When is it the Right Time to Hire a New Employee?

Making a new hire can often be a snap decision when things get busy. However, bringing someone new on board – whether it’s into a newly created role or to replace someone who has left – has a big impact on the rest of your team.

As a result it’s important that you assess the need for a new team member, to make sure you’re making the right hiring decision.

Start by asking the right questionsAsk the right questions

When you first identify that there’s an issue that needs resolving it’s important to ask the right questions so you can evaluate whether making a new hire offers a suitable solution.

Look at why you’re considering recruiting. Is it because:

  • Your team is restructuring?
  • Workloads have become overwhelming?
  • Someone has left your team?
  • There has been a change in your industry and new skills are required?

Or is there another reason?

From here look at different ways you could resolve the issue:

  • Could teams be streamlined and workloads redistributed to improve efficiency?
  • Are there individuals in different teams or departments that may have the skills you require?
  • If you improved the tools your team have, could their efficiency be improved and workloads eased?
  • Could a restructure mean a more even distribution of responsibilities?
  • Review the role content – could this role be delivered in compressed or part time hours?

By giving yourself plenty of options you will be able to see if a new hire is still the best solution – you may even choose to adopt other changes alongside recruitment. It’s entirely dependent on how your organisation works.

How will a new hire make a difference?

Establish your objectives in making a new hire. What do you hope to achieve by bringing someone new on board? This will help you to clarify how urgent the need for a new starter is.

Ask the questions: When is it the right time to make a new hire? Do you have the luxury of taking a few months over the recruitment process or do you need your new hire to have started yesterday?

If the role you’ll be hiring for is very operational and there is increasing pressure on the department, consider how you can speed up the recruitment process. Work with your recruitment agency to tap into their pool of candidates (we have a talent service here at ACR, specifically designed for this kind of recruitment need) and ensure you still make the right hire.

However, if you are looking to perhaps introduce new skills to your team or have new work coming in some time in the near future then perhaps you have a little longer to assess the type of person you require. It may be more important that you find the perfect person, which a talent service can also help with!

Once you’ve assessed how you would like your new hire to make a difference it’s important to take into consideration what sort of role would achieve those objectives:

  • A temporary
  • permanent
  • or contract role?

If your business needs demand a quick solution to deal with seasonal demand, then a temp may be the solution. A contract position could help provide cover when an employee is away for a prolonged period. A permanent role will boost your team’s output on an ongoing basis.

Every business is different

Just as every role is different, every business will be different too. For some it’s not feasible to hire new employees at particular times of the year – perhaps because demand is fluctuating or because budgets are to be decided.

Some businesses will have created a talent pipeline, conducting informational interviews and staying in touch with potential candidates on a regular basis. This means they’re able to get in touch with these candidates when the need arises and when a confirmed job role is available.

Keep an eye out for these potential warning signs that a change is needed:

Of course, it’s important to always keep an eye for warning signs that could show your team is under a lot of pressure – making a new hire a necessity. For example, look for:

  • Decreasing employee motivation
  • You’re neglecting managerial responsibilities
  • Communication between team members is poor
  • Growth opportunities are being missed

All of the above factors could be the result of a number of issues, but they could also be due to the need for a new team member. If you do notice some of the above warning signs then keep in mind that making a decision to hire might be urgent but it’s important that you still get it right.

About the Author

Anne Corder

Anne Corder


Whilst still actively handling recruitment assignments, Anne specialises in Human Resources with many years of experience in that sector. She blogs on wider recruitment issues affecting both candidates and clients, commenting and offering tips and advice to help achieve the right outcomes.