How To Staff Your Small Business

Many small businesses are run by a small group of people, sometimes a family, a few friends, or a person with a few employees. If you find yourself struggling to get work done and are in need of a few extra hands, read on to find the best type of worker for your business.

Full-time employees

One great option for new hires is someone who you will be hiring full time to work for you. Full-time workers are usually looking to stay at a place for at least three to five years and are typically going to stay longer at a company than any other type of employee. But since they’re devoting that much time, they will be expecting benefits and other compensation that most of the other non-full-time workers don’t receive.

Pros: Full-time employees have a strong potential for higher productivity, service consistency, retention rates, employee loyalty, and team unity all due to their job security. Since full-time workers usually have one job (They’re only working for you), you can rest assured that their full efforts are being put toward your company.

Cons: When hiring full-time employees, you need to take into consideration that you will have to pay higher compensation and benefit costs, and it will take longer to find the best full-time employees. You, as the employer, must also help pay for and help take care of full-time employee training and professional licensing even if it is just once when they join your business.

Part-time employees  

Another option for new staff at your company is part time employees. Part-time employees work less than a traditional 40-hour workweek; however, there is no set definition of what a part-time employee is according to the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Pros: When you hire part-time employees, there are reduced compensation/benefit costs. Unlike full-time employees, you are not always required to provide benefits or certain compensation for part-time employees. A part-time job may also be attractive to specific demographics for potential employees (like students) because it allows greater schedule flexibility for employer and employee. Part-time employees give employers the ability to adjust staff levels for customer demand, are available to handle extra workloads, and can also sub in for regular employees who are out.

Cons: Major downfalls of part-time employees are less employee loyalty, higher turnover, inconsistent employee productivity, and elevated training costs. Because they are not at work every day or all the time, there can be consistency problems that arise.

Independent Contractors

Independent contractors are defined by the Internal Revenue Service as “People…who are in an independent trade, business, or profession in which they offer their services to the general public.” Independent contractors only really work as and when required and are paid as freelancers.

Pros: Hiring a contractor will save you money overall because you aren’t required to pay for benefits or commit to a salary. They also provide greater flexibility (if it isn’t a good match, you don’t have to hire again or can fire on the spot, which is easier than firing an employee), and there is no need for training since you use someone with a specific service. They are also responsible for their own permits and licenses, are a good option for short-term assignments with start and end dates, and complete tasks in a quick turnaround time.

Cons: The hourly rate/ rate per job for a contractor is more expensive than one of a full-time employee, and the employer has less control over how tasks are performed. Contractors also have no company loyalty and usually will not go out of their way to promote your brand.


Usually an internship consists of an exchange of services for experience between a person and an organization. An intern can be a high school student, college student, university student, or a post-graduate seeking on-the-job experience. These internships can also be paid or unpaid but are usually temporary unpaid positions.

Pros: Interns are great for testing out new positions or one you’re not sure will pan out as a full-time position. Providing an internship program allows for a variety of people to test out this position and also gives the possibility of a new full-time employee if both the intern and the position work out. Interns also provide additional manpower for short-term support and bring in fresh ideas. If you have young tech-savvy interns, they can help with technology in addition to projects or tasks you’re having difficulty completing.

Cons: Interns don’t always show up on time, they need training, and if intern doesn’t work out prior to end date of contract, it can be difficult to break contract early.

If you are a small business owner looking for help, these are some of the options for how to staff your company. There are great benefits to each option and some might just seem better for your company than others. Your company may need a temporary helper, in which case a contractor or an intern may be a better option for you. Otherwise, a long term employee like a full- or part-time employee may be more helpful for your company. There are so many different options to use to staff your small business, so only you in the end can make the best decision based on your company’s needs.

Want to dig deeper?