We research all brands listed and may earn a fee from our partners. Research and financial considerations may influence how brands are displayed. Not all brands are included. Learn more.

Editor: and
Published: Apr 19, 2024 9 min read

Ads by Money. We may be compensated if you click this ad.AdAds by Money disclaimer

*Content includes branded mentions of our sponsor ZipRecruiter.

As your small business grows, so does the work required to keep it running. If you find yourself struggling to complete everything on your own, then it may be time to seek help using an employment marketplace like ZipRecruiter. This marketplace provides employers with daily access to over three million job seekers. With just one click, the platform sends your job to a network of 100+ sites.

We’ve created a guide to help you know when to hire in your small business. Read on to learn the signs you’re ready to bring on staff, questions to ask yourself before hiring and how to get started hiring new employees.

Ads by Money. We may be compensated if you click this ad.AdAds by Money disclaimer
Find the perfect candidate to help you take your business to the next level
ZipRecruiter can help find the most qualified candidates for your business. Click your state to learn more.
HawaiiAlaskaFloridaSouth CarolinaGeorgiaAlabamaNorth CarolinaTennesseeRIRhode IslandCTConnecticutMAMassachusettsMaineNHNew HampshireVTVermontNew YorkNJNew JerseyDEDelawareMDMarylandWest VirginiaOhioMichiganArizonaNevadaUtahColoradoNew MexicoSouth DakotaIowaIndianaIllinoisMinnesotaWisconsinMissouriLouisianaVirginiaDCWashington DCIdahoCaliforniaNorth DakotaWashingtonOregonMontanaWyomingNebraskaKansasOklahomaPennsylvaniaKentuckyMississippiArkansasTexas
Get Started

5 Signs you’re ready to hire new employees

1. Business is booming

Growth is great — but how will you sustain it? If you operate your small business alone or with few employees, a spike in sales may mean it’s time to expand your workforce.

For example, if you receive double the number of orders in one quarter, demand has increased and your small business’s capacity to fulfill it should expand too. So it may be time to grow your workforce alongside your growing business.

2. You’re overwhelmed

Small business owners often work more than 40 hours per week. While overworking may feel necessary, especially in the beginning stages of a business, it isn’t sustainable, and your health can suffer in the long term.

If you can't remember when your last day off was, it may be time to hire help. Avoid burnout by hiring employees when you’re financially able.

3. Poor customer satisfaction

Has feedback for your small business taken a downturn? An uptick in customer complaints may be an indicator that you’re overextended, which can cause a drop in the quality of the work. With the right employees, you can delegate responsibilities to help ensure your company is producing high-quality work and providing the best service possible.

4. You have big goals

Are you launching a new product or service in the near future? Part of your preparation for a big push in your small business should include evaluating the workload it will require. You may need to hire new employees to help facilitate the launch. If the new product or service brings in more sales (as in, more work), you may also need to keep those employees on staff to help scale that growth.

Without enough help, you may be unable to meet big goals for your small business. Additionally, if you’ve ever shut down a potential push forward for fear you couldn’t handle the responsibilities it would bring, then you may want to consider how more employees might help you progress in the desired direction.

5. You’re missing key skills or expertise

Being a small business owner often means holding a lot of titles, from CEO to social media manager to accountant. You might find, however, that you’re not adept in all areas. There’s nothing wrong with acknowledging you lack certain skills, especially in an area that may take years to master, and taking steps to fill that expertise void.

For example, you may want to hire an accountant on a contract basis to help you prepare for tax season. You may then want to keep that accountant on board to continue keeping the books for your small business’s finances. An accountant may be able to evaluate your economic performance and possibly identify areas for improvement or lowering business expenses.

