It’s a question I’m often asked.
You need to recruit BEFORE you get busy so that you have time to train your latest employee. Particularly if this is your first employee as all the training will be down to you. With my first employee, a trainee accountant, I was doing my own work in the evenings for the first two months.
You need to recruit early to allow your new person to get up to speed with the work, your clients, and your systems. Even with fully qualified accountants this took about three months.
You can accelerate both of these with a good induction programme. (I share ours on our courses)
You need to recruit early in case you find that you have chosen the wrong person. It’s something we all fear when recruiting but better to move them on quickly (and kindly) if they’re not a good fit so that you, and they, can find something better.
So, my rule of thumb is to recruit 5 months ahead of when I need the team member to be at full capacity. 3 weeks to advertise, 1 week to interview and decide, 1 month for them to give notice, and 3 months for them to get up to speed.
It’s much easier getting new business than new team members so, if you have the right person, you can soon find the extra work for them to do that will cover their costs.
What’s your experience of recruiting and onboarding new people?