Hiring Help – Part 1 – Pros and Cons of Hiring Subcontractors
A courier service is, essentially, a one-person operation. This is only until it begins to acquire more and more clientele, however, and then there could be the need to hire additional staff or to subcontract some of the work.
Which is the best solution? That generally depends upon the individual business and the type of work required.
When a courier service is experiencing a seasonal increase in activity, such as times like tax season or the winter holidays, it is not a good idea to actually hire employees. Instead, it would be best to find a few reliable subcontractors.
One of the best ways to do this is to network with fellow couriers who are willing to work on such a basis.
Before just assuming that these individuals are always available for work, however, you should make a point of remaining in contact with them and always knowing when and if they can still provide some backup support. An experienced courier will generally know well in advance if they are about to get a surge in business, and they can prepare ahead of time for the rush.
There is a bit of a downside to this sort of approach because it is often difficult to get a subcontractor to follow the same customer service guidelines as the actual business owner. Additionally, they are not really under any set obligation to perform the work in the same manner as a full-time employee or owner either.
The solution is to actually use a written contract for the subcontractor. Don’t ever “seal the deal” with a simple handshake or a quick phone call. If someone is going to perform the duties that are the backbone of your business it is best to use a formal document that locks them into the work.
This contract can be quite simple, but it should dictate the exact terms under which the work must be done. This will generally eliminate any of the “cons” of working with subcontractors.