As employment specialists, we have seen employees come and go. What has become clear is that there are only 4 reasons a position ever becomes available within a company. Employers only hire when an employee quits, is fired, needs to be shifted into a new role, or the company is expanding.

1) Quit – If an employee quits, it’s imperative to get that position filled immediately. It is best practice for an employee to give at least 2 weeks notice before leaving to give the company time to search out a replacement, though in many cases this courtesy is not granted. Other employees get discouraged when a coworker leaves, especially when the work is left for them to do. Being down a worker can also lead to a decrease in production and loss of revenue.

2) Fire – If an employee is not the right fit for the company, there may be a decision to let that individual go. Sometimes a manager knows in advance that they will have to make this decision and can plan ahead to get a confidential replacement. However, if the individual is fired on the spot due to a violation of sorts, the company could be in a desperate situation just the same as if someone quit.

3) Shift – If an employee is being shifted into a new position (promoted to supervisor, for example), then the company will need to back fill the position that the employee is leaving. In this situation, the company can begin the hiring process before the shift, so there is no loss of revenue.

4) Expand – This is, of course, the most desirable circumstance for any company; being in a position where growth of the business constitutes a need for additional employees. Companies can plan for growth and develop job descriptions that will best meet the current demand. There may even be a need for multiple hires which is great for business and the economy.

Depending on the situation, employee changes can happen unexpectedly or even simultaneously. As a business owner, it’s important to identify and track the purpose of your hiring need and document the typical trends. Just know the reason for hiring will always fall into one of these four categories.