It’s that time of the year again – old budgets are coming to an end and new ones are being set so it makes sense that a lot of companies are now starting to consider their hiring plans for the next 12 months.

Now, when it comes to trying to formulate a recruitment plan for the year ahead, it goes without saying that there are lots of things you need to consider to determine exactly what your needs are – and in fact, if you have any needs at all.

That said; if you’re struggling to work out whether you need to expand your current work force or stick with what you’ve got for the foreseeable future, there are five telltale signs that should help you make the distinction.

1. Your Current Staff Work Overtime Every Day:

OK, so a bit of overtime every now and again is a given in any business – but if your staff are working overtime every single day, it’s a pretty big clue that you need to consider taking on new staff. Yes, the work is getting done because your current staff members are staying behind – but is it the best work that could be produced, considering it’s being done when your employees have already worked an eight hour day?

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2. You’re Missing Deadlines:

Whatever type of business you run, it’s highly likely that you’ll have set deadlines for each project and piece of work. Now, while it’s OK to miss a deadline here and there – missing every deadline that’s set can not only be damaging to your finances and the progression of your business – but to your reputation too. Which leads me nicely onto point three…

3. You’re Disappointing Clients:

When it comes to clients, you’re always going to have some that are easier to please than others – but if you’re not pleasing any of them, it might be time to ask yourself why. If it’s because of missed deadlines or inadequate work due to overworked staff, it’s a pretty good bet that you need to take on new staff to deal with the workload and ensure their needs are met – or risk losing them forever. And don’t forget; unhappy customers are always more likely to talk than happy customers… so fail to please your customers and your reputation could be on the line.

4. You Have A 12 Week Waiting Time On All New Projects:

The biggest clue that you need to invest in new staff is if you’re losing potential clients because of the ridiculous wait time you’ve got on all new projects. OK, so if you’re a digital agency, a wait time of a few weeks is pretty standard and expected – however, a wait time of 12 weeks is not so standard – so it’s no surprise clients are looking elsewhere. Similarly, if you can’t put your foot down on new projects for existing clients until you’ve cleared your existing backlog of work (which could take months), you’re not in a great position either. Remember, sometimes you have to speculate to accumulate…

5. You’re Treading Water:

Pretty happy with the way things are going with your business at the moment? That’s great – but wouldn’t you like more? There’s nothing wrong with treading water – but if we’re looking at it from a business perspective, it means there’s always room to do more and for your business to grow and expand – and sometimes that can only be achieved with the help of extra staff.

So there you go; five quick signs it’s time to consider adding new staff to your business. Think I’ve missed any out? Leave me a comment below.