If you are like me and are self-employed, then the time might come that you need to take on a staff member of two. If you want your business to grow, or it is getting out of hand as it is, and you feel constantly rushed off your feet, then it could be a good idea to employ staff. Whether full-time or part-time, though, there are things that you need to think about to make sure that you are doing the practice legally and lawfully.
Here are some suggestions and ideas for when it comes to taking your self-employment to the next level. It would be great to hear if you have any experience of this and what has worked for you; we’re all in this together!
Keep It Legal
In order to hire someone that will be on your payroll, rather than a freelancer, then you need to make sure that they have the legal right to work in the country that you’re in. So as part of the interview process, you will need to see documents from them that show their right to work in your country, whether through a passport, birth certificate, or visa. Keep a copy of it in their file, that you will also have to create. Then you have proof of what you have seen, and proof that all your employees and employed legally. It can get you into a lot of bother if they’re not!
There are several things to think about when it comes to wages. First of all, you need to think about what you are going to pay your staff. Will it vary or be dependent on experience? You also need to check what the legal requirements for pay are. In places like the UK there is a set minimum wage. But over in the US it can vary from state to state, as it is set by more local laws. So check what your requirements are there. But then, you need to think about how they will be paid. Will it be better for your business cash flow to pay them weekly, or would monthly be simpler for records? Will they get paid cash, or straight into their bank account? What kind of bonuses will there be and how will they be paid? Make a plan around wages, and then you can go from there. If you’re interested in having employees you may want to look into outsourcing your payroll through a company similar to Cloudpay (cloudpay.net).
Get Employment Insurance
As you will have now become an employer, even if you only have one part-time member of staff, you will need to get some employment insurance. The good news is that the cost of it will vary depending on the size of your team and what they do for work. But you still need it. Though you should be doing things in the right way, as well as keeping things legal, if there is anything in the workplace that causes an accident to you or your team members, then having insurance is a good idea, as well as looking for legal advice from somewhere like Reeves & Lyle, LLC. It is best to be covered and prepared when you’re an employer, as it is not just your life and earnings that are at stake.
The Recruitment Process
When you are taking on a team member, then you need to think about the kind of recruitment process that you’re keen to do. Would you just advertise locally and use social media? Or would you want to extend your reach? If you are going to have people share an office space with you, then it is a good idea to meet them in person for an interview. So that part of the recruitment process needs to be thought about too. A public place, unless you already have an office, is a good idea. What skills or experience are you trying to assess that they have? Make a list of the kinds of thing that you want to ask them, so that you don’t forget to mention anything. Remember to keep things professional; even if you’re a chilled out person, you want to make sure that they get a good impression of you and your business, as you do want them to work there.
If you think that you might not be quite ready for the world of being an employer, then you could consider working with freelancers instead. Unless you really need someone around all of the time, then they could be a good way to go. As freelancers can work remotely, it opens up your recruitment process for sure. They could be living abroad, for instance; they just need to have the right skills and experience that you’re looking for. In many ways, freelancers can be a little cheaper than full-time employees in the long term. As hourly rates go, freelancers are likely to charge more. But there are no other costs associated with a freelancer, and you only hire them for the project or work that you need them to do.
It won’t be the option for everyone, especially if you need something like a secretary or admin person, that will have to someone that can work with you in person. But for many jobs, like blog posts, social media, graphic design, payroll, or web design, they could be based elsewhere and be able to get the work done for you. Just consider things like an NDA (non-disclosure agreement), for example, as they are likely to be working with competitors and other brands or small businesses if they are a good freelancer.
Do you think you’ll be ready to take the next step to be become a fully-fledged employer soon? It could be just what you need to help turn your self-employment to the next level, and give your business the boost that it needs. When someone other than you is sorting the day to day running of things, you can think about the big decisions that are going to be the things to take it to the next level.