Employing / Sub-contracting / HR Thinking
“You can’t have a healthy society unless you have healthy companies that are making a profit, that are employing people and that are growing.” – Michael Porter
The power of getting the right people in your business is widely commented on in business literature, probably since business literature began.
The piece though that is often ignored is the absolute power of employing “only” the right people. The best businesses not only have the best people on the team, all playing the right roles, but they do not have any ‘also ran’ hangers-on to dampen the effect.
Taking on your first employee is a major step for every fledgling business. Having built the business to a stage where it needs and can afford an extra pair of hands (or more) then it’s vital the right people are engaged.
It’s really common for even the brightest entrepreneurs to look for people who are “cheap but with potential”. This could be friends or family, interns, graduates or people looking for part-time work that fits their personal agenda.
Conversely, many successful business people advocate hiring the best people you can. Whichever approach you take, think carefully about the person and role you want to fill because it’s essential that your growing business continues to serve your customers in the same manner that has facilitated your growth.
Before you make an appointment consider what additional skills your business needs, the technical skills your new employee will need and how they work with and for you to grow the business.
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From a legal perspective, you need to issue a contract of employment or statement of terms and conditions within 2 months of appointing someone.
It’s also advisable to set out guidelines for how you want them to act within the work environment in a staff handbook or similar document. This means there is a framework for employees to follow from the start – remember, subsequent employees will follow the lead set by your first starters and the culture you have developed. It’s easier to correct behaviours when the ground rules have been set, rather than when things have been more flexible / informal.
Outsourcing or Sub Contracting is also a viable way of adding skills and manpower to your business as it grows. Whether it’s book-keeping / accounting, marketing or admin support there’s a network of competent self-employed specialists or freelancers out there willing to help you. They have the added flexibility of being available on a short term or fixed term basis so you can buy in resource as and when required – so you only pay as you use their services and don’t have to pay them for holidays, illness, pensions, etc.
Whatever the scenario, the basic rules of engagement are similar to employing a member of staff. Make sure the skills and personality specification meets your requirements and be sure to have a contract and service level agreement in place.
Whether it’s a new employee or a sub contractor, taking the step to bring additional resource into your business is a big one. It could be the next step on the path to growth and success for your business so take it boldly.
Engage the right people, get them engaged in your goals and aspirations for the business and let them help you turn plans and goals into reality and profits!
The surest route to mediocrity, and the inability to move beyond the talents of the founder, is to follow these well-trodden routes. The maxim “you get what you pay for” is universally acknowledged, but widely ignored in this context!
Whether you recruit or subcontract, employment law and payroll laws can apply, take good advice and seek the help of experts in this field.