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Has business picked up for you?  Is your company experiencing growing pains?  Are your employees putting in overtime?

All of these may be signs that you need to start hiring again.  But with fluctuating workloads and an uncertain economy, determining whether or not you need to add permanent headcount can be a real challenge.  On the one hand, you need to control overhead – hiring employees and then not having enough work for everyone can be financially devastating. On the other hand, you need to have sufficient staff to meet deadlines, keep employees working at peak efficiency and capitalize on new business opportunities.

So how do you know if you really need to hire someone?  These questions will help you determine if you’re adequately staffed:

  1. In the past two months, have you needed to extend deadlines to meet commitments to your customers or employees?
    Although managers often rationalize missed deadlines by pointing to factors unrelated to headcount, lack of people is usually the primary reason.
  2. Are employees complaining about working conditions?
    An increase in the number of complaints – either casually or formally – may be a result of overwork or inadequate staff.
  3. Is your increase in business likely permanent?
    If your organizational capacity is strained, but you’re not sure if the surge in demand will be permanent, you may want to consider using contract or temporary staff.  Staffing services can quickly deliver the experienced talent you need to get work done – without adding to your direct headcount.  If the increase in business proves permanent, you can then approach your staffing provider about converting contingent staff to direct employees.
  4. Are employees calling in sick more and more, or have health insurance claims risen?
    Some employees choose not to express their dissatisfaction verbally.  If they’re under too much stress, they may turn to doctors (medical or mental health professionals) for help, or simply choose not to come into work at all.  If there’s been a recent rise in sick time or health insurance claims at your company, it may be caused by an overworked staff. Your employees may be doing too much with too little.
  5. Are employees taking advantage of vacation time?
    If employees are not taking the time off they’re due, this could also be a symptom of overwork. They may feel like there’s simply too much to do, so they can’t take time off.
  6. Are overtime costs consistently on the rise?
    If your overtime costs are going up on a regular basis, then you may be understaffed. You simply do not have a large enough workforce to meet the needs of your workflow.
  7. Have you turned down new opportunities because you don’t have enough people?
    You’ll lose your competitive edge without the right people with the right skills in place.
  8. Are you following your business plan?
    You created a business plan for a reason. But if you’re not following through with it, it may be due to a lack of time and resources.

Is it time to hire?

Berks & Beyond can help you answer this important question.  As Central and Southern PA’s leading staffing and employment services company, we can help you determine if you need temporary, contract or direct staff to cost-effectively get your work done.

We invite you to contact us today to schedule a free workforce consultation.  Together, we can critically examine your workforce challenges and design a staffing plan that makes the most sense for your business.

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