We’re Living In A Freelance World: Finding The Right Eggs For Your Business

You need more people on your team, so you write a job posting. That’s a great place to start – but wait, don’t post that job yet!

While it’s great to have a concrete sense of what skills and qualifications you’re looking for, there’s a chance you may not need them ALL of the time. I’ve spent the last decade acting as part-time HR resource for businesses that don’t need/want a full-time person, so I know of what I speak (or write).

So how will you know what will work for you?

Some things to consider when deciding whether to hire a full-time employee vs. a contractor or freelancer:

  • Do you have the budget for a full time resource? When you factor in full time salary, benefits, vacation pay and bonus, the cost of a full time employee can be quite high compared to a resource you pay on an ‘as needed’ basis.
  • Do we need a full time resource? Is this really a full time role that you need on a daily basis? Especially in the case of projects or new initiatives, the responsibilities at the outset are often vastly different from the requirements once the new innovation is in place or once you’ve reached a certain milestone in the project. In the case that there are some initial responsibilities that are highly specialized and strategic, it’s best to use a freelance resource for those responsibilities, then hire full time talent to handle the day-to-day requirements for the project or role.

Are there really high quality people who are consulting and freelancing?

Definitely. Flexible approaches to work are increasing in popularity. There are a growing number of professionals who seek more variety in their careers, want to have multiple streams of income and/or want to have more work/life balance. You can find more tactical resources, like designers and web developers, and even senior strategic ones, like Controllers and CMO’s.

Is ‘fit’ still important?

Not to the same extent as when you’re hiring a full time employee and you need them to be a ‘fit’ for your culture. But, ‘yes’ in terms of this person being an extension of your organization. It’s likely that in his or her role the consultant is dealing with third party vendors, clients and suppliers on your behalf and so it’s crucial that they conduct themselves in a way that is consistent with your brand and culture. You also want to make sure they work well with your team and don’t negatively impact any of your employees.

When it comes to staffing, you want to find good eggs you just may not need them living in your hen house.

Sari Friedman is a Human Resources Consultant and Coach who specializes in offering high-quality, sophisticated HR support and guidance.

Marketing Math: It’s Not Rocket Science

I know for many math feels just as daunting as rocket science (and more painful than root canal), but when it comes to making investment decisions for your business it all comes down to numbers.

I often have the same chicken and egg discussion (I’m saving the egg jokes for later) with a client. It goes something like this:

GE: “What’s your budget?”

CLIENT: “I’m not sure…you tell me how much it will cost”.

GE: “Do you have a range? Marketing budgets can vary greatly depending on your revenue and needs”

CLIENT: “How ‘bout you just tell me how much it will cost?”

GE: “Ok, it will cost $X”

CLIENT: “WTF? That’s way too much, I was thinking of spending $1500”.

Ok, I may be exaggerating, but you get the point.  And I’m not trying to be a math snob (yes, I did get a BA in Mathematics), but it’s really quite a simple equation. If you have certain goals for your business — grow revenue by 10%, get 1,000 new customers, increase site traffic by 20% — then, unless you are the rare but fortunate soul who comes up with some shocking and witty viral video, you most likely need to spend proportionately to reach your goals. So how much is that?

While everyone has different goals, and different measures for success, there are a few guidelines you can use to determine how much to spend and/or if you’re spending appropriately.

I came up with this handy dandy example to demonstrate. For the purpose of this illustration, I’ve made the assumption that “success” is a 4:1, or 400% ROI. This is based simply on what we’ve seen as an average expectation across the brands and businesses we’ve worked with.

Screen Shot 2016-04-03 at 11.51.41 AM

Of course, you can adjust the revenue and/or the growth target and/or the ROI but the outcome is the same. You get what you pay for (I’m pretty sure my fellow good egg Lori said a version of that last month). Put another way, you get out what you put in. That may be money, or time, or resources. It may be hard costs like creative development, media space or swag, or the addition of a member of the team; but whatever it is, I can assure you you will not reached the promised land without some skin in the game.

Do you love math now too? If you want to play with the numbers just like me, send me an email and I’ll send you my handy dandy spreadsheet.