Many business owners experience a fear of hiring, especially when hiring for the first time. These hiring fears stem from concerns that are all too real. There are solutions to each of them, however, and this post will walk you through them to help ease your mind.
We have targeted here the 5 most common hiring fears that we’ve encountered and broken them down for you.
1. Hiring Employees
Most businesses nowadays, particularly smaller ones and newer ones, shy away from hiring employees. Even hiring just one employee is a huge responsibility:
- You have to be able to prove that you can pay a salary month to month. Otherwise, you may face serious government inquiries.
- You need to provide an employee with a decent workspace, the various pieces of equipment they will use at work, and government mandated benefits.
- You may also need to offer some juicy incentives to attract quality candidates.
- You have to pay them whether or not they have any work to do, plus pay overtime and holiday pay if you want them to work outside of regular hours.
- If the time comes when your business can no longer support this expense, you must be able to provide a suitable severance package to avoid blowback, which can be very costly as well.
The duty that you have to an employee and the expense that comes along with hiring one makes this one of the biggest hiring fears. It’s just too much for most businesses to take on – even just the thought itself of having to take care of all of these things is already a burden.
Solution: Hire freelancers.
The hiring fears you may have about supporting a regular worker can be quickly dispelled when you shift your focus to hiring freelancers instead.
You don’t have to worry about full support for a freelancer since they are independent contractors who do not require security (nor are they entitled to it by law). They are business owners like you, so they take care of their own medical insurance, etc. They also mostly work remotely, so they take care of finding their own workspaces, and they have their own equipment and sometimes even all the tools that they’d need for whatever you’re hiring them to do.
That’s already a huge load off both expense-wise and duty-wise. But hiring freelancers is also less expensive because you aren’t hiring them on full time or even part time like you would have to for most employees. You pay a freelancer only for work actually done, and you don’t usually have to guarantee them a fixed number of hours. When the work is done, you shake hands and that’s the end of it.
2. Hiring Remote
Ironically, perhaps, the second among our top hiring fears is hiring remote. At first glance, the big reduction in expense and legal responsibility is very attractive to business owners. When looking more closely into hiring remote, however, several concerns inevitably crop up:
How do I control someone who works far away from me?
When you’re used to a hiring culture where everyone is in the same room or at least the same building, it can be difficult to imagine strong collaboration happening among people in different locations. What if they are half way across the world from you and each other?
Distance is often associated with a lack of control because, well, we’re human. When the cat is away, as they say, the mice will play. But that’s only true if you’ve failed to hire people with a good work ethic. Let’s face it, even people working on the same floor can easily find ways to get out of doing actual work if that’s what they’ve got their minds set on doing.
Solution: Hire for integrity, not just skill or rate.
The distance-control correlation is an illusion. If you hire people who have strong values, it won’t matter how far away they are. They will be motivated and disciplined, working hard and delivering on time because they have an innate respect for others and hold themselves to a high standard.
Won’t a freelancer be less productive than an employee?
As above, true productivity rests on a foundation of integrity. You may be able to push the guy in the next cubicle to churn faster with threats, but that never ends well. At best, you get a temporary burst of energy, then they flatline. The carrot is always better than the stick, and even better is not needing a carrot at all.
Solution: Find career freelancers.
Remote contractors who have made a career out of freelancing are passionate about their niches. Just like you, they had the drive to break free from the secure world of employment and set out on their own. They love what they do so much that it is enough to dispel their fears about the uncertainty of having no security.
They work because they love it. They don’t need incentives to make them work. So you don’t need to worry about whether or not they will produce. They will because it’s what they want to do. Again, human nature, only this time, they want what you want.
How do I know the freelancer won’t just up and leave?
Another real concern of business owners hiring remote is having nothing to hold over hires to keep them onboard. Freelancers are free agents, unlike employees who are bound by employment contracts. What’s to stop a freelancer from dropping you on the spot when a better offer comes along?
But at this point, you probably aren’t so concerned about freelancer loyalty, since we already spoke about focusing on integrity and passion. Still, that doesn’t guarantee that a freelancer won’t leave suddenly, say, if there’s a death in the family or they simply don’t like you. They are independent after all, enjoying their freedom as you do, and may decide to focus on what serves them best rather than be swayed by ethics.
Solution: Hire through a good marketplace.
With freelancers, the only guarantee that you can hope for is from a freelance marketplace that offers one. This means hiring freelancers through a marketplace that offers full support.
