Small business owners are famous for their can-do attitudes and do-it-yourself spirits. But even entrepreneurs need help sometimes. Hiring full-time employees can be expensive, however, when you consider the taxes, benefits and insurance costs on top of salaries.
Consider alternatives — such as temps — to get all the benefits of full-time help, without all the costs. It's time to hire help when:
- You and your employees are overworked
- Simple tasks are preventing you from completing more important ones
- You're in need of someone with special skills to contribute to a new project
Determine your needsBefore hiring anyone, you must identify your exact needs. Evaluate your goals and resources to decide whether or not existing staff can accomplish a job. Do you want to hire a temp directly yourself, or work through a temp agency?
Identify costsTemps in many cases will be cheaper than full-time hires — but if you work through a temp agency, there will be additional costs. Research the costs of hiring extra help, and remember the benefits you'll incur.
Locate a temp agency in your area onlineLocate temps by acting on referrals, placing job ads online or in the newspaper, or by working with a temporary employment agency.
Interview candidatesInterview temps just as you would permanent employees. Check references and employment history to make sure a candidate is not only qualified, but a good fit in terms of personality and character. One advantage to working through an agency is that they do this for you.
U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).
Comply with tax and employment laws that apply to tempsBe cautious when contracting temporary employees; pay attention to a temp's legal status and make sure they aren't eligible for the same benefits you give your permanent employees.
Internal Revenue Service (IRS) says they are.
- Watch for likely full-time employees; the best temps will be an ideal addition to your permanent team.
- Retain temps by treating them like part of your business family; turnover is costly among full-time employees, and it's no cheaper among temporary ones.
- Temps are ideal for basic office work, including data entry, reception duties and other clerical tasks. Some agencies, however, specialize in temps with unique skill sets, including legal, technical and creative expertise.