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Alternatives to Hiring

Alternatives to Hiring

Sometimes the best way to fill a vacancy in your company is not to hire anyone. Consider the following options before rushing out to hire a new employee.

  1. Outsource your work - If someone else can do a better job or if the project has a limited life span, it's often better to contract it out. At Wardell, for example, we out source most of our graphic design work. Many companies out source their bookkeeping, and some companies go so far as to out source their entire manufacturing process. It all depends on what works for you.

  2. Use temporary help - If your business involves seasonal or short-term work requiring little in the way of specialized training, you may want to hire or have a temp-agency supply you with temporary employees for those jobs.

  3. Share work with other businesses - Shared advertising, for example, can help a small business to achieve greater exposure for less cost.

  4. Shift work to your suppliers - If you have limited warehouse space, perhaps your supplier will store your products for you until you need them. A manufacturer's warranty is another way to shift work to your supplier. The supplier's warranty shifts the burden of equipment repair from your shoulders to theirs.

  5. Shift work to your customers - This includes any self-service activities such as banking machines where customers can do their own banking or cafeteria lines where customers can help themselves to food.

  6. Set up teams - Teams of individuals from various departments can be temporarily or permanently pulled together to handle special projects or larger customers. Teams can also be used to brainstorm new ideas. When setting up teams, it's usually best to establish a team leader who can keep the group on track. Some of the benefits of teams include:

  1. Improved quality- When two or more people focus on a shared outcome, the results are usually higher quality versus working individually.
  2. Better communication - The close working relationships of teams permit information to flow more freely.
  3. Multifunctional capabilities - Since teams are usually made up of individuals with complementing talents, they're capable of unusually broad tasks.
  4. Increased creativity - The free flow of ideas leads to more creative solutions.
  5. Greater productivity - Teams can get people excited about a project or task. They can foster a competitive spirit by offering a direct opportunity for shared success. Additionally, teams made up of individuals from different departments are better able to cut through the red tape that sometimes hinders the progress of larger projects.
  1. Cross-train your employees - This enables someone in one position do the work of another position. For example, if a key person is away, someone else can temporarily take his or her place. Depending on the complexity of the work, it can also make life more interesting for employees when they occasionally work different jobs. Try to keep the jobs in the same department to help avoid confusion over which manager they should report to.

A more common example is a job that's too small to justify a separate position in your company. In this instance it might be possible to combine two or more smaller positions into one. This can be especially useful for smaller businesses or for those with very few employees. When you do this, try to combine positions that are at least partially related to each other.