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When is the right time to hire my first employee?

by LAURA MOULD / Thursday, 17th November 2016


Here’s a few clues…

It’s not… when you are bored of working on your own and need someone else to be accountable to, just to get you motivated enough to do the ‘day job’.

It’s not… when your billings history looks like the ascent/descent profile of a Peak District Marathon.

It’s not…when you just want someone to talk to (and the cat has stopped answering back!)

It’s not… when you think you ‘should’ hire because that’s what everyone else is doing.

It’s not… because your cousin’s boyfriend’s mum needs a job and would just be ‘perfect for recruitment’ despite having been unemployed for 10 years.

Let’s set the scene…

You launched your own recruitment business in a year beginning 20-something, after becoming disillusioned with the life of an employed recruitment consultant (KPIs, endless meetings, unrealistic targets, long commutes and even longer hours!)  Throughout the year you worked tirelessly to build relationships, strengthen your network, establish your brand and, most importantly, earn some money. 

Finally, your venture has transitioned from struggling start-up to a more settled business.  By now, you are billing consistently, keeping some of that hard-earned money in the bank as well as lining your own pocket (instead of someone else’s) and becoming established as the ‘go to’ agency in your sector. 

Your workload has increased to a point where you need an extra pair of hands – you know you could fill more roles, if you had an extra resource.

You have at least three months’ salary in the pot for a new employee, so you know their wages are covered along with any additional costs. 

You have a healthy mix of excitement about bringing on your first hire, and nervousness about sharing your space and processes with someone new. 

You are confident a new hire can increase profit in the business.   

Is it the right time to hire your first employee?