If you’re getting overwhelmed with work, and needing to expand capacity, there are two routes most agencies take; hiring direct or hiring a white label partner.
Both have their pros and cons, and it depends what you’re after.
If you hire someone directly, you’re likely going to end up with a much more advantageous price (since there’s no middleman to pay). They are also more likely to adapt to your systems and processes making things a more seamless transition. Folks that are working directly for you are more likely to be invested in your success and feel like a part of the team.
However, you might have to go through 2 or 3 (or a dozen!) before you find someone that’s a good fit. This can be an extensive and exhausting process. And even when you do find the one, there’s nothing holding them to you — they could quit or disappear at any moment, leaving you to the frantic search once again. This is especially hard after you’ve spent weeks and months training them and getting them acclimated to the way you want them to work.
The other option is to hire a white label agency (like GoWP’s Dedicated Developer or The Content Lab). Because their employees are backed by the company, you don’t have to worry about them missing time or disappearing, as the company can stick someone else in their place. You also have the advantage of getting workers who have already been vetted and trained, making it a lot quicker to get up and running.
Of course, for all these benefits, there’s an added cost. Hiring a white label agency is generally going to be more expensive. You might also find the person assigned to work with you doesn’t feel as integrated, as they don’t work directly for you, they work for their company (and might be servicing other accounts too). Most white label agencies have their own systems and processes, so you might have to adapt more than you’d like in order to make everything work.
It’s hard to know which option might be right for you, and I’ve struggled with this myself.
But what I’ve found is the biggest determining factor being your vision for the future.
If you’re looking at the big picture, and thinking of this in the long term, then hiring someone directly is probably a better solution. You’re going to have to invest a lot more time and energy up front, but once you find the right person and they are all trained, it’s a lot more cost effective and gives you the benefits of having a real “team” inside your agency.
However, if you’re needing to expand now to try and get things off your plate as quickly as possible, then paying for a while label service will likely work best. They can hop in and get to work immediately, starting day one, to help alleviate your workload almost instantly (and likely months before you find the right person and get them trained).
Of course, there are exceptions to every rule (and other ways to go about it, like hiring people on a one-off project basis), but from my experience I’ve been able to lump things into one of these two categories.
If you’re in a position where you need to start thinking about these things, then it’s worth exploring both and seeing what is the best fit for the way you work.