An unstable economy creates challenges for individuals at all levels of a business. If you’re a business owner, you may be tasked with deciding when you should resume your previous hiring practices. It’s common during recessions for businesses to lay off workers and overload the remaining staff members. This solution only works to a certain extent, particularly if your business is continuing to grow.
Managing Fewer Workers During a Recession
If your business is going along smoothly, your profits are rolling in and your workers are productive and healthy, you have nothing to worry about. The challenge arises when your business starts to improve and your existing workers are clearly overloaded. This is usually apparent when they start calling in sick more often, exhibiting negative attitudes, complaining regularly or becoming apathetic about the quality of their work. If you see these signs, it’s time to take some action. This is especially critical if these issues arise with workers who were previously motivated and high performing.
Hire Freelance Employees
If the work is clearly too much for your existing staff, consider hiring freelance employees. These employees are generally willing to work hard and keep the employer happy. You won’t have the obligation of paying for health insurance, time off or other benefits. Your regular staff will become energized by having to work fewer hours. You may even find that with more time off and rest, your salaried staff will be more productive than they were working long days.
Hire Short-Term Contract Employees
If your business is clearly bringing in profits but you are not ready to commit to hiring full-time salaried people, contract employees might be the solution. Contract employees are technically freelancers who sign a contract with you for a specific time period (e.g., three to six months). With this arrangement, you get the full-time help that you need without the long-term commitment. You might also have the option of hiring the contract employee as a salaried employee if it becomes mutually beneficial.