by your customers (and think to the future), require a realistic use of resources and make a higher profit margin.

Invest in your people

It may seem counter-intuitive to add to your workload, but investing in employee training to upskill your employees to meet current and future resource needs often yields fantastic results.  

Similarly, leadership coaching and manager training can help senior staff better engage their teams. A more motivated team works harder, and works smarter. 

Only hire what you need

In times of growth and resourcing need, hiring administrative staff is often the default option. It can however cause more issues than it solves, as staff need to take time to manage and train the new administrative person.  Instead, focus on what your business needs to be good at and hire someone who will complete specific tasks that generate money – whether that is somebody who can cover the lower-level professional work or somebody who focuses on one specific admin task.

Hire when you need

There is no point in hiring someone to perform work before their work exists. Planning out the growth of the business with an HR strategy will assist in identifying which roles your business will need to meet demand, how many resources you will need and identifying when new resources are required.

Experiment 

When the volume of work is high or you identify a particular skills gap in your existing employees that can’t be met through training, consider initially hiring an extra person as a contractor or on a casual basis.  This is a great way to test and measure whether you have outsourced the right work, while mitigating the risk of taking on another person. 

Whichever way you choose to go, by investing time and consideration in your recruitment and human resources planning, you will make the decision that is right for you and the growth of your business.

To find out how we can help you with developing a strategy to meet your growing business and resourcing needs contact us at Small Business Society.

The information provided in this document is for your guidance only and is general in nature. It does not constitute as legal advice. It is the responsibility of the individual to seek legal advice where required.


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About Kate Tongue

Kate Tongue is the founding Director of Small Business Society.

She is a qualified and experienced Human Resources professional with more than 10 years of experience across the private and public sectors.

Her particular interest and experience is in managing the employee life cycle, delivering process improvements, and Human Resource strategy.


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