Are errors becoming increasingly common in your office? Are clients noticing the mistakes your employees are making? If you're seeing these and other warning signs that your staff is overloaded, it's probably time to consider adding to your team.
Start by recognizing that finding the specialized talent companies need is not as easy today as some employers may think. More than nine in 10 CFOs interviewed for a recent Robert Half survey are optimistic about their company's potential for growth, but two-thirds said finding skilled candidates is a challenge.
When you're evaluating your staffing needs and going through the hiring process, it's important to get things right, because there are consequences if you hire someone who doesn't work out. How, then, can you be confident that you're choosing wisely when making a job offer? Here are some things to keep in mind:
Hiring internally or externally?
First, decide where you're going to look for job candidates to meet your staffing needs: Within your company or outside your firm. If your current employees possess some or all of the required skills for the position you've created, then "hiring" internally via promotions or lateral moves may be your best bet. A current employee will already understand the company's goals and processes and will require less time to settle into the job. Hiring from within has another advantage: It sends a message to employees that good performance gets rewarded at your company and that employees have a reason (apart from the regular paycheque) to work hard, be reliable and focus on quality.
While hiring internally certainly has benefits, it does limit your search to your current employees and their skill sets. If you hire externally, you'll have access to a broader pool of talent, which may be essential for critical positions. In addition, a new employee from outside the company will often bring new ideas and fresh perspectives.
Hiring full time versus temporary
Before hiring a new full-time employee, take a big-picture view of your real staffing needs. If your current employees are overloaded, and new work is consistently available, it is probably time to consider a new full-time hire. If your needs are shorter term, however, bringing in a temporary accounting or finance professional could be the ideal solution. These days, you can find highly skilled project professionals with a range of experience and skills.
Engaging temporary employees has several advantages. Reinforcements can help shoulder the burden of additional work without adding stress to your current employees. And companies can easily meet their staffing needs by adjusting personnel levels up or down to match workload fluctuations.
If you do bring temporary employees on board, be sure to communicate your reasoning and planning to your current staff well in advance. Also provide adequate supervision and guidance early on to maximize the value of interim professionals.
Next time you're examining your staffing needs and looking to add a new accounting professional to your team, take the time to plan ahead. The end result will likely be a more efficient hiring process and better outcomes.