The keys to part-time hiring success for small-medium businesses — Part 2
In the first installment of this two-part Q&A, Vantiv reseller and ISV business advisor Jim Roddy walked us through some of the best practices for SMBs hiring and managing part-time staff during and between an organization’s busy seasons. In Part 2, we ask Jim to talk about compensation and compliance.
Q: Back in part 1 of this Q&A, you said that if you can measure it, you can manage it. Where is the best place for SMBs to look when making informed, business decisions?
One of the best sources of data for SMBs lies in the software they use. Businesses that have vertical specific software will help take care of the data pulls and analytics that an organization needs to be successful. Why? Because it is designed to track all the relevant key performance indicators (KPIs) that your vertical market should measure against – KPIs that report profits and losses, sales numbers, number of hours billed, etc. SMBs should begin by conducting research into the software that best suits its business needs, which often includes partnering with a trusted IT or software solutions provider for your vertical. This is the only way to cut through the noise of hundreds of software providers to ensure that the data collected and analyzed most effectively meets the needs of your organization.
Q: What is the biggest compliance issue an SMB needs to consider when bringing on part-time staff?
Due to the varying nature of many niche SMBs and the infinite number of vertical markets these businesses serve, it’s difficult to narrow down a single most-important compliance issue. However, I always advise SMBs need to look before they leap – never assume what you know or have heard through the grapevine is up-to-date with current law as changes can be made overnight. So, for SMBs looking to bring on part-time staff, make sure you enlist the services of a compliance expert to detail how – and how much – you’ll have to compensate your employees, as well as other legalities you need to consider.
There are some things where you’ll want to save money, maybe use a coupon or discount voucher. Legal advice when hiring workers IS NOT one of them – be sure to use a trusted, verified source for your compliance needs. And don’t fret, this isn’t too long of an ordeal – it can often be taken care of in one or two simple phone calls.
Q: What are the traits that SMBs should look for in part-time employees they are considering hiring full-time?
At the risk of sounding old-fashioned, I believe that SMBs should look long and hard at employees that show up early, stay late, and take the initiative to do as much as they can for the organization in the little time they have. Don’t get me wrong, raw talent is very important and a trait that is very difficult to find and unlock. However, when your window of opportunity is so small, as it is with part-time work, SMBs should place a premium on those workers who really gave it all their effort and show an eagerness to learn and get better. It’s this kind of dedication and commitment that helps drive results for SMBs, where intangibles can make all the difference.
Q: What about employees destined to leave – like in the case of students going back to school? How should employers deal with such departures?
The end of a temporary tenure creates a host of new opportunities for SMBs. Not only can they can be proponents of your organization, but they can help you build a web and network of people (including potential employees) you want associated with your business.
All of this is predicated on the “how” part of the equation. Step one is that employers need to treat their part-time employees with respect and ensure they have a great experience while on the job. Step two is once the part-time hire leaves, SMBs should keep in contact via one or multiple touchpoints, such as email, social media, phone, etc. Not only does this show you value and appreciate the employee’s work, but it also leaves the door open for them to help your organization in the future – whether as a part-time hire, a full-time hire or a word-of-mouth marketer sharing glowing reviews of your company with their friends and family (many of whom may also be looking for part-time work). While all different, each of the benefits listed have one thing in common – it will make hiring going forward much easier while improving the perception of your business.
Q: Any last words of wisdom for SMBs looking to hire part-time employers?
Only that I hope SMBs understand that any and all hiring decisions are unique. Businesses may have similarities, but no two organizations are completely alike. Whether it’s the talent you hire, the training you offer, or the managerial style you employ, every business is different. While there most certainly are best practices to follow and rules-of-thumb all SMBs should adhere to when hiring and retaining part-time staff, the golden rule is to start by evaluating your business needs.