So, your business is growing and you’ve already mulled over the options. Rather than (or in addition to) automation and outsourcing, you have decided that it is time to hire an employee.
But before you do: be very very careful! Hiring an employee is a decision that carries a lot of gravity.
What kind of gravity? Well, the second you hire someone, you’re committing yourself to a whole host of fair employment laws, payroll laws, and potential liability from your employee if things go sour. Even though most employees are not the kinds of people who would sue their employer without very good cause, there are always exceptions.
Now, we’re not trying to scare you away from your choice to hire; we’re just advising caution in both the decision to begin hiring employees and the selection of said employees. You can spend as long as you like to weigh the pros and cons of hiring employees, and to experiment with alternatives, before taking this step.
Reasons to Hire Employees
Now that we’ve got that unpleasant bit out of the way, let’s talk about specific conditions that would lead you to want to begin hiring:
- It’s time to grow. Has your business grown to the point where you find yourself struggling to still be the one who “does everything?” Or perhaps there’s a waitlist of clients/customers waiting to be served and you’d like to turn that into revenue. Maybe there’s enough work to go around for 1 ½ or 2 people. If that’s the case, then you can hire ½ to 1 person (just kidding) and share the workload.
- The idea of building out processes excites you. As an entrepreneur, chances are that you are used to trailblazing. How do you feel about lighting the way for others? If you are excited and skilled at the process of, well, making processes, then you can potentially make a lot of money by setting up employees to do some of the same things that you do.
- You want a human multi-tool. For many small businesses, their first hire is a Renaissance individual, capable of handling any number of different situations with aplomb and per company policy, experienced in the wearing of different hats. Are you looking for someone who can answer the phones in the morning, perform brain surgery in the afternoon, and then engage in a little spark welding right before close? If so, then such a position would be difficult to outsource — outsourcers can perform several tasks but, generally speaking, they tend to specialize in a certain area.
- You want a loyal work buddy who is committed to the company. There’s nothing wrong with wanting this. If you’re looking for someone to stick with you for the long haul and work with you side-by-side, day in and day out, then this isn’t something you can necessarily get from outsourcing. Just keep in mind that you don’t own this person, and they can legally leave without notice (the “two weeks’ notice” standard is optional — it’s dictated by etiquette, not law).
Seriously, if you’re still unsure about hiring then it might not be the time to do it. Listen to what your gut is telling you and be methodical, businesslike, and practical in your choices. You can always hire someone next month instead of today.