If your vacation rental business is growing, it may be time to consider how you can keep the same pace without burning out. The simple answer is to grow your rental team, whether you hire employees or start delegating tasks, such as marketing, to contractors so you can focus on the high-level business needs.
Before hiring anyone, consider what it looks like to actually grow your team and what you need to do to make it an effective way of expanding your business.
Consider a contractor versus employee
As you think about hiring, the first decision you have to make is whether you’re hiring a full-time or contract employee. The difference between the two is a legal distinction and it will also affect the overall cost.
For example, a full-time employee will not just cost the amount of their salary, but you’ll also need to cover payroll taxes and may even need to provide health insurance. However, this person operates as an employee of the business, therefore, their work can change on a day-to-day basis based on your business needs.
A contractor, on the other hand, legally works on a project basis. This means they have a specific project and receive payment, typically monthly or per project, for completing that work. The payment you agree on is the only cost for this type of employee.
According to Rocket Lawyer, misclassifying employees can land you in trouble with the IRS, so it’s important to understand the differences.
It’s wise to speak with a lawyer or attorney about what you need and whether a contractor would be a legally sound decision. This is a gray area for many businesses and not something you want to deal with down the road.
Look for hard and soft skills
As you consider who will be the right person for your position, you need to look at the broad areas of expertise as it pertains to hard skills – specific, trained abilities they’ve acquired through experience. For example, candidates who have worked in sales likely know how to use various software platforms proficiently. What hard skills will this new employee need to be successful?
However, don’t forget that soft skills are also important, including the ability to communicate, collaborate, adapt, solve problems and be creative. Soft skills may be harder to identify, so use these tips from SparkHire to get the insights you need when interviewing:
- Craft questions that reflect the specific soft skills you’re looking for
- Be specific
- Use objective tests, such as a personality test
- Gauge self-awareness through asking about past experiences of disappointment or failure.
Write the job description
Even if you think you already know who you want to hire, it’s important to have a job description. Once all the duties and requirements are on paper, you may realize the person you have in mind isn’t the right one after all. Conversely, this helps you set expectations for the person you’re hiring, so they know what their responsibilities will be.
Include all key duties, relevant experience and any preferred technical skills the role requires – like proficiency in specific vacation rental software. If you’re not sure where to start, look for similar job postings to get an idea of format and style.
Prepare for onboarding and training
After finding the right person (or people!) to join your team, it’s time to prepare the onboarding process. This will be their first impression of your company. Not only will it dictate how easy it is for them to jump into your business, but it’s also a critical element to ensure the hiring process runs smoothly.
According to TrainingIndustry, some of the key elements of a great onboarding program include initial orientation, in addition to functional training (software, routines, etc.) and team assimilation. For a vacation rental business, “team assimilation” may simply mean introducing the new employee to people they’ll be working with a lot. For example, cleaning staff or maintenance workers – even if these people don’t work for your company on a full-time basis.
Write up your onboarding plan before the new hire’s first day, preferably as a checklist so you don’t miss anything important.
Decide what benefits you’ll offer
Besides the aspects of recruitment, compensation and training, you also need to consider which benefits your team members can expect. A standard W-2 benefits package most often includes retirement, paid time off and health insurance. Depending on the size and model of the business, you might not be required to offer all of these, but medical coverage is an area of particular importance because this benefit drives more employee satisfaction than any other benefit, according to Glassdoor.
If you’re worried about costs, consider Small Business Health Options (SHOP) marketplace which enables your team – and yourself – to enroll in coverage if the business employs at least one full-time staff member. The guide, Shopping for Small Business Health Insurance, explains that you have access to a wide variety of plan options, including HMO, PPO, FFS and more. The more options you have, the greater the opportunity for you to find an option that’s best for your budget and your employees’ needs.
Get ready to hire
If you want to continue growing your team, you may need to bring someone on to take some work off your plate. Don’t jump into hiring, however, without considering all the details, including the type of employee, skillset needed and benefits you can offer. With all of this outlined and prepared, you can be sure to hire the best person for the job, allowing your business to move at the pace you need to grow and thrive.
About the Author
Jessica Thiefels has been writing for more than 10 years and spent the last five years in marketing. After stepping down from a senior marketing position, she’s focusing on growing her own startup and consulting for small businesses. Follow her on Twitter @JThiefels.