Business advice: employing the right person

When growing a successful business, there will be times when you’ll need to take on additional help.

Employing vs subcontracting

If you’re unsure whether permanent employment is the best route for your small business, read my previous blog: Business advice: employment vs subcontracting.

If your business review is complete and the decision made that permanent employment is the most cost-efficient option for your business, what’s next?

Employing the right person

Recruitment agencies can be a lifeline for busy business owners. They can’t do all the work though, you’ll need to follow these five steps to ensure they’re employing the right person for you.

Step 1: develop your organisational structure

Having an organisational structure or chart not only visually maps the employees in the business, it also helps to identify the roles of those staff. With this in place, it’s much easier to spot gaps or shortages and will help direct your decision on creating new positions.

Step 2: understanding duties and responsibilities

Having completed your org structure, you’ll hopefully avoid the temptation to simply employ an assistant. Think about which tasks you need to be completed by the new member of staff and detail them all individually.

Step 3: establish a person specification

What type of person will be able to fulfil the tasks identified in step 2? Think about and decide on what skills you’re asking for, do they need certain experience or qualifications? What about personality? For more advice on this, my blog ‘Why recruiting the right personality mix is crucial in business‘ will help.

Step 4: creating the job description

Now, you are ready to create your job description. This should comprise the following information:
– Header: job title, remuneration, reporting line, hours and place of work
– Summary of job: from your roles and responsibilities, summarise here the main objective and key tasks involved with the position
– Duties and responsibilities: detail the list you’ve made, ideally in order of their importance
– Person spec: again you can add your pre-made list here, priority order is best

Step 5: the job advert

Job done? Not quite! The final piece of the puzzle is the job advert. A great ad will comprise the following components:
– Title: include the job title together with one or two elements of the post that will make it attractive to applicants
– Company info: who will the successful applicant work for? Great things to include here are how long you’ve been in business, examples of clients you work with, how happy your staff are etc.
– Position info: as well as the key objectives of the role, enhance the post’s charm with information on things such as pay, benefits and opportunities for development
– Application process: give applicants an idea on how long the recruitment process will take and what the steps are

Whether you’re using an agency or undertaking the recruitment yourself, you’re now ready to post your job. With all your groundwork done, you’re in the best place for employing the right person! Do ensure you take professional HR advice to help you through this process, and once on board, look after your staff to ensure their productivity!

If you need help managing workload or deciding whether to employ or subcontract, contact me for a Free Business Review. This is a genuinely free 2 hour session whereby I’ll come in and spend two hours giving you business advice for immediate implementation. Click here to arrange yours now.

Business advice: employment vs subcontracting

When growing a successful business, the subject of taking on extra help is common. There are some rules of thumb to decide which is the right method.

Subcontracting in the early stages of growth

When a business starts to grow, there’s often a period whereby there’s too much work for the existing staff to handle. The amount or instability of this work may mean that permanently employing a new team member just isn’t viable. In this instance, subcontracting is the way to go.


If service delivery is where you need help, a freelancer can mop up your overspill work. For example, design agencies often use freelancers to cover when there is a sudden increase in workload or for holiday cover.

Subcontracting an activity

If it’s admin that’s causing your headaches, then subcontracting an activity could give you the space you need. Bookkeepers and call answering services are great examples of subcontracted business support. How many of us procrastinate on our bookkeeping because it’s less important than delivering our service?

Spot the signs when subcontracting has outgrown you

Of course, while subcontracting is a great quick fix, it can also be expensive. There will be a point at which the cost to your business is more than the equivalent daily rate to employ someone.

There are other issues to be careful of too. Regular subcontracting of the same person can be seen as an employee in disguise. If you find your business in this position, you will need to seek advice from an HR expert to ensure you act within employment law.

Using a variety of people isn’t necessarily the answer either, they will take more time getting to know your business and processes and you won’t build up in-house skills.

Finally, you may find your existing employees become disgruntled at being paid less than subcontractors.

Employment, where’s the tipping point?

So, when is it time to employ? You’ll know this through regular monitoring of your subcontractor usage. Evaluate your spend versus the cost to employ and understand where the tipping point is. A client of mine recently calculated that by employing someone, they could be making 50% extra profit per job because of the reduction in hourly rate.

Making employment work

There are plenty of horror stories about employing staff and I’ve lost count of the number of people that say it should be avoided! However, this is a complete myth. As long as the correct process is followed and employees are looked after, you’ll be inside the law, have a productive workforce and profitable business.

When you’re ready to employ, get expert advice from an HR consultant who will help you through this process.

If you need help managing workload or deciding whether to employ or subcontract, contact me for a Free Business Review. This is a genuinely free 2 hour session whereby I’ll come in and spend two hours giving you business advice for immediate implementation. Click here to arrange yours now.