Benchmark Business Group

External Hiring Alternatives

May 31, 2016

Last week we focused on internal solutions to capacity issues other than hiring. This week we're going to look at external solutions.  

Temp Agencies - Not sure if you need a full time hire? Starting with a temp agency can help you better define what position your business needs or even get you through a seasonal hump. Many businesses jump to a full time hire, but sometimes the answer is a short term solution. There is also training time to consider when looking at this solution. It can be frustrating to have a short term employee, but once again having your systems in place will make a huge difference. Be sure to talk to your business coach about how you can use a new hire (even a temp hire) to create systems as you go reducing the time and frustration of training.
 
Outsourcing - Look at your list of functions and see if any could/should be outsourced. How much time is it taking your business and what is the value of that time?  Business owners especially need to be careful that the tasks on their plate are the right value. Doing $10 an hour work will not only overwhelm and frustrate you, but it'll also cause you to lose growth opportunities.  
 
Virtual Assistants - Depending on what you need help with you might not need a full time employee or even an employee onsite. Virtual assistants are often affordable as they split their time between multiple businesses; thus you don't carry the burden of a full time salary. Many of these companies offer plans that can fit into any budget depending on the number and type of requests. See Zirtual and Fancy Hands for examples.

Freelancing - Similar to outsourcing and virtual assistants, hiring a freelancer can lower expenses. It is also a great way to allow your team to gain expertise quickly. Freelancing sites like FiverrUpwork, and Freelancer.com are good starts to seeing what can be freelanced and locating freelancers to complete the work.

Software or Software as a Service - We discussed internal systems last week, but don't forget to look for software and technology solutions that can help your team be more efficient. Remember to focus on the results you need and be willing to find new ways to achieve those results. For instance, using a site like Send Out Cards you can still send Birthdays cards to your clients, but in a more automated manner which cuts down on the time spent. Using a site like Call Fire allows you to automate your phone calls for things such as appointment reminders or even "thank you for doing business with us" calls.

Whether you are looking for internal or external solutions, it's important to look at not just the day to day work that needs to be done, but also projects. Projects can often erode time management to the point it seems like you need to hire to move ahead. Using external solutions as discussed above, you can often take large chunks of project work such as research, copy-writing, and even data entry off your team's plate so they can focus on the responsibilities that need their expertise and knowledge. The overall key is to remember to be creative. There's no one right way to solve your issue.

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