Balancing your team for growth

balancing your team

Is it better to grow your business with freelancers or employees? Or is a mixture of both better for business growth?

Some people swear by having a fully outsourced team and others say never again. Which is right for you?

Some prefer to have a both.

How do you balance your team?

Too many freelancers

The great thing about working with freelancers is that they are running their own businesses and are not your employees.

But if you did not commit to them, they will have to go and sell their services (and their time) elsewhere.

Remember if you are not paying them, they are not promised to support you

A few years ago a thriving tech company found the entire team of Directors had to sit on their helpline for three days. All their freelance support team had spontaneously decided to do other things. The Directors’ habit of not telling people in advance if they had work had backfired.

Between people who had decided to take a few days off and people who said yes to other assignments, there was no one left to log on on Monday morning.

The start-up flexibility that had stood the Directors well in their early growth stage was letting them down. They were servicing a predictable regular demand without a regular workforce. And this was causing great disruption and stress to all concerned.

We helped them sign longer-term appropriate employment contracts with workers whose skills were in constant demand. We helped them contract for outsourced support for the occasional high tech query or holiday cover.

As a result, the Directors went back to doing what they did best.

Too many employees

Employment can offer stability and predictability to employers and employees. Well at least as much as there is in these fast-changing times. But this can leave a business with employees to pay and no work to do. This is a real worry for growing businesses.

Employees need paid annual leave, sick leave and the occasional parental leave. Their colleagues may not always have the skills or experience to step in a fill the gap. All too often it is the boss stepping up again to fill in.

This is where self-employed locums, freelancers, or outsourced teams can help. Having a team of outsourced people you can turn to can allow you to carry on doing your job.

But only if you plan it and contract people properly. Don’t leave it too late either! Interviewing potential freelancers when you are already short-staffed is time-consuming. And onboarding can go wrong if done in a hurry.

Planning for growth without planning for people to do the work is extremely stressful

Balancing is an ongoing process

Your business needs to balance the growth and people regularly. It’s not one of those jobs you can say you did last year so you don’t need to do it again. In the middle of the ‘great resignation,’ you may find you need to move more rapidly than ever to sustain your growth and customer satisfaction. Make sure you check whether you have the right people on the right contracts.

And if you are not sure, have a quick chat with us.

In our previous article we talked about which is best for you – employee or freelancer click here to view.

In our next article, we will be talking about how to balance home and office working with your mixed workforce.

About the Author Annabel Kaye

We founded Irenicon in 1980 to help employers make employment law work for them. We were always a mixed disciplinary practice – something quite revolutionary at the time. Over the years we have worked with some wonderful organisations, pushing the boundaries of how employment law can really be made to work without restricting the flow of the organisation.

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