Do you really need that new member of staff?

So, business is doing well and you are thinking of recruiting another team member, but before you do, just take some time to think if it really is worth the cost of another wage packet. OK, perhaps it’s not encouraging economic growth by suggesting you don’t give some lucky person a wage packet every week, but primarily your business must come first. It’s surprising how many small companies start to get into financial trouble if they have too many staff members and there are ways that you can cover other job roles with existing team members or using online tools that can do the work for you.

For example, if you have a company where you need to keep track of metrics, such as subscribers, payments and revenue, you may think you need to hire someone to do data entry for you. This might not be necessary. Stripe Analytics is a good example of an online tool that can keep record of all this information for you and to make it even more appealing its free (depending on how many subscribers you have). Even if you are above the free limit the subscription costs are very reasonable.

Think about the members of staff you have now. Do any of them have other skills that you are not utilizing? You might be surprised to find out that your sales rep also has experience in administration, or your packer can actually do book-keeping as well. It might be worthwhile calling a staff meeting or talking to the staff individually and find out if they have any other skills they can bring to the company. If you find out that some of your team members can offer other things then you might be able to split their workload with other members so that you can free them up for a few hours a week. This way, you get the extra work done without needing to hire another staff member.

As an incentive you could give them a wage increase. This will definitely be cheaper than paying someone else. Your staff members might also be happy to increase their working hours in order that they can carry out other work for you. In all honesty it is a fairer option to give your existing staff members the opportunity to earn more money than it is to bring in a new staff member.

Another option is to look at how much workload your existing staff actually have. Are some of them at a loose end for part of the day? You might be surprised how common this is once you observe your team for a few days. If you have a team member that is only actually working for 20 hours a week and spending the other 20 hours doing tasks that aren’t that important, or can be carried out by somebody else, you might have that new recruit you need. If the work that needs doing requires some technical knowledge you might be able to enrol this member of staff onto a college course. The cost of a course (even if it’s online) will be a lot cheaper than a yearly salary.

With a little bit of thought and investigation you might discover that you really don’t need a new staff member. Of course if none of the above tips prove fruitful then hiring a new staff member might be the only option. Just explore all avenues first beforehand to make sure taking on a new staff member is your only option.

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