4imprint, LLC

To hire or not to hire: What the new tax breaks mean for you?
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In January, the federal government unveiled a proposal to establish a $33 billion package of tax credits that would serve to encourage small businesses to hire more workers and increase wages. The proposal is part of a larger effort to spark a rosier trend in current unemployment rates throughout the country.Under this proposed plan, businesses would receive a $5,000 tax credit for every additional new employee that they employ in 2010. The total amount of credit would be capped at $500,000 per business to prevent larger businesses from being eligible. Additionally, the proposal also calls for reimbursement in Social Security payroll taxes (up to the Social Security taxable maximum) to small businesses that they would otherwise pay on increases in payroll.Should this plan be set in motion, your small business faces a decision: To hire or not to hire?

The answer might actually come in the form of another question: Do you need to?

While the proposed tax credit sounds appealing, if your small business is comfortably meeting demand or the current work load of employees is manageable, your business might not stand to benefit from the push to hire more workers. Don’t fix something that isn’t broken. Instead, consider focusing on maintaining and growing your customer base. In your next mailing, offer an incentive to keep your business top of mind  by including a logo’d Note Paper Mouse Pad or a Jar Opener.

However, if you were considering hiring this year anyway, this could be your incentive to seriously think about doing so. Or, if you see your small business growing in the near future, now may be the time to take things to the next level. Take advantage of serendipity.

Get the word out that your small business is hiring. Be sure to post any position on your website. Consider also advertising online through reputable job boards, university career pages and even newspaper classifieds. Try utilizing social media tools, such as LinkedInTM, FacebookTM and TwitterTM to spread the word. Reach out to your current staff and clients for referrals by sending them a note asking for referrals and a fun-tie, in like a Pen with a mini magnifying glass on the end—for helping find your next hire—or a laser pointer key tag —for pointing out a great candidate.

Once people are aware that you’re hiring, no doubt the applications will start to pour in. Hire the hungry, not the starving—applicants with relevant work experience who come in genuinely eager to work for you may be more likely to stick around than over-qualified, antsy job seekers who might bolt with the next opportunity. Use interviewing best practices by ensuring you are asking the same questions of all candidates. Conduct reference checks of those candidates that rise to the top.

And then, bring that new person on with fanfare and deck out his or her new space with logo’d office accessories to show your excitement. But, don’t forget to be gracious and thank all applicants for their interest with a letter. Consider going the extra mile for top candidates with a thoughtful note card like a True Blue Gratitude Hallmark. It builds goodwill and may allow for you to tap those excellent applicants in the future.

Now’s the time to think about expanding your employee base. Maybe with some added incentive it will make those decisions about whether to hire or not to hire a little easier. We certainly hope you experience growth and are looking forward to a prosperous 2010!

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