While business growth is exciting, it also comes with risks—especially when it comes to increased headcount. Small businesses may not have a dedicated HR department or a dedicated HR person, which means already busy people will have to pitch in to help. This can result in team members having to work longer hours to fit everything into their busy day, or postponing projects until the hiring is completed.
Before you make any major changes, thoroughly assess your existing staff and processes. Is everyone in their optimal role? Are they working efficiently? Adding more workers when your hiring processes aren’t nailed down can sometimes do more harm than good. Making thorough assessments first will ensure that you don’t hire redundant personnel and have a current grasp on what employees are doing right now.
Take a good, hard look at how things are done throughout your business. Make sure you understand how your workflow will be enhanced by adding more people. Once you get past one or two people per department, consider formalizing your hiring process, since more people almost always leads to more confusion.
Next, take time to figure out what type of new role will make the biggest impact on your business. Do you need more sales people, or does your existing team simply need an assistant to take on administrative tasks? Can your one-person marketing department handle messaging that sudden growth will require? Do these positions need to be full- or part-time?
Depending on your business, there may not be a simple answer to this question, especially if your market fluctuates throughout the year. For example, if you have seasonal growth trends that ebb as the season ends, then a seasonal hiring trend would work much better than permanent placements.
When you let people know you’re hiring, make sure your company values and mission come through in the job description. Don’t waste your time interviewing applicants who show no specific interest in joining your company. You want people who are eager to embrace your mission and help the company grow, rather than someone who’s just looking for a job.
Keep the hiring process efficient by automating as much of the process as possible. Consider tools such as automated candidate messaging and social media outreach. You can also utilize calendar apps that make it easy to schedule appointments. Create and implement a consistent interviewing process that can be undertaken by any hiring team member.
Orientation is critical to the success of a new hire. Set them up for instant success by already having an established orientation process; this will also lead to increased productivity and retention. Set strong expectations with your new hire on their first day. Lay out exactly what success looks like within the first 90 days, so they have a benchmark for how well they are performing.
Your current employees are experts on what it takes to succeed at your company. Matching new hires with employees as informal mentors can help them feel at home and get them up to speed on company culture and processes, while a more formal program will keep them accountable on their 90-day goals. Increased collaboration and communication will help build a stronger team as you manage your growth.