Suddenly you have too much work to do. Your stress level starts to rise. How are you going to meet all those deadlines? Maybe it’s time to hire someone—but before you do, here are some things to consider.
1. What is Your Biggest Need?
Identify what tasks are falling behind:
- Administration—answering the phone, running the office, bookkeeping;
- Research support—collecting or analyzing data;
- Senior tasks—more of the same work you do;
- Something else?
2. How Much Support Do You Need? For How Long?
Quantify your needs:
- How many hours per week?
- Full-time or part-time?
- One project or several?
- How long will the work last?
3. Where Will This Person Work?
Will it be your office or theirs? If it’s yours, think about office space, furniture, equipment, supplies. If it’s theirs, ask:
- Are their telephone and computer capabilities compatible with yours?
- Can they access the software and databases needed to do you work?
- How will you both share documents and files?
- Do they have the security requirements your clients need?
4. Do You Want to Be a Manager?
When you hire someone, you automatically become a manager. Are you ready for that? Think about:
- How long it will take to define tasks and make sure they get done;
- How you will supervise progress and communicate feedback;
- How you will ensure project quality, completeness, and timeliness.
5. What about Costs?
Finally, how much will this cost?
- Do you have enough confirmed contracts to afford this person?
- Is your cash flow predictable enough to pay them regularly?
- Have you explored taxes, benefits, and other payroll expenses?
- Do you know what governments require of employers?
Barrington, G. V. (2012). Consulting Start-up and Management: A Guide for Evaluators and Applied Researchers. Los Angeles: SAGE.
Next up: Insurance Primer
Thanks to Jan Upton and Danyell Lewis of Institutional Research Consultants, Ltd. for their insights.