5 Warning Signs It’s Time To Invest In Headcount

5 signs you need to hire

Is it the right time to invest in headcount? Is it too early to build out your recruitment plan - or are you already too late? 

There’s no such thing as a perfect time to invest in headcount. However, there are a number of signs that signal when it’s right for your business. 

At Gattaca, we’ve spent over 30 years in the engineering & tech recruitment market, and we’ve learned to recognise when it’s the right time to bounce back. Here are 5 undeniable signs that it’s time to invest in headcount.


1. Markets are returning... 

It’s been a turbulent 12 months, but engineering markets across the globe are bouncing back - and knowing whether yours is part of that number is crucial to planning your recruitment drive.

Make no mistake - this is an opportunity that you don’t want to miss out on. 

If your market is on the way up, you need the headcount behind you to seize opportunities as they arise - or your competitors will. 

Download the report below to discover the current state of recruitment in your industry and whether now is the right time for you to go on the offensive.

Industries covered in the report include:

  • Defence
  • Technology
  • Infrastructure 
  • Rail 
  • Energy & Utilities
  • Mobility
  • Technology, Media & Telecoms
  • Public Sector
  • Finance, Banking & Insurance
  • Retail & Consumer
  • Life sciences



2. Your competitors are hiring (and snapping up all of the talent)

Is it the right time to hire? Take a look at your competitors.

Competitive analysis in an invaluable weapon in your recruitment arsenal. By deep-diving into your competitors’ recruitment activity, you won’t just get an idea of whether you should ramp up your own recruitment drive. You’ll also gain insight into how your strengths counter their weaknesses.

When the competition is increasing their hiring before you, they’re snapping up key talent before you get the chance. Being able to communicate why candidates should choose you over them is a crucial tool to help you stand out in a highly competitive hiring market. 


3. Attrition is rising... (and loyal team members are looking for an exit)

Your competitors aren’t just snapping up unemployed talent - they’re coming for yours, too. 

And after a tough 12 months of digging in their heels, team members who’ve been furloughed or obliged to sacrifice a portion of their salary could be looking for an exit. 

All signs suggest we’re about to be hit by a wave of attrition unlike anything we’ve seen in recent years. Although your employee engagement strategy can slow attrition down, it can’t fully stop the flow. 

So, when it hits, you need a bench of fresh talent lined up ready to take the reins. 


4. Your competitors are winning work (but you don’t have the resource to take on more)

Turning down projects because you can’t handle the workload? It’s time to invest in headcount. 

Many see “busy” as a good problem to have. However, in a rebound market, not having the headcount to back up your bids can be a fatal mistake. 

If you don’t take work, your competitors will, and in a volatile market, fuelling their growth is the last thing you want to do. 


5. New hires take time to thrive (but your projects need immediate assistance)

Your new hires come with a time fuse, and we’re not talking about their probation period.

It’s a fact that many overlook - new hires don’t hit the ground running. When recruiting, you need to factor in Time To Productivity. 

Time to Productivity is a term used to define how long it takes for new hires to have an impact within an organisation. For example, whilst a new Systems Engineer might be able to take on minor project workload from day one, it could take them months before they’re fully autonomous. 

Research shows that engineering hires take 3 months to settle into new roles. And in that time-fuse period before, their productivity will lag behind your current teams. 

So, if you know you need additional resource for projects later in the year, the time to start hiring was yesterday. 


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