Becoming an employer as opposed to using freelance staff is a big responsility, so weigh up the pros and cons carefully

With the growth of the business, you are finding that an increasing amount of your time is spent on admin matters, at the expense of fee earning. Sending out fee accounts and chasing up the money is your number one task. Placing orders for supplies and making payments; organising your freelance staff; VAT; basic book keeping and liaison with your accountant takes its toll on your time.

You are by now spending the equivalent of one day a week on admin. It doesn’t take a degree in maths to work out that it would be more financially advantage to the company if you employed somebody to undertake these tasks, leaving you free to earn more fees or garner in work.

Decision made, but where does one start looking? You had considered temp to perm, which gives you an opportunity to employ a person for a short period of time, to see how it works out, before making a permanent appointment. This system has its advantages, but suggests an inability to assess people properly at interview and doesn’t appeal to you.

A tasteful advertisement in the local newspaper seems a good place to start. The response, with regard to the numbers of applicants and the variations in skills being offered, was amazing. You were stuck for choice; but what sort of person were you looking for?

Employing freelance staff is one thing, becoming an employer is a completely different kettle of fish. Barely a day goes by without a story appearing in the press, reporting an employer taking a caning at an employment tribunal for non-compliance with the Employment Regulations. Still if you are to make progress, there is a need to move forward.

From the sackful of applications, you chose 12 for close consideration and then got the list down to six for interview.

At first sight, you knew that the second interviewee in the afternoon was the one you were looking for. Firm handshake and looked you straight in the eye.


What is you interviewing technique? You recall reading an article offering advice on the does and don’ts of interviewing, but it all seemed a distant memory. However one or two bits of advice stuck; let the interviewee do most of the talking; make sure you check qualifications properly and ask for references from past employers.

You decided to get the lot over in one day, three in the morning and the same after lunch, allowing an hour for each one. The morning over and you hadn’t seen anybody to whom you would consider offering the job. In such a close working environment, all things being equal, it comes down to the personal chemistry.

At first sight, you knew that the second interviewee in the afternoon was the one you were looking for. Firm handshake and looked you straight in the eye. A bit unusual, in that he was ex-RAF with all his experience gained whilst in the service.

His skills were second to none, as good training in all aspects of service life in the RAF, whether front line or back of house, are of a first rate order. IT, typing, book keeping, he had the lot. You also knew, by instinct, that time keeping and discipline would be no problem.

He would be in charge and everything would be ship shape and Bristol fashion.