For Your Next Hire, Think Out of the Box -
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For Your Next Hire, Think Out of the Box

When you think about hiring, do you automatically think of hiring a full-time, permanent employee? There are many other options for hiring that can save you money, expand your range of possibilities and give you access to skills and talents you might not otherwise have. Here are four “out of the box” hiring options to consider.

  1. Hiring seniors. More employees over 55 are staying in the work force longer, so even if you are looking for full-time employees, those in their 50s, 60s and even 70s could be part of your talent pool. However, seniors are also a good bet if you’re looking for part-time or seasonal employees. Many retired seniors want to stay active and engaged by working, but don’t want full-time hours. By hiring a retired senior as a part-timer or consultant to your business, you might be able to access years of experience without paying full-time salary and benefits.
  2. Hiring stay-at-home moms. Similar to seniors, many stay-at-home moms formerly held jobs (often quite high-powered) and while they can’t go back to work full-time just yet, many are itching to use their skills and earn money. Consider seeking out stay-at-home moms if you are looking to fill a job that offers flexible hours (while the kids are in school) or can be done from home.
  3. Hiring interns. High school and college student interns can be valuable to your business, but it’s important to know the rules relating to interns. Check with your state department of labor to see if your state allows unpaid internships or if interns must be paid. Either way, for a job to qualify as an internship, the employee must learn about your industry and gain useful skills during the period of employment—they can’t just be filing or making coffee. The bonus for you is that if you find a great student intern, you can groom the person for a full-time job when he or she graduates.
  4. Hiring virtual employees. Virtual assistants (people who work remotely helping you with all the tasks an administrative assistant would do) are probably the best-known type of virtual employee, but in reality you can hire people to work virtually for a wide range of jobs. Hiring a virtual employee is especially useful for companies that need specialized skills which may not be available in their local area. It can also be a way to tap into specialized skills for less—for instance, a Silicon Valley tech company could save money by hiring virtual tech workers from an area of the country where the cost of living, and thus salaries, are lower. If you hire a virtual employee, it’s important to be aware of tax laws (if the person lives in another state), make sure you understand whether the person is classified as a true employee or an independent contractor (again, this affects how you handle their tax withholding), and put systems in place for effective communication with and management of the remote worker.

Image by Flickr user Creative Tools (Creative Commons)

Rieva Lesonsky

Rieva Lesonsky

Rieva Lesonsky is CEO of GrowBiz Media, a media and custom content company focusing on small business and entrepreneurship. Email Rieva at, follow her on Google+ and, and visit her website,, to get the scoop on business trends and sign up for Rieva’s free TrendCast reports.
Rieva Lesonsky

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