4 Important Things to Consider when Hiring Your First Employee
Congratulations! Business is booming and to save you from the increasing paperwork and never-ending to-do list, you’ve decided to grow your business and hire your first employee. But where do you start? How much will it cost? Do you need somebody part-time or full-time? Now even the thought of taking on a member of staff has just doubled your work-load again! Argh!
The UK work economy is changing rapidly as businesses look to slim-down their workforce and switch to using more outsourced external service providers. And this report from UKCES shows that 50% of businesses say that flexible working hours and offsite working are now standard practice for them.
So what should you consider when deciding to hire a full-time member of staff or use the services of a freelance Virtual Assistant?
When considering hiring your first employee, one of the main considerations is the cost involved and whether or not you are getting value for money.
Recruiting a member of staff means that in addition to a salary, you must also cover tax, National Insurance payments, holiday and sick pay, and pension contributions, not to mention any employee benefit packages. If the role is newly created, you may also have to purchase new software and equipment for the job which can be costly.
A Virtual Assistant will charge a higher hourly rate, but this rate will be inclusive of all costs and will probably include the software and equipment needed to complete the project too.
A Virtual Assistant is exactly that – virtual. They are generally based in their own office and communications will be done over email, Skype or telephone.
A permanent member of staff will be office based, meaning that communication will be instant, face-to-face meetings can be regular and impromptu, and if a deadline needs to be changed it can be communicated immediately.
However, choosing to hire a Virtual Assistant means that you can hire a person based on their skills, and not their location. Your talent pool just doubled overnight! And with collaboration tools such as Trello and Asana, you can always stay in touch and up-to-date with a remote freelancer.
Another major benefit of hiring a Virtual Assistant is that there is no commute involved, so you know that the job will be finished no matter what - the weather, public transport or car issues will not stop the project completion.
A Virtual Assistant will come to the project armed with an address book Richard
Branson would envy! It is likely they will have worked on similar projects for clients and will be able to tackle the job straight away with their network of contacts - they may even be able to negotiate a lower rate thanks to their repeat business.
One of the major advantages of using a Virtual Assistant is the level of flexibility it provides. A Virtual Assistant will work on a flexible contract basis meaning that if you need 10 hours one month but only 5 the next, you only pay for the hours you need. And if you have a large project coming up, you can request additional hours as a one-off.
With a permanent member of staff, you would need to either pay over-time for additional hours or if it is a long term project or beyond the employee’s capability, consider the possibility of hiring another member of staff. You also need to consider the possibility that at quieter times in the business you may be paying for an employee who is under-utilised.
Most Virtual Assistants also offer a free one-hour consultation before taking on any work. This is essential for both parties to ensure they are the right fit for each other. Like an extended job interview. If the first person you speak to doesn’t understand your business goals, simply keep looking until you find the perfect fit.
The decision to take your business to the next step and employ your first member of staff is a tough one. Make sure you do your research and make the right decision for your business.
Take a look at the links below for more advice on choosing a Virtual Assistant or an employee;
If you have decided that hiring an employee is right for your business, this guide from Gov.UK will help with the essential steps to take.
Are you ready to take on a member of staff? What other factors have you considered? Let me know in the comments!