Forget permanent, think flexible recruitment

November 19th, 2013

One challenge that faces all growing businesses is when is the best time to add more staff to your team? Who do you need first and who can you 18402538_swait for? How will you find the right person and can you afford to hire them or afford not to hire them?

This dilemma is particularly stressful for micro businesses that are in the first or second stage of growth. The reality for most companies is that recruitment is really tricky to get right. So why recruit?

Imagine that you were making a film. You might have a few permanent employees but the majority of your team will be hired on a contact. That’s the experts; the cameramen, actors, make-up artists, cooks, runners, editors etc. You might end up with over 100 staff whilst making the film but when it’s all finished 95% of them will walk away and onto another project as well as becoming part of another team to deliver something exceptional.

So rather than recruit permanent staff, consider how you can build a flexible team – buying the resources you need when you need them.

1. Build a team that you need for now not for ever.

2.  Don’t assume that you have to hire a permanent employee, consider

  • A temp
  • An interim
  • An apprentice or intern
  • Part timers with scope to increase their hours
  • Flexible hours contracts
  • Contractor or freelancers

3. Think about who you need now – the person you need to set up a project may not be the same as the person who will run the ‘business as usual’ aspect.

4. Consider what you can outsource to free up the resources that you already have.

Flexibility will be the name of the game for future team building. But whatever happens, recruitment whether it is permanent or on a contractual basis (including outsourcing), needs your full attention to make sure you give yourself the best chance of getting the right person first time.


Shirley Mansfield is a highly experienced business coach and Master Problem Solver. With over 25 years’ experience, she founded CoachSME in 2011 to work with business owners to maximise growth, and she is still trying to reduce the 14 handicap! Keep up to date by following me on Twitter @coachsme