As a staffing company, we’ve heard a lot of business owners talk about the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Owners say they’re not sure what they’re going to do. They want to grow their businesses. They want to hire people. But they’re afraid if they get too big they’ll get slammed with expensive healthcare coverage complications. They want to do what’s best for their customers, current employers and bottom line. But they’re not sure what the best thing is.
Running a small business that is also a staffing company gives us a unique perspective on this issue. We understand that every dollar counts when you’re an entrepreneur. The current ACA rules state that once a company grows beyond 50 full-time employees (working at least 30 hours per week each), they must either offer all their employees affordable health care or pay a stiff fine.
If you see your business growing past 50 employees in the coming years, or if you’re close to there now, the ACA might be the catalyst you need to reconsider your overall staffing policies.
Often small businesses track their growth by how many full-time employees they bring onboard, but larger companies think in terms of job function and output. Not everyone who works at your company needs to be full-time and not everyone needs to work for you directly. This is something we encourage for all small businesses regardless of size.
Consider a firm who produces something with a strong seasonal demand. Their bottom line is best served by employing workers when they need them and lightening up their staff when they don’t. By having flexibility in selecting among full-time, part-time, temporary and offsite help, companies can better match their staff ing ratios to their deliverables.
Another solution is to partner with a respected staffing firm. This is something larger firms have done for years. Rather than hiring and firing an increasingly larger workforce, companies let a staffing specialist identify and deliver workers who commit to specific projects, outputs or functions as needed. The workers are employed by the staffing agency, who provides them with benefits and services.
It’s important to identify a staffing partner you trust to treat workers fairly. Happy people make the best employees. Workers get career flexibility and the ability to work with an array of great companies, while the companies save money on hiring, firing, advertising open positions, worker’s compensation and other employment expenses.
If these types of flexible arrangements haven’t been part of your company’s strategies before, they should be now. Not only do they make solid economic sense, they also keep you hiring and growing.
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