How To Know When It’s Time to Make Your First Hire: A Startup’s Guide


When you started your Startup, you may never have imagined that you’d get to the point of needing to bring on an employee to support you.

Perhaps you consider your startup a hobby? Or the demand for your products or services has increased to the point that you just can’t keep up. If your Startup is growing and expanding, and you are struggling to keep up with the workload, it may be that you are becoming a victim to your own success, and it’s time to consider making your first hire in order to keep up.

Signs you need to make your first hire

Hiring your first employee to support you in a Startup you have carefully nurtured from the beginning is quite a task for a multitude of reasons and finding the right person to fit this role can take a bit of time. Not only do they need to be capable of the tasks you give them, they need to be able to share your vision and work well with you as a team. Consider the below factors before making this commitment and really think about what it is you need them to do:

1. You have the budget

A new hire should be able to assist you in generating more revenue for the company. Ask yourself, is your startup bringing in more revenue than you expect? Will an extra cost like a salary affect your bottom line?

If you already have the budget to hire one or two employees, do it now before your work overwhelms you and the quality of your service suffers as a result. You don’t want to deal with clients’ complaints that you know are a direct result of you being over-stretched. Also, ensure that your overall budget determines whether you have the capacity to hire an additional resource. Knowing that 29% of small businesses fail due to cash problems, don’t let yours fall victim to this, too – do your math and work out how much it is going to cost you per month vs. how much revenue will be generated as a result.

2. You can no longer keep up with the tasks

Even if you don’t mind putting the hours in, there will come the point when burnout sets in if you’re not careful. It is not sustainable to work all day and night, seven days a week. Taking a break is absolutely essential. You will be able to service your company better if you allow yourself a break. One study revealed that by taking two days off work, the concentration of two out of three people was improved. You need a work-life balance and to protect your physical and mental health too. If you are struggling to meet the demands of your Startup, then that’s a good sign that it’s time to hire someone to work alongside you.

Before you start looking, really think about what it is you want this new person to do, what experience they need, and what qualifications are required. If you work in the field service industry, such as plumbing, cleaning, or landscaping, for example, and you need a new person to manage the administrative side of the business, you will want to make sure they are competent in using Startup management technology such as Jobber which they will likely have to use for job scheduling, payments, customer communications and more. As a small startup, you want to avoid making mistakes as much as possible, so you want someone reliable who can easily manage your internal processes and systems.

3. Your offering’s quality is declining

Small businesses sometimes have to work even harder than their larger counterparts to ensure that the quality of their offering meets expectations. Keeping up with this has to be an intrinsic part of daily Startup operations, whether this is through how people conduct themselves when they offer your service, how well they can do their jobs, how they communicate with customers, and how your Startup is able to learn and improve its offering, amongst other things. Maintaining quality standards can be an overwhelming challenge for some. If you are struggling with this, it’s time to ask for help.

Never underestimate the fact that quality is an important key to success. If your quality starts to decline, you won’t only lose customers, but it’ll also affect your brand’s reputation. Customers who avail of your products or services and who are dissatisfied might be more inclined to write a negative review or speak to others about their negative experience. You don’t want this to happen since 84% of consumers trust customer reviews.

4, You already have an assigned role

One of the best signs that you are ready to hire an employee is when you can easily advertise a full job description. This indicates you already have a specific role you want someone to fill. Also, understanding the scope of work for which your future employee is responsible makes it easier to hire the right person as you have a clear idea of exactly what you are looking for.

If you don’t have an assigned role yet, it’s best to take a moment and re-consider hiring first. Perhaps what you just need is a coach or consultant that’ll help you navigate the competitive industry you’re in, not an employee.

Hiring practices you shouldn’t do

Now that you know some signs indicative of when to hire an employee, it’s also equally important to know some hiring processes that you shouldn’t follow:

  • Desperation:As shown above, hiring someone can spring from the demand to cope with an overwhelming workload. However, don’t let this lead you to hire the wrong person, as hiring the wrong person can make things much worse. It can be even more time-consuming and costly to get it wrong, so it’s worth being patient and waiting.
  • Hiring the first person who comes along: If you’re lucky, you can immediately find the right applicant amid the number of résumés on your table. But then again, this can be a one and a thousand chance. So try to conduct a proper hiring process, like getting to know the applicant’s knowledge and skillset in your industry and speaking to their referrals before deciding.


Since you’re the business owner, you probably have a very clear idea of what your company needs. So, if one of the signs mentioned above sounds familiar, it’s likely you’re ready to take the first step in making your very first hire. Take note that even if you consider your Startup small or you’re still looking for ideas to start a Startup, it’s often a good idea to have a helping hand for collaboration, ideas, and support. Also, by having a reliable and trusted employee to help you, you can ease the burden of the day-to-day workload but still work to achieve success and sustainable growth.

Author bio

Ronnel Aquino is a Startup coach who’s been in the service industry for over ten years. If he’s not in the field, he’s writing tips that’ll serve as a reference for future business owners. And if he’s not providing a helping hand, you can often find him in the gym, the mountains, or his home, spending quality time with his friends and family.