Guest blog by Charlie HR

Bringing a team onboard and watching them help bring your idea to fruition is one of the most rewarding parts of successfully growing a business. No founder can do it all on their own (as much as some would like to think otherwise!). The bolder the idea, the better the team needs to be. Hiring is a substantial commitment, and while the benefits are massive, the process itself diverts resources away from the core task of growing your business. Here are 4 things you should think about before launching head first into the task of bringing on a new hire.

1. Know the costs

It is not as simple as just putting out a gross salary and making sure that it is accounted for in the cash flow projections each month. The cost of hiring a new employee can be complex, from National Insurance contributions to calculating the cost of the time you’re going to devote to the recruitment process. Here at CharlieHR we’ve built a calculator that helps you get a more accurate picture of the true cost of a new hire:

2. How long will it take to fill the position?

‘Time to hire’ is a metric that all the top companies track. It’s the time from you making the decision that you need a person for a specific role to actually having that person in place and making an impact.

With a realistic timeline you’re able to estimate potential impacts on revenue and cash flow. It’s something that should be measured consistently, particularly if an efficient hiring strategy is something that is going to be critical to the company’s success. Tracking it over time is going to give you a good leading indicator on whether your company is getting better at bringing in the required talent to get the job done.

3. Ask your network for recommendations

There is inherent waste in the recruitment process. Candidates and interviewers put in so much time and effort to find the right fit. There are a multitude of moving parts that all have to go right in order for a candidate to be successfully hired at a company.

If someone is ultimately unsuccessful at being hired for one role it does not make them an unsuitable candidate elsewhere. There are many reasons why it might not have been the right match. Maybe the role was unsuitable to their skillset, maybe there just happened to have been an absolutely incredible rival for the role who applied at the same time.

In over 10 years of hiring people, we’ve found that the best candidates by far come from recommendations from people within our network. When you’re growing your team, particularly in those early stages where the first hires really set the tone, finding the best people is so important. You’d be crazy to go to random job boards without seeking recommendations from people you respect first.

4. Be prepared for the worst case outcome

Bringing someone new into the team is always a risk. You’re juggling time pressures, team expectations, cultural and role requirements and internal deadlines. It’s no surprise that we often feel like the pressure is on.

Unfortunately, despite our best efforts, we don’t always make the right decision every single time. Probation periods are there to give yourself time to evaluate the effectiveness of a new hire. In our experience, one month is too short, but six months is overkill. Three months tends to be just right.

Having procedures in place for the worst outcome is really important for one thing – which is if you’re comfortable with the possibility of failure and your ability to handle it, it frees you up to make those slightly more risky but hire potential hires that just might pay off (and often do!).