When is the Right Time to Hire?

    Jeff McElyea, Lucid Business Strategies

    Deciding to hire staff is a challenging proposition for a small business owner. In a strong economy, large companies attract talent because candidates assume that large companies offer more opportunities, benefits and perks.  Small companies lose out because they can’t offer the same benefits.

    In a weak economy, the big companies lay off their talent, causing an increased unemployment rate, which might make you think there’s more opportunity for small business to tap into the talent pool. That would be true, except that small business is equally, if not more, impacted by a weak economy. Given the economic uncertainties, small business owners may wait too long to hire, finding that the large companies have the advantage once again.

    So when is the right time to hire?

    There are three key factors in determining a good time for a small business to hire:

    1. Cash flow is positive and continues to grow.
    2. Signals from the competition: When competitors are recruiting, you should be, too. Check their websites and job banks regularly.
    3. Buzz in the marketplace: Talk to local business associations to determine local trends.

    How can you sell the advantages of stepping outside the corporate world to candidates?

    Consider these factors, and work them into your sales pitch to recruits:

    • Small businesses are slower to lay off staff than large corporations, in times of uncertainty.
    • Large corporations are departmentalized, creating distance between workers and management. Small companies build strong bonds between all levels of staff. There is more cohesion and things are done faster.
    • Small businesses give you more opportunity to learn and grow, as you are exposed to the whole business, not just the job.

    Knowing when the time is right, and selling the small business advantage helps you attract the talent that will enhance your company inside and out.

    Lucid Business Strategies

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