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Why some SME's are choosing not to hire ...

Posted by Jacqui Frost on 20/02/2012

I had a blog post all planned out for today, in fact it was part written until the Government announced last week that unemployment had risen again to its highest since 1996. Two thirds of the 48,000 increase are thought to be women and there are a record number of people who want to work full time but have settled for part time ...

unemployment is climbing as businesses choose to outsource rather than hire

unemployment is climbing as businesses choose to outsource rather than hire

Why should that change my plans? Can I explain the unemployment figures? Am I an expert on the current economic climate? Well the answer to the last two questions is no - I'm not an expert nor can I explain the unemployment figures. But as to the first question - perhaps I can give a little insight.

As one of millions of small business owners, I know and understand the daily pressures of balancing the purse strings against a mounting To-Do List. There are often (and I mean weekly and I suspect for some daily) times when there are not enough hours in the day for me to achieve everything I want to achieve for my business. And the obvious solution is to hire someone to do them for me.

But - and I don't know about you - how/where do you find the time and the money to recruit someone? It's not just about the process; getting an advert out there or hiring an agency to find you someone, sifting through those CV's, holding interviews (telephone and face to face) - you then have to train them up.

Then there is the equipment. There is no point hiring someone if you haven't got a chair for them to sit on, a desk for them to sit at, a computer to work on or a telephone to receive calls on. Suddenly preparing for their arrival is expensive!

And we have yet to bone up on HR law or draw up written contracts that are fair and just for both parties without holding either to ransom. We will also have to write a health and safety policy, internet usage/social media at work policy, a fire escape plan, a risk assessment or a grievance procedure! Then there's calculating annual leave for part timers, breaks legally required within the working hours and finally decisions on pay.

Frankly it can be a minefield without the proper guidance and can you afford to pay for HR Services on top of the agency finder's fees and the monthly salary? And that I think is why many people on the cusp of expanding choose to outsource. It's what Nigel Botterill would describe as a risk free solution. By outsourcing things like your telephone call handling, admin/secretarial work and/or bookkeeping, you buy yourself time without the headaches that go with hiring staff.

Usually your supplier for these services will have a contract already drawn up for you to sign, they will advise you of the fees and it's just down to you to agree a package that fits. A good provider will design a bespoke solution that meets your needs and if it doesn't work out you can cancel the service and find another one without facing tribunals, legal costs etc.

Perhaps that does explain why unemployment is at its highest in 16 years. As small companies outsource rather than hiring receptionists, PA's, administrators and secretaries, it means there are less jobs available.

But that doesn't mean the work isn't out there. We are finding more and more new clients are ringing up to take up our Telephone Answering and Secretarial services each week. As the experts say - in the current climate you have to become savvy with your marketing in order to survive. And if you haven't time to send out mailings/information packs or answer the calls when the marketing kicks in, then how exactly will you grow your business?

Whilst you continue to provide your customers with great products and services let us handle the phone calls and the admin for you. Call us on +44 (0) 845 901 1803 for our Call Handling Services, or to hire us as your Virtual Assistant.

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