The importance of hiring the right talent at the right time as a small business

It’s easier than ever before to get a small business off the ground. Not only does anyone with an internet connection have access to countless guides, resources and tools to help them along the way, but it’s possible through a simple website (and some virtual assistants) to handle multiple clients as a solo operator — of course, that only goes so far.

If you aspire to grow your business into something industry-renowned, making it a huge long-term success, you can’t work alone indefinitely. Sooner rather than later, you need to start building a team. When that happens, it’s essential that you not only hire the right people but also do so with optimal timing. Here’s why:

Employees are your main investment

When you first start looking for employees, you might be rigidly fixated on the specific requirements of the role: what the day-to-day tasks will consist of, how the chosen candidate will need to interact with their colleagues, and other elements along those lines. Something that’s shockingly easy to overlook is the broader consequences of having a long-term employee.

Look at it this way: in ideal circumstances, an employee will stay with your company indefinitely (it’s fundamentally more practical, at the very least). As time goes by, they’ll not only get better at what they do, and learn new skills, but they’ll also become part of your business in a deeper way. They’ll be a fixture of the team, dishing out advice to their colleagues and positively representing the business in their life outside the company.

In the end, so much of the future of your business depends on the people you hire. A weak team can sink even the strongest business model, while a strong team can achieve great results with average ingredients. Invest in people, and it’ll pay off in a big way. Here are some great ways to reward staff, without having to spend a penny.

Some tasks need urgent delegation

Prioritisation is the name of the game, even from the earliest stages of business growth: there are some tasks that a business owner can handle themselves for quite some time, but others that need to be passed on as soon as possible. For example, admin is often the first thing to be delegated, because it takes up so much time: hiring an all-purpose secretary isn’t generally that costly, and can massively free up a business owner’s schedule.

And as the business starts taking on a lot of new staff members, it becomes essential that the day-to-day demands don’t fall to the owner. HR issues (for the most part) can be handled without their knowledge, and then there’s payroll — if people don’t get paid on time, they’ll understandably stop being productive. Equipped with tools like PeopleHR’s HR portal and Wave’s payroll system, you can plausibly have just one person take ownership of several areas.

The point here is that certain roles need filling earlier than others, and can hugely affect your overall prospects. If a secretary does a poor job, reducing the amount of time their boss has to focus on sales, it can have massive knock-on effects for years to come.

Potential, skills and experience have different uses

When talking about hiring people at the right times, we have to talk about potential, skills and experience: the three central pillars of the recruitment world. Why do they bear discussion? Because depending on where you are in the growth of your business — and where candidates are in their professional journeys — you may want to focus on one above the others.

For instance, if you’re just getting started and looking to hire an assistant, you’ll need them to have skills. After all, you won’t have the time to teach them things. Their job will be to get on with their workload without needing constant supervision.

If you’re well-established as a business and looking for an apprentice, though, you’ll care about potential. What they know (and even, to a lesser extent, what they’ve done before) won’t matter so much, because you’ll have time to develop their abilities and turn them into a valuable member of your team.

Lastly, if you’re hiring for a crucial job (particularly one that involves a lot of face-to-face time with clients or partners), you’ll need to consider experience as well. Someone who has all the potential and skills in the world can still be a giant liability if they’re not accustomed to the specific demands of a key position.

Wrapping up, recruiting to build up your small business isn’t something to take lightly. The more pressing the task, the more urgently you need to bring someone in, and only by deciding what really matters in a candidate can you find the best person. Get it right, and the investment will return remarkable value over time.

Article written by Kayleigh Alexandra