Recruitment strategy: Full-time, part-time or outsource?
Every business owner should be asking themselves this question when the time comes to grow the team. Whether through hiring employees or outsourcing key business functions to the experts, it requires a strategic decision to make sure your business’s needs are met in the most suitable and effective way.
Here, we take a look at the benefits of each employment option and the occasions where one solution could be more suitable than another.
Full-time employees are those contracted to work a specific number of hours per week, typically around 40 hours.
Permanent employees tend to only have one job and are therefore likely to be more committed to the business and its goals. For this reason they are also the most likely to develop company loyalty, and to feel a sense of ownership in the business.
As you will work with full-time employees all week, every week, you can build a better relationship with them, allowing you to manage them better and maximise their potential.
An employee is a fixed cost which can be a big undertaking for a small business with fluctuating revenues and order books. With in-house employees, a business has to account for overheads that go beyond their basic salaries including training, holiday pay, pensions, management overheads and even desk space.
Also, if work slows down you must continue to pay full-time employees even if they are not being fully utilised.
Today, there is an increasing number of jobseekers looking for part-time work. This includes women with young children wanting work they can fit around childcare, semi-retired professionals, students balancing work with their studies and workers looking to spend some time freelancing or volunteering.
Part-time employees can be an excellent staffing option for small businesses due to their flexible and relatively low cost nature. They work fewer hours so will cost less in wages, and they can also give your organisation greater flexibility to cover busy periods or areas of growth.
As well as this, the savings you will make could allow you to add real value to your organisation, as you can look at more senior staff than you could otherwise afford.
Also, by offering part-time or flexible hours you could potentially widen your pool of candidates and diversity in your workplace.
Part-time employees often hold more than one job, meaning possible competition for time and loyalty. This means they may not be able to work additional hours if your business requires it.
Also, bear in mind that part-time employees come with the same or similar fixed costs as a full-time employee. If the part-time employee is part of a job share you will be required to pay these overheads twice.
Outsourcing key business tasks to a third-party can be a daunting process, but there are a number of benefits for SMEs looking to expand their team who lack the capacity to do so.
Tapping into the expertise of outsourced specialists can help to maximise results in key business tasks. The focus and experience an outsourced provider can bring will often result in improvements as an agency will have knowledge and experience that could rival in-house capabilities.
Especially in small companies that do not have the capacity to fulfil all tasks, existing staff members can take on tasks outside their area of expertise. Outsourcing can take this strain away from employees and they will therefore have more time to dedicate to what they know best.
Also, outsourcing eradicates employee costs and allows you to ramp effort up or down to adjust to demand in a way that’s not possible with full-time employees.
When outsourcing a key business task you can sometimes lose the control you have over it. An agency or contractor has multiple priorities and you may find that you’re fighting against their other clients. Setting targets and goals can help with this, to ensure that they know exactly what they should be delivering and when.
Miscommunication can sometimes be an issue when outsourcing as it’s normally easier to communicate with someone you have a relationship with and in close proximity to you. Also, different companies have different ways of working, and you may find that the agency you have outsourced to does not operate in a way that is compatible with your business.
Which recruitment option is best?
It’s important to remember that not all job roles have the same requirements and the level of attention and budget required will differ for each, so weigh up every role individually before making a decision regarding your recruitment options. When choosing which option will work best for your business it is important to consider the following:
- How much time is needed to perform the role’s key tasks?
- Are the key tasks time/day-specific? Or can they be completed at any time?
- How will the role fit into the existing structure of your business?