Here’s the scenario. You’re managing a successful business. Leads are coming at you day in and day out. You’ve maxed out hours, but customers can’t get enough of you and your team. They need more!
What do you do? Do you extend the workday? Close the door on new projects? Ball out on catered lunches, an office gym, a ping pong table, and other accommodations so employees never have to go home?
Don’t overthink it. This is where your successful business becomes a successful growing business. It’s time to hire.
While this might seem like the perfect time to increase headcount, you’d be jumping the gun. I know, I know, hiring is sexxxy. It’s cool to talk about “rapid expansion” at networking events, but hiring is also a huge commitment. What if you choose the wrong candidate? What if you invest time and money into training just for your rookie to jump ship? Sure, hiring is glamorous, but it should never be a knee jerk response to capacity issues.
Take it from the Stryve team, we almost hired earlier this year before considering an alternate option. With so many ad campaigns being run on behalf of clients, pulling stats and reporting had become a massive part of our day-to-day. The workload got to the point where we could rationalize hiring someone to focus on reporting alone. So, we put up a job post and started accepting resumes.
We were about to start reaching out for interviews when we stopped and thought about the long road ahead. The interviews, the follow-up interviews, the general two-weeks notice, the onboarding… they all take time — which was something we didn’t really have. Not only that, but hiring is a culture risk. What if we hire the wrong person and the fallout creates a bigger problem than the original one we’re looking to solve?
Hiring isn’t always the answer
We put away the resumes and turned to technology — could software solve our problem? At first, we were weary because data, analysis, and reporting, along with the iterating and optimization that follows, is a vital part of our business. How could we ‘outsource’ this to a bunch of code?
We did our research and eventually found an application that takes care of the reporting grunt work. Pulling data from multiple sources and aggregating it into spreadsheets, the new platform would allow us to focus more on insight and analysis. It cost a lot, but not as much as a new employee on salary and benefits. So, we pulled the trigger.
If you’re running into problems and think hiring is the solution, ask yourself these questions first:
#1 – Is our team actually getting things done as efficiently as we can be?
For the record, technology might not always be the answer, either. Before hiring or investing in software, think of what you can do to be more efficient. Being agile is key to business success now more than ever. Two ways we stay agile is by doing mini resource checks throughout the week to balance workloads, along with quick client-specific standups. On top of these check-ins, we organize tasks with JIRA, which keeps everyone in the loop on deliverables over two-week sprints.
We haven’t always worked like this. Each of these developments have been the result of trying new things. They haven’t all been successful, but even our failures bring us closer to something that makes us more efficient.
#2 – Is there a piece of technology out there that can perform the duties we’re outlining in this job posting?
There are many benefits to getting a piece of software to do a job and cost-saving is definitely one. In our case of trying to minimize the reporting workload, our software solution was 1/5 the price of what it would be to add someone to the team. While we set out to find a solution for a single client, we’ve been able to apply the software to other accounts to further shore up hours.
Now, don’t mistake this as replacing staff with robots. By outsourcing low-level tasks to software, our team is able to put more focus on strategy and other high-value items. We’re spending less time feeling like robots and more time doing things that move the needle.
Channel your inner Marie Kondo
What do you do when you’ve maxed out closet space? Do you knock down walls to create a walk-in or do you start stacking things vertically and focus on what sparks joy? Look to get efficient, then look to technology to remove the monotonous tasks that weigh you down.
Bringing in someone new is a big commitment and can lead to more problems than solutions for both you and job candidates. Think about it, do you really want to be the employer that hires someone to do the things no one else wants to do? It’s in everyone’s best interest to explore all options before you start zip-recruiting all over LinkedIn.