July 26, 2011 at 1:50 PM

Multiple Perspectives On Having Employees

"Hire or outsource?.."

By Polly White

Santa Fe Business Musings

Polly White is a local business owner, active community member and astronomy geek.

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Hire or outsource? I get this question frequently. It’s not always an either/or situation.

Outsourcing appeals to many of us because often tasks can be done more cheaply, and  it leaves you more flexibility with the office ~especially if it’s a home office. You can access the specialized skills such as web design, graphic design and accounting without paying huge salaries. It is not cost effective to spend weeks pulling your hair out with a book on Dreamweaver when there is someone who can create something outstanding for you in a short time. There are no related employee costs such as vacation or sick pay, FICA matching, FUTA, SUTA, work comp insurance, no risk of harassment or discrimination charges, no overtime pay, and no employees dating one another!

The bookkeeping is much simpler this way. They do the work. You receive an invoice/statement each month. Pay it. Pat yourself on the back for having the smarts to do this. Done.

Hiring employees (or in-sourcing) is still tried-and-true  because those employees improve your work culture, are available when you need them (they work on your schedule-not theirs), supervision of the work is continuous and easy, and communications are significantly clearer. The most important factor in getting quality work done is making your expectations clear. This is easier with employees who are in the same room or building with you. I believe that we work better, smarter, and faster when we work with others. Employees also serve to improve awareness of your business in your community. Here in Santa Fe, we all know that word-of-mouth referrals are the number one we get new customers or clients. Having happy employees is a great way to develop a continuous awareness of our businesses. You’ll appreciate these employees in ways you never expected. They really are your best asset.

So, my advice is use both to their strengths. Outsource to those with the specific skills you need and use them on an as-needed basis. Hire the best people you can find to be the daily strength of your operations. Listen to them and follow up on their suggestions. Take the time to “catch them doing it right” and give them positive feedback. Then pat yourself on the back for having the smarts to do this. Done.

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