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Matching your new hire to your business needs

Unsure if your business needs a permanent or temporary hire? These five questions will help you make the right choice.

One rule of entrepreneurship that is often repeated is to work more on your business instead of in it. Whether it’s project management or balancing the books, managing the workload isn’t something you have to do on your own. Nor should you.

Yet hiring new staff can be time-consuming, and if the hire isn’t the right fit it can feel like a waste of time and money. But before any hiring process can begin, you should ask yourself if you need a permanent staff or if you can make do with a temp.

These five questions will help you decide.

1. What are my business goals for the next 12 months?

Start by assessing your business goals for the next year and list down the areas in which you’ll likely need short term and long term help.

2. What crucial skills or know-how am I missing in my business?

When you identify a core skill that your business needs but is currently lacking, you don’t have to take on the challenge of learning it overnight. Hire an expert instead. And if you aren’t sure what the gaps are in your business, these tips could help.

3. What does my budget look like?

Assess your budget and resources before heading down the recruitment road. Hiring a permanent staff is a big financial commitment so you need to be certain that you’ll get a return on your investment. A cash flow forecast will help you determine this.

4. Is the role defined?

No one wants their position to be a ‘Jack-of-all-trades’ so make sure you can confidently write a position description that clearly outlines the new hire’s role and responsibilities within the business. If you’ve identified a mishmash of small jobs across the business then hold off on embarking on a big recruitment drive.

5. What kind of hire is the best match to my business needs?

Now that you have a better idea of your workload or business problem, you can understand what kind of employee you need to fix it. If it’s a branding or marketing strategy or long-term administrative work, then a permanent staff member who’s involved in the day-to-day running of the business could be your most valuable asset. If it’s a big project with a tight deadline or a hectic sales period, then a temporary hire could be the answer.

Upside vs. Downside

Like most other decisions, this one also comes with its share of pros and cons. Here’s what that looks like for a permanent and temporary hire.

The permanent hire

Pros: Their efficiency in their role will increase over time, they’ll develop loyalty to the company and they’re invested in its success. In other words, they’re in it with you for the good and bad.

Con: There’s less flexibility in replacing them if they turn out to be a bad fit.

The temporary hire

Pros: A great way to road test someone as a fit for your business (in case you decide to make them permanent in the future) and for someone to take a host of different tasks off your hands.

Con: If you only hire temps, you’ll have to invest time in explaining your business to each one of them. That would take you away from your actual work.

At the end of the day, when it comes to hiring new staff, culture is key. It doesn’t matter if your new hire is sticking around for two weeks or two years. Having people who are aligned with your company values will drive the day-to-day productivity of your business. Building a well-rounded team with complementary personalities and skillsets will be your greatest asset.

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