Whether your company saw an uptick in volume last year or you're in the process of expanding, having more hands on deck can make for a smoother workflow and a better customer experience. Of course, it's hard to focus on hiring when you're busy mapping out strategies and budgets for the new year and dealing with the many nuances that come with running a small business. But if you don't start prioritizing your staffing needs, you might struggle to fill open positions once you finally get around to listing them.

Don't miss the boat

Let's be clear: You can advertise an open position at your business at any time, and chances are, you'll find some takers. But will you get the best applicants out there?

Based on last year's data, Monster.com reports that job searches peaked in January, followed by February. This means that candidates are more likely to be looking for work in the coming weeks than throughout the rest of the year.

Smiling woman shaking hands with man across the table.

IMAGE SOURCE: GETTY IMAGES.

And it makes sense. Often, job seekers will wait until the new year to look for new roles because it makes for a cleaner break. After all, no one wants to start a new job right before or during the holidays, and often, staying with the same company through year's end means collecting a bonus that you would otherwise leave on the table by departing at the wrong time. But now that 2019 has kicked off, there's a good chance job candidates will be busting out those resumes and seeing what's out there. And the last thing you want to do is get left out in the cold.

List those positions wisely

While you don't want to miss the opportunity to capitalize on the job search boom that's likely to take place in the coming weeks, you also don't want to rush the job-posting process, because in doing so, you might make it more cumbersome than necessary. Therefore, carve out some hours over the next week or so to craft detailed job descriptions that clearly define what you're looking for and what candidates can expect. This will save you the time and hassle of reading what could be hundreds of resumes from applicants who aren't qualified or who aren't likely to accept the positions you're looking to fill.

Even if you're not necessarily ready to onboard new hires, it never hurts to get the ball rolling on the application process. You might, for example, extend job offers to a few candidates in February but give them a start date sometime in April. If they're already employed and therefore aren't desperate for money, they'll likely be amenable to such an arrangement.

Remember, as a small business, you're up against not only other modest operations but larger companies with far more resources. And that's why you don't want to miss out on what could be the peak period of the year for job searches. If you've yet to think about your staffing needs this year, consider this your wake-up call. Spending a few hours in the near term to focus on hiring could spell the difference between finding terrific employees and having to settle.

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