3 Inexpensive Ways to Hire a Talented Workforce

Finding new talent, training employees and managing a talented workforce is one of the largest expenses of a startup, but you can save cash by forgoing traditional employment...

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3. Outsourcing Employees

For highly-skilled employees such as software developers, web programmers, graphic designers or writers, outsourcing is often the best solution, especially for temporary staffing needs. You’ll get the flexibility of paying only for the work you need, and outsourcing frees up office space. You can benefit from two forms of outsourcing: domestic and overseas.

  • Benefits of Domestic Outsourcing

Many talented professionals in the U.S. work full-time as independent contractors, as opposed to working through an agency. They’ll either quote you an hourly rate, or provide you with a bid for a specific project.

Outsourcing locally removes potential language barriers. Especially for short-term projects, you may be able to get a more talented professional for your money than if you had to hire a full-time person with a high salary and benefits package.

  • Drawbacks of Domestic Outsourcing

Expect to pay more money for good workers. Independent contractors are responsible for paying their own payroll and self-employment taxes, and they’ll factor that into their rates.

Ask for a portfolio and references; some contractors are more reliable than others. If it matters, make clear any expectations regarding hours of availability for communication; many freelancers work in the middle of the night or have erratic schedules. Before choosing to outsource domestically, check the IRS rules regarding independent contractor status to ensure that the position meets the criteria.

  • Benefits of Overseas Outsourcing

If what you want is inexpensive labor, then this is the way to go. Professionals overseas work for as little as 25% of equivalent U.S. wages. You’ll typically find that work is completed in a fast, reliable manner. Look for a good overseas agency with excellent references and vet them carefully to get the best results.

  • Drawbacks of Overseas Outsourcing:

While you might save a lot of money, the quality of work may not be as high as that of domestic contractors. Sometimes that won’t matter—others times it matters a lot. Some work, such as written content, requires an awareness of American culture that overseas workers might not possess.

Keep Your Company Goals in Mind

Above all else, you have to find the best fit for your company’s needs. Before you jump into any method of hiring, consider what will work best for your startup. Each source of talent (including traditional hiring) has unique characteristics. You might find that hiring people using several methods is the best way to build an effective team.

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Nelson James is COO and Co-Founder of Signs.com. Signs.com offers custom banners, yard signs, decals and more for small businesses and individuals seeking a custom signage solution. Nelson also previously helped grow small businesses including his time as VP at Lendio and Co-Founder and President of SEO.com. Readers can connect through his company’s twitter account.

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