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Your dilemma is shared by many in our field. The questions you raise are
really about finding a new employee without losing time, your shirt or
hiring the wrong person. Solve your problem by advertising for a free
lancer. If the person works out, go the next step to regular employee.
You can simultaneously test out a couple of people that way if your budgt
will allow it. Since many people free lance or out source in our field, the
applicants should not be surprised by your arrangement. Afraid you'll get
some independent person or someone who does not have a long term commitment
to your firm? If the respondent is good, he or she will have loyalty to
the project at hand; loyalty to you or your firm can come with time.
Realistically, though, you might get a fiercely independent person who
doesn't do well but that puts you back to square one - possibility of
hiring someone who fails to meet your expectations or creates problems you
never had before. Hiring by the job gives you a natural end to the
problems. Let me know what you finally choose to do!
Marilyn Barrett O'Leary
Louisiana Sea Grant College Program
Louisiana State University
Baton Rouge, LA
moleary -at- lsuvm -dot- sncc -dot- lsu -dot- edu