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Is now the time to hire your first employee?

John Nelligan



You may have experienced growth in lockdown and are considering whether it’s time to hire your first employee, but when do you know is the right time? This blog highlights some key considerations.

Chances are that you are already outsourcing roles such as bookkeeping , admin, social media, content creation, etc.

You will have discovered that some of your freelancers live up to your expectations but others have fallen short. You will also have been given an idea of what it means when you don’t have as much control over the work and to manage and find good people.

The insights you will have learned about yourself should help to inform the next step .

Make sure you are ready

You may have found it can be tough to give up control. Entrepreneurs are often confident, self-sufficient and driven to do everything to their own standards but too much control can become a liability and destroy a business.

Use the experience an opportunity to explore your own strengths and weaknesses as building a team is as much about knowing yourself as the staff members you employ. If you are not sure, there are psychometric resources that can help you or ask those that know you best for their input.

Perhaps you have found out that you really do not like to delegate. Better to find that out now than after your first expensive hire!

Make sure the business is ready

So, you have done your personal analysis, but how do you know when the business is ready?

You have more work than you can handle

It must be emphasised that you have more than enough work now and in the future to keep your hire busy. The last thing you want to be doing is to be turning away work – remember that investment in marketing you made ? It will disappear like water down a drain.

What role will the new employee have?

You’ll find it a challenge to find one person with expertise in customer service, graphic design, marketing and bookkeeping. Try breaking down the different tasks you do onto a grid. The types of activities are listed along the top. The left-hand axis are the skill levels these tasks are carried out at.
Are there specific skill sets you need and don’t have time to learn personally? List those too.

Why should you consider hiring a new employee?

  • You are receiving complaints

If you’re consistently missing deadlines or receiving complaints about your customer support/ product or service then it might be time to find someone else.

  • You’ve identified potential new revenue streams but are cannot to access them

Perhaps you have found a new way to generate revenue such as a new product or service or productising an existing service but you cannot exploit it because you need help to develop it.

  • You are unable to take a holiday

Or put another way, you can take a holiday but cannot switch off. It’s very important to clear your mind and unhealthy not to take breaks away. What’s the point of working so hard if you never have time to enjoy yourself?

  • You would like to sell your company one day

You will need the right structure in place if you would like to sell your company and your company will be virtually worthless if it’s dependent upon you. If a buyer wants to acquire your business, you need to be able to demonstrate that they can operate without you on the team.

  • Your company isn’t growing

If you want high growth, hiring an employee can help free up some of your time to focus on growth.


In summary, finding the right employee means defining the role, identifying the best talent, poring over CV, checking references, interviewing and making reasoned decisions. If you’re under so much pressure that you’re ready to hire the first applicant who walks in the door or worse, cannot afford it, then don’t hire.

More information

If you would like more information on staff recruitment strategy, please get in touch . Or you can find your local Business Doctor here.