Many platforms offer a place where freelancers and clients can post for free, which is attractive, but that isn’t enough. You need to know that the platform will back you up if a hire decides to quit. Better yet, a marketplace that has a system in place to dissuade freelancers from dropping clients, and if it does happen, to make sure it never happens again.
FreeeUp is one such marketplace. They have a no-turnover guarantee that assures you of an immediate replacement if any hire quits. That freelancer will also not be permitted to take on new clients through the marketplace if they have broken confidence in this manner without good reason.
But really, why would you want to have to force people to stay with you anyway? Wouldn’t it be better to have people who want to be there? Making a bad hiring decision can happen, and having a no-turnover guarantee helps save you from a suddenly vacant seat, but if you focus on hiring good people, you will rarely if ever face the problem of a sudden no-show.
3. The Right Fit
Once these initial hiring fears are gone, concerns about the right fit are bound to surface. Most business owners worry about finding the right person to support their business. Others worry about losing that person after all the effort they know it will take to find them.
Very legitimate concerns, of course. It’s not easy to find that one person who is just perfect for a certain role, let alone a perfect fit for your unique business needs and culture.
Solution: Hire remote freelancers and manage them effectively.
Yes, again, hiring remote freelancers is the answer to finding the right fit. This of course includes the freelancer characteristics mentioned above. However, it is also the case by virtue of a simple fact: availability. There is a vastly greater opportunity open to you when hiring remote freelancers versus employees.
You can hire freelancers from anywhere in the world without them having to move to your location or having any concerns at all about getting to the office for that matter. This makes it much easier to find someone who suits all your needs. It’s that simple.
For the answer to properly managing remote freelancers to make sure they stay with you, we go to the next fear, leadership.
Hiring fears aren’t just about the people you hire. From time to time, we meet business owners who haven’t taken the hiring leap yet because they lack confidence in their own abilities. It’s not a huge problem, though, because leadership can be developed even if it’s not one of your innate talents.
Solution: Learn to Manage Effectively.
Managing people that you hire will always be challenging to some degree. If you aren’t a good manager, good people may not want to stay with you because they feel underappreciated, can’t see how they contribute, and the like.
Management can be a positive rather than a negative challenge, however, if you know the tricks of the trade.
Good leadership builds a strong community.
Do you have a company culture? Frankly, every company does. Many times, though, it isn’t recognized. Make an effort to find your company culture and nurture it, weeding out the negative aspects and encouraging the positive ones.
Realize also that this culture is based not only on your mission, vision and core values but also on the people that are part of the business. Sometimes, you have to do some weeding here, too. And moving forward, make it a point to hire people who will make a positive contribution to the culture that you want to foster.
Managing remote hires is very different from managing in-house workers.
Communication is always important, but it needs to be more structured and better monitored when you work with remote hires.
You need to make it a point to gather for check-ins and meetings regularly because you can’t just pop over to someone’s desk – they are likely in a different time zone and could be sleeping when your best ideas dawn on you. You also need to make a greater effort to express yourself clearly and encourage hires to do the same. Remember that with remote communication, you won’t be able to easily read body language and facial cues – or even verbal ones, for that matter, if you primarily use chat to communicate.
Organization is another vital component of any successful business. And it needs to be even better to keep remote work rolling.
You may not be the most organized person, but like leadership, this can be learned. You can also hire someone to keep you organized if you just can’t find the time to do it or are at a loss as to where to begin. Just remember that it’s important to keep things orderly when you’re working with others. You may be used to your mess, but others will not be so easily able to find their way around it. This dampens spirits and hinders productivity. Get organized so you can show hires that you’ve got it together, then you can expect the same from them.
Rapport is also an important part of any strong working relationship.
Part of this will be taken care of by the efforts you make to build your community culture. But it’s more difficult to form strong relationship bonds when there is little or no opportunity for face-to-face interaction. You need to make up for this by initiating and maintaining closer contact. Of course, you should plan to meet in person at least once and ideally again over time with freelancers you work with longer.
Hiring fears are common among business owners. Even corporations can feel that twinge when it comes time to take on new faces. But hiring doesn’t have to be scary when you know the facts and have the tools to do it the right way.
If you’re ready to try it out, sign up for a free FreeeUp account today and put in a request. You’ll never know if all this advice works until you try it, right?
Julia Valdez is a professional teacher and decades-long lover of the art of words on paper, the stage and the big screen. She spends most of her time doing freelance eCommerce content and project management, adventuring with the Greenhouse Christian Fellowship, volunteering with the Philippine Advocates for Resilient Communities, and sharing lots of laughs over little crazy things.