There comes a point in your business when you have to face the truth: you can do ANYTHING you want, but not EVERYTHING you want. In fact, you’re probably weak at certain areas of your business and should not be doing everything anyway. Every entrepreneur (or solopreneur, if you are working alone) has to handle several areas of their business: research & development (R&D), marketing, administration, and operations. Maybe you’re strong at operations and R&D but struggle to handle marketing or administration. Maybe it’s a different combination of strengths and weaknesses. Or maybe you’re strong in a certain area but need additional support because business has grown beyond the capabilities of one person.
When you realize that you would benefit from help in the areas you lack, that would be an excellent time to call a staffing agency. The advice and flexibility they could provide your company may mean the difference between your company continuing to prosper or failing like the roughly 90% of entrepreneurs who start businesses.
Not sure whether or not your future sales will stay strong enough to justify an employee? Staffing agencies can find you temporary help quickly and with little obligation for a long-term commitment. Hire from a staffing agency until you are sure sales will hold steady and then hire your employee permanently. If sales decrease, the staffing agency will deal with the worker’s unemployment claim and in many cases find them another job.
Worried about finding a good employee? Staffing agencies allow you to interview several top candidates before hiring, so you know the quality of people you are getting before you bring them on. Or you can simply ask for a replacement if your new hire is not working out. Also, unless your business is recruiting, the staffing agency will have more resources than you and will probably be better at finding the hard-to-find people than you would be.
How about cost? The cost will be pennies on the dollar more than doing it yourself, but factor in the time and energy you could have been expending on your business. You may find very quickly that working with a staffing agency makes you more profitable in the end. Also, staffing agencies have value added services like benefits to the workers, reduced risk from unemployment and workers’ compensation, drug testing, criminal background checks, social security checks, and a number of prescreening mechanisms to eliminate unqualified candidates.
What if you already know the person you want to hire? Great! You may still want to hire that person through a staffing company. Using a staffing company as an outsourced human resources department to perform payrolling functions will make your business less complicated. Let them handle taxes, benefits, and payroll so you can make your operations more profitable.
Being a business of one means you can be left without a trusted advisor to make important decisions. By working with a staffing agency, your network of advisors is expanded to include an external human resources department. Get to know the people recruiting for you and ask them any business related questions; staffing agencies are often hubs of social networks and can point you to someone able to answer your question even if they do not know the answer themselves.
There is no commitment to working with a staffing agency, so you have very little to lose and much to gain by exploring your hiring options as you business expands. People are the lifeblood of every business, so make sure you are getting the best help you can when you need it—for the duration you need it—and watch your business grow.