Hiring/Dealing with Part Time Help or Outsource?


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For those with a full-time business, I'm curious as to how you handle(d) hiring qualified woodworkers for part time work. As part of that, how do you handle the potential of accidents and such? I have been super swamped, luckily my customers have been willing to wait (months), but I'm sure that will end sometime. I'm wondering if it would be best to have someone part time or to outsource parts of the builds. Thoughts??

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I think, regardless of the business, you need to consider quality first and cost as a close second. If you can’t control both, then turn down the overload. Customers will appreciate the honesty as opposed to getting a raw deal. 

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Just guessing, but I think you might be safest to hire an 'independant contractor', rather than a part-time employee. But honestly, a chat with your lawyer and insurance carrier is probably a good idea before hiring. Farming out part of the work is a viable alternative, but Coop's point about quality control will be a big issue of risk.

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If they’re working for you in your shop, you should get an insurance policy. 

Be careful classifying them as an independent contractor. Make sure you know and understand the differences, which vary by state. While you may be able to fly under the radar, this has been under a lot of scrutiny. 

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I agree that if you try to go independent contractor the burden of proof is on you, and in the setting of a woodworking company it's unlikely to pass an audit.  

In addition to insurance, and if you haven't already done so, you would probably be wise to incorporate your business as an SC or LLC so that your personal assets are protected.  Such incorporation is not costly or difficult and can help with keeping track of business expenses.

Getting back to your original question I think it may come down to how well you work and play well with others--and whether you can find a guy or gal with skills of their own, but who understand that at the end of the day he or she is there to build your projects.  

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