Is your business in need of more people to support the growth and demand? Are you deliberating between hiring staff on a temporary or permanent basis? These are tough decisions for any business but they are particularly big decisions to make when you’re the business owner.
As the business owner, you know better than anyone that employees can make or break your business. Would it be more beneficial to get someone in quickly on a temporary basis or take the time to hire more permanent staff? Here are the key things to consider when deciding if it’s right to hire temporary or permanent staff for your business.
When your business is growing quickly, you may be changing direction and trying new things to see what gets traction. This means that the need for staff and their role can also change in the blink of an eye. Having temporary staff in your team will give you the flexibility to change the role if and when necessary. As soon as you have a permanent staff member, it can be difficult to make changes to their role without it taking time and investment.
On the whole, permanent staff will be more invested in seeing your business grow than a temporary staff member who’s unlikely to benefit from your success. If you’re in a small to medium-sized business, you want your staff to be as invested as you are in its success. Creating a positive work environment and the right type of work will no doubt contribute greatly towards having a motivated and high performing team, but above all, the highest levels of motivation will come from staff who are personally invested in the success of your business.
Every time you have a new starter, you need to invest time and effort to set them up on your systems and train them. If you don’t invest the time upfront, mistakes can be made down the line or things can take longer than necessary. Regardless of whether the staff member is hired on a temporary or permanent basis, they will need this investment of time to get them operating at the level you need. This will add up if you have temporary staff coming and going.
Business knowledge is your most valuable asset and every time an employee leaves your business, they are walking away with part of your knowledge bank. Intimate understanding of your systems, what’s worked and not worked and customer knowledge are all impacted to some extent when that employee walks out the door. This is not to say that you’ll need to hold onto your employees forever but thinking about your employees as a ‘knowledge bank’ makes you appreciate their value a little better.
Building the trust needed for effective working relationships, both with your clients and team, is critical to your business success. For your client facing roles, it can be high risk to fill these roles with temporary staff. Having a consistent face/voice will help your clients build that trust quickly. Relationships within your team are equally important for helping your business to thrive, so a mix of permanent and temporary staff could be a great way to keep up that energy needed for a cohesive team.
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Originally published October 15 2016 , updated April 27 2017