The Recruiting Dilemma for Small Business Outsource or Hire


Zach Lezberg

By: Zach Lezberg, Small Business Expo CEO

So your business has taken off the ground. You’ve signed new deals, brought on new clients and seen demand for your products or services grow at an increasing rate. Now it’s time to bring in more help. But one of the toughest questions a small business owner has to ask is: when should I outsource work to contractors or consultants and when should I hire someone internally to carry out the necessary functions needed to maintain and grow my business?

Recruiting staff for the first time is a significant task for a small business owner and not one to be taken lightly. Seeking extra help means finding the right people for your team, people who will make a massive and positive difference to your business – and this can take a lot of time, effort and resources!

When hiring employees, there are several options for you to consider. Not every employee needs to be in office, full time or part time. In some instances, outsourcing work may just be exactly what you need for your business.

Before you start bringing in additional help, you should first evaluate what positions you need to fill, and what kind of functions are typically outsourced. For example, administrative tasks, accounting and bookkeeping, customer service, copywriting and/or social media marketing, graphic and web design, and IT operations are all roles that are usually outsourced, particularly in the early stages of a company’s growth. Ideally, outsourcing is best for when you have a need for occasional work that is beyond your scope, and it can work well in terms of managing your budget since you only pay when assistance is needed. Only if your strategy includes ongoing specialized projects does it make sense to hire someone full time.

Another way to help you determine whether you should outsource or hire internally is to gauge whether the job requires developing strategies that are essential to the long term success of your business.  Anything strategic should be handled by an employee and should not be outsourced to an individual. When handling jobs that are strategically important, it’s best to have a full time employee in office who is there at all times and vested in every business decision that requires strategic alignment.

Finding the right person can be a difficult task, and one of the challenges small business owners face is attracting talent that normally have a preference for working in large organisations. As a small business, you have a number of advantages, such as variety, flexibility, opportunity to work with senior managers, career growth, and closer and more effective team structures – so be sure to promote these during the recruitment process.