For marketing services businesses, it’s never been easier to access capable team members that can make significant strides on your projects. Unfortunately, having good prospective hires available is only one ingredient to bringing on new team members.

Your ability to recognize the need for new staff and then onboard them properly is just as important as having access to the right talent pool – if not more so. However, this requires very specific management and communication skills. 

If you’re not a seasoned manager or it’s not your main responsibility to oversee the structure of your team, it can be a difficult task to handle properly. Worse, making mistakes when it comes to hiring and team capacity can lead to situations like employee turnover or client attrition, things that can have a serious negative effect on your business.

Here are some ways to tell that it’s probably time for you to expand your marketing team:

Team members are significantly busier

The first factor to consider when evaluating whether or not you need to bring on a new hire is how busy your current team is. While you can ask them directly – communication with managers is always valued – not everyone is willing to be so upfront about feeling overwhelmed. These are long-running traditions in the workplace, even if your business is fully remote.

Some folks may think that being overwhelmed is normal, the status quo for their job title or industry. Others on your team might simply be uncomfortable being open and honest about their work feelings with a manager or company leadership. This is especially true if you are a level above the person they normally report to, or if you haven’t talked to them about these types of issues previously.

When trying to determine how much your team’s workload has increased, pay attention to things like response times, the phrasing of their correspondence, and the amount of time it takes them to complete typical tasks. Any observable change in these areas could mean they are getting overwhelmed.

It’s also helpful to ask direct questions, such as:

  • “How’s your workload been recently?”
  • “Do you feel like you have a lot on your plate?”
  • “Would you be able to take on a new project right now?”
  • “Is there anything I can do to make work easier for you?”

Again, not everyone will be upfront when answering these questions, but they might give you some insight into their general feelings on workload.

Project volume is much higher

Remember those days when you only had a handful of clients and it was easy to manage correspondence with them by email or phone? If a time like that is a distant memory in your business, yet you haven’t significantly upgraded your team since it could be a sign that you need to hire someone.

[bctt tweet=”Because digital marketing work tends to be scalable, it’s possible to acquire a significant volume of work in just a few weeks or days.”]

Because digital marketing work tends to be scalable, it’s possible to acquire a significant volume of work in just a few weeks or days. This can also make it easy to lose track of historic project volumes.

If necessary, go back and compare the number of projects your team is currently working on to the number of projects they were handling last month, quarter, or year. If there’s a significant disparity, it’s a good sign that you probably need to expand.

Things are slipping through the cracks

Even if your current group of employees (or contractors) is getting the major tasks done on time, it doesn’t mean they aren’t receiving too much work for their current capacity. When a marketing team member has more on their plate than they can handle, they’ll start to shift their focus onto the high-level, mission-critical tasks that must get done to move the project forward.

When this happens, slips tend to occur in tasks that aren’t in this category. Pay attention to rote work tasks like weekly reports, check-ins, email responses to non-critical communication, etc. You’re much more likely to notice these things getting dropped when your team members get excessively busy.

You don’t necessarily need to take action on these slips, especially if the team’s workload has gone up significantly and you know they are still on track to complete the most important items that need to get done. But when trying to decide whether to hire someone, the completion rate of these smaller items can offer helpful clues about your team’s workload.  

You know the kind of help you need

It’s a common scenario in the realm of marketing: you receive an opportunity to work on a project that you feel relatively confident handling, but there are a few areas that require some expertise that’s a bit outside of your current team’s knowledge. 

For example, you might be working on a website project for a new client. You’re already confident your existing team can handle the design and coding elements of the site, but you aren’t as confident in the group’s ability to provide search engine optimization (SEO) services for the new site. In an ideal situation, you’d have a resource already available for this kind of work.

Another common example is a request for marketing help on a specific social media channel. Maybe your prospect is looking for assistance with Instagram when your team only has experience in Facebook and Twitter.

These kinds of issues may not be business-threatening problems in the grand scheme of things. But if you’re constantly thinking to yourself how you wish you had someone that had knowledge in one area, it’s likely a sign that you need to grow your team – and bring on someone that can fill in the skill gaps in your current group.   

You don’t feel comfortable bringing on new work

If you’ve already met your business goal for the most amount of revenue you ever want to bring in, great! But this is a rare situation. It’s more common that your business has experienced a fair amount of growth, but you need to increase revenue to continue that growth and achieve the objectives you have in mind for the company.

Whether it comes in the form of additional one-off project requests from current clients, or you’ve met new prospects that you want to begin working with soon, your company should always be open and ready to receive new work. 

If you’re not sure whether your existing team would be able to take on a few new projects, you probably need to think about adding to your capacity.

Starting your search for the right marketing hire

By observing trends in the areas mentioned above, you can get a sense of whether or not your existing team is overloaded. But even if you’ve made the determination that you need to bring some new people aboard, it’s not always easy to know where to start. A good first step is making a list of characteristics you need in a new hire. You can reverse engineer this process by first making a list of skill gaps in your current team.

Credo can connect you with our network of vetted digital marketing providers who have deep experience across the most common digital marketing disciplines like SEO, Facebook, and more. Whether you’re looking to improve your SEO rankings or develop a comprehensive content strategy, we can match you with the right providers for your needs.

If you’re ready to shorten the amount of time it takes you to bring on the marketing team you need for consistent growth, schedule a free consultation with us today to learn how to get started.