Many organisations find themselves in limbo and stuck between the status quo and potential significant growth. Why is this & is it time to hire more staff?

Maree Herath, Director, Harvest Talent Recruitment & People Solutions explains.

Facing significant growth?  Managers in these situations understand there is enough work, in fact many would admit to times when they have become overwhelmed during busy periods. In situations like these managers often aren’t prepared to hire their next employee. This can be for a number of reasons. It could be the result of being burnt in the past, having grown the business during a negative dip in the economy, or they may have been let down by employees and under-performance. These factors can cause managers to fear growth. By overcoming this fear your enterprise can grow to what you and your customers want it to be.

A department, organisation or company that is not able to deliver what customers want will lose business as customers look elsewhere for the services they need.

Managers need to be conservative, but not to the point where they extinguish their organisations existence.

To answer the question: ‘Am I ready to hire?’ there are five strong indicators that managers should look for:

The department or organisation is constantly busy

It is standard practice that when an organisation is stretched on a specific project or deadline you and all of your team will put in extra hours to achieve the desired outcome. If this becomes the new normal, then this indicates that there is room to increase staffing. A great way to analyse this situation is by using industrial engineering techniques, like time and motion studies. If employees list their activities and the overall amount of work they are doing each week, then managers can see if there are extra resources required. A benefit of this type of monitoring is that employees gain training allowing them to optimise their performance in certain areas.

Customer turnaround time is stretching out

Imagine your customer is accustomed to gaining an outcome from your organisation within 24-hours, but this gradually stretches to two days, or even worse three to five working days. If your department is not achieving the standards that you have set for customer service and deliverables, then it is a good indicator that extra staff members are required so you are able to deliver your product or service within the client’s time frame.

Acquisition of new projects, products or services

If your organisation has gained a contract or order to deliver more than in the past, then it is time to hire new staff. You can manage this scenario by determining how much more is required as a result of the contract or order. Knowing how much you will deliver will enable you to scale the number of staff up to where it is needed to meet increased demand.

Customer complaints

Bad news can be good news. If customers are complaining then it may be an indication that service levels have dropped. One of the key contributors to this drop off could be a lack of resources. If there are simply not enough workers, then staff will be pushed to cut corners so that deadlines are met. If service levels drop, then managers should bring more staff in to ensure their organisation is providing high quality products and or service to their clients.

Staff fatigue

Remember: your staff are employees. You may own the company and be well remunerated working 50-80 hours a week, however your staff may not have the same incentive. Staff will usually perform under pressure for short bursts, but experts say after six weeks cracks will begin to appear. Managers are urged to get more staff on now or run the risk of the entire department resigning at once.

If some of these indicators are present, then it is time to hire.

Contact Harvest Talent Recruitment & People solutions to discuss your recruitment requirements.

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