Hiring employees is a big deal, and it’s very exciting for most business owners.

Business owners who don’t have any employees cannot wait until the day they can make their first hire. Business owners who employ a small workforce can’t wait until the day that they can make their next hire.

Growing your business is great! Hiring new employees is great! But, over the years, I’ve discovered that many business owners are letting their excitement cloud their judgment, and they wind up hiring for the wrong reasons.

Take a few moments to answer these questions honestly. Why do you want to hire employees? Is it because:

  • You want to appear successful?
  • You want to impress your friends or family?
  • You’re busy, and you don’t want to work as hard?
  • You want to help out a friend by hiring them?
  • Or is because you have identified specific positions that, once filled by the right person, will allow your business to grow?

As you probably can guess, only the last reason on the above list is an acceptable reason to make a new hire. A large workforce may impress your friends and make you look successful—but you won’t impress anyone when you are forced to shut down because your payroll is too high. Hiring an employee to reduce your workload isn’t a bad idea, but if you haven’t identified specific roles and responsibilities for your new employee, it won’t work. And as you may know from experience, hiring someone solely as a personal favor is always a mistake. You’re in business to make money!

Take some time to think about your hiring plan. Have you created an organizational chart, documenting the positions you hope to fill as your business grows? Have you specified the roles and responsibilities that each position will be responsible for? Don’t worry if you haven’t, few business have done this. But it’s time to get busy, because if you don’t have a strategic hiring plan, you are going to end up hiring employees for all of the wrong reasons. Rather than growing your business, you will find that your workforce is a weight pulling it down.

So why do you want to hire?  Do you have a specific plan, and a specific purpose behind each hire you are planning to make? Don’t fall victim to the same mistakes that many of your competitors are making—when you do make a hire, make sure you are doing so for the right reasons!

Have you ever made a hire for the wrong reasons? How did it work out? What have you done to ensure that you don’t repeat this mistake? Leave a comment below and share your thoughts!