Ads by Money. We may be compensated if you click this ad.AdAds by Money disclaimer
The perfect candidate for your open position is out there. Find them on ZipRecruiter.
With a massive database at their disposal, Job Search Sites can match you with qualified candidates fast. Click below and find them today.
Get Started

Questions to ask before you hire employees

Before you take on staff for your small business, consider the following:

  • Business needs - Evaluate your needs and get specific about how an employee can fill them.
  • Budget - Do you have room in your budget to pay employees? Analyze your finances to find out how much you can afford in wages.
  • Employment types - Full time is one option, but there are more. Consider part-time positions, temp employees, contract workers and paid interns as well.
  • Compensation models - If your budget is tight, consider alternative compensation models, such as bonuses tied to performance or deferred compensation (e.g., stake in the company).
  • Quality of work environment - How will you ensure your employees are satisfied with their work lives? Be sure to think about communication, safety, company values and non-monetary perks.

Why should I hire employees?

Hiring employees can be essential to the growth of your small business. You may need employees to help manage recent growth, or employees might help you expand to meet your goals. You may also want to hire employees to help you in very specific areas, such as social media or business management, that you aren’t knowledgeable about.

You can try using several channels to find suitable employees for your company. Online job search sites, such as ZipRecruiter, can be of great help. ZipRecruiter uses smart matching technology to scan thousands of resumes to find candidates with the right skills, education and experience for your job and then invites them to apply.

Note that you don’t have to hire full-time workers from the start. If you’re unsure about how employees might fit into your small business operation, consider beginning with someone contracted to work for a specific amount of time, also known as a temporary employee.

A temporary employee could be especially helpful during a high-volume time that you aren’t sure will last in the long run. During and after your employee’s time with the business, you can evaluate the situation to better understand your company’s needs and how an employee can help meet them.

Regardless of your industry, if you find you’re running low on time and energy while handling all the work on your own, taking on staff may be the best move.

Ads by Money. We may be compensated if you click this ad.AdAds by Money disclaimer
Find qualified candidates fast
ZipRecruiter’s matching technology scans thousands of resumes to find candidates with the right skills, education, and experience for the job. Click on your state to find them today!
Get Started

How to hire employees

Once you decide it’s time to hire employees, you should prepare yourself before actually hiring anyone.

Evaluate your needs

What areas of your business do you need help with? Can those needs be met in a part-time work week or will you need someone for up to 40 hours per week? Review your needs carefully before moving forward.

Job description

You should provide comprehensive information to job seekers, such as background about your small business, experience or education requirements for the position and tasks they’ll handle at work. Your job description may also include a proper job title, estimated hours per week, wages, benefits and payroll details (i.e. how and when they’ll be paid).

Share your job opening

You can use job posting sites like ZipRecruiter to attract applicants — 80% of employers who post on ZipRecruiter get a quality candidate within a day. Share the job on your small business’s social media channels as well. You can also look to your network of friends, family, or local community to help spread the word. Provide clear instructions on how to apply.

Review applicants

Once you’ve received applications, set aside the most promising ones. Review these candidates carefully, keeping in mind your business's needs.

Conduct interviews

Interview applicants in person, especially if you want them to see the workspace, or conduct interviews via video chat or phone. Prepare for interviews by writing down questions you’d like to ask your potential employees.

Hire employees

Before you extend a job offer to anyone, make sure you have new hire paperwork, including tax forms, in order. (If you’re hiring employees for the first time, consider working with an accountant or business management consultant.) Some potential employees may want to negotiate aspects of the job, such as wages or workdays. Consider in advance whether or not you’re flexible on these aspects.

Onboard your new employee

Train your employee thoroughly for their new role. Communicate what is expected of them and invite them to ask questions along the way. Establishing open communication from the start is key to a healthy working relationship with your employees.

When to Hire in Your Small Business FAQs

When can I start hiring employees?

You can start hiring employees for your small business when you have both the need for staff and the financial resources to pay them.

Where can I find employees?

You can use a job search site such as ZipRecruiter to post your job openings and receive applications. Consider posting on your social media channels too, and ask friends and family to help spread the word.

What is onboarding new employees?

Onboarding new employees refers to the process of getting a new employee started at your company. This includes completing the necessary paperwork, such as tax forms, as well as getting them familiar with company values and training for their new role.