3 factors to consider before hiring an employee

  • Start searching for candidates before you actually need them.
  • Consider your business’ growth and seasonality before determining whether you will hire a full-time%2C part-time or seasonal employee.
  • Don’t forget to find the time for training.
  • Send your questions to Sidnee Peck at startupsidneeasu@gmail.com.

Question: We have been running our small business on our own for four years and would really like to hire someone to help carry some of the load. How do we know if the time is right?

Answer: Hiring is often taken too lightly and done in a rush, so I am happy to hear you are taking the time to think critically about this. You should start searching for candidates before you actually need them.

To begin, carefully craft your needs, and outline the roles and responsibilities of the new position, as well as the expectations you have. Setting clear expectations up front can help eliminate problems down the line. Once you have your needs outlined, consider the following:

• Growth. Will the new role bring in more business or enable you to bring in more business by getting some tasks off your plate? If so, do you estimate the new revenue will cover the expense of a new hire? If the answer is yes, then I think this is a no-brainer.

• Seasonality. Will the new hire add value year-round or only during certain busy times? If your workload is seasonal, consider hiring an intern for a fixed number of weeks. If this person is an incredible value, then you can always extend a full-time offer. You can post for an intern at your local university, for example. Arizona State University is open to employers via Sun Devil CareerLink on the Web.

• Management. Will someone be directly in charge of this person and provide clear guidance in the beginning? A capable new employee will increase your capacity in time, but in the beginning, you will need to allocate time to train properly and set the new worker up to succeed.

None of us can predict the future. But if hiring can enable growth, you may be ready to do it!

Sidnee Peck, director of the Center for Entrepreneurship at the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University, regularly works with many Arizona businesses and business incubators.

Send your questions for her to startupsidneeasu@gmail.com.

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