5 Reasons Businesses Hesitate to Hire: the Good and the Bad

Whether or not to make a hire can be a difficult decision for any business. This is especially tricky for small businesses, where budgets are often tight and the time needed to dedicate to the hiring process is scarce. If you are on the fence about hiring, then this article is for you. We will look at 5 of the top reasons businesses hesitate to hire and determine whether these are good or bad reasons not to add employees.

1. "I Don't Have Time To Go Through the Hiring Process" = Bad Reason

Small business owners are some of the most time-starved people out there. That's why many avoid going through the hiring process for so long: they know it will take a lot of time and effort to find and interview the right person, and the thought of putting so much energy into something not directly related to day-to-day operations is overwhelming.

But a lack of time is one of the worst reasons not to hire. If you don't take the time to hire, your business growth - and your time - will be sorely limited. If you are already strapped for time, there is no way you are going to be able to take the time needed to craft an effective strategy and grow your business. As you add employees to help manage the little things, you'll free yourself up to focus on the more important aspects, such as planning, strategizing, and growing your business. Plus, with modern payroll software making it easier and easier to manage taxes and other red tape associated with hiring, it's a better time than ever to add employees.

2. "My Cashflow is Not Steady Enough To Pay Day-to-Day Business Expenses and An Employee's Wages at the Same Time" = Good Reason

Certain small businesses are hesitant to hire because their cash flow situation is often hit-or-miss. This is especially true of businesses that work on a contract basis, whether as a freelancer or in certain industries such as construction. Or maybe your business is just getting off the ground. Even if the initial signs are promising, you really have no idea what kind of cash flow you will have on a regular basis.

Whatever the case, a lack of steady cash flow is a good reason not to hire. If you take the time and effort necessary to make a great hire, the last thing you want is to run out of money and either have to lay off your new employee until things get better or lose them altogether. Either way, this is a lose-lose. Wait awhile until things are steadier and then you can jump in.

3. "The Hiring Process Seems Too Expensive" - Bad Reason

Not having the money to pay a new employee is a valid reason not to hire. But if you're just using that expense as an excuse with out crunching the numbers, there's a strong chance you are just using the expense as an excuse, which is a bad reason not to hire.

There's no way around it: hiring costs money. In addition to the biggest and most obvious expense - your new employee's salary - you'll have a string of other costs, starting with that involved in the hiring search. For that sake, you'll want to do some research to make sure you're using the most effective job boards possible.

There are definitely costs associated with the hiring process, such as fees for advertising on job boards. And of course, you have to be able to pay an employee's salary or hourly wage. But if you hire and train well, employees also make your business money (whether it be directly via sales or indirectly by making your business more efficient and increasing overall growth potential). The point, is that you need to figure out how much a hire will cost you, estimate what kind of value they can bring to the business, and then determine whether or not it is a good decision to spend the cash. Make decisions based on data, not assumptions.

4. "I Haven't Figured Out What Tasks or Position To Hire For" = Good Reason (ish)

Some business owners are hesitant to hire because they are not even sure exactly what they would have the employee do for them. Or perhaps they have an idea, but feel that the tasks are too varied to craft a single job description or listing.

The reality is that if you don't have a good idea of what you would want a potential employee to do, then that's a good reason to put off hiring. Having a solid task list and job description can really guide you to which personality and skill set is best for a position. Without that guidance, hiring can be a chore.

That said, not having a clearly defined job description and set of tasks is not a long-term excuse to avoid hiring. If you're overworked and your business is growing, you should figure out what tasks would be best suited to a new employee and work toward defining a specific job description, and task list so you can bring someone on, reduce your workload, and continue to grow your business.

5. "I Can Run My Business Better By Myself" = Bad Reason

Some business owners just don't like the idea of delegating at all because they are perfectionists and would rather just do everything themselves. The problem is that there is only so much one person can do. This can be a limiting factor for your business and a bad excuse not to hire.

Take a look at the most successful businesses. What you will see are talented leaders who know how to delegate, hire well, and empower their employees. One of the best ways to set your business up for long-term success, is to get a talented team of employees who have strengths that are different than your own.


If you want long-term business growth, your business will probably have to hire at some point. But, the timing might not be right for your business. Make a list of your hesitations, compare to them to the list above, and you should have a pretty good idea of whether or not to hire in the near future.