I bristle a bit at the idea that inexpensive, inexperienced resources are the answer to your sales, marketing, or social media needs. Should you bring in a junior resource and train them, saving some money on their compensation? Maybe.

Or maybe that decision would end up being an expensive mistake.

I started thinking about this because a client of mine was wowing her agency managers, having been brought into a crisis situation with an unhappy client as an independent contractor. Because of her ability to do several different marketing and design functions, she was the ninja who got the project back on track.

When her initial contract came to an end, the team knew they needed to find a way to keep her. The budget was really tight, but the team said they had received approval to hire two junior resources.

Huh? This project had run off the rails, been brought back on track, but was still at risk. Junior resources wouldn’t be able to help much.

In this chaotic situation where nobody had time to train or supervise junior staff, their compensation would be wasted and they would be set up to fail. The junior resources would be labeled lazy, incompetent, or whatever – when the real issue would be that a senior resource was needed.

My client, being a sharp lady, suggested combining the budget for the two junior resources to keep her on the project for the next few months. She had proven herself time and again. Her contract was extended.

So, how do you decide what type of resource you need? I have some suggestions.

What stage are you in?

Are you launching your business, or have you been in business for a while?

If you’ve been in business for some time, you have gotten a basic understanding of your sales and marketing, and your administrative needs. You should be able to document how you do things. This could be an opportunity to save some money and hire a junior resource.

However, if you are doing something new to you or to the market, you would be better off hiring someone who has done it before, or who knows more about the industry or job function than you do.

You might even want to hire a consultant to come in and set things up so you can hire in a junior resource later.

How do you feel about managing people?

Some people are natural independent contributors. If you’ve never managed people before, or have done it and hated it, you might be really unhappy with the training and oversight needed to manage a junior resource.

But some people love mentoring and managing people. If that’s you, and if you have the time and energy to manage someone, you can consider bringing in a junior resource.

How important is this role?

If this role is critical to the success of your business, you should hire someone with experience who doesn’t require a lot of supervision.

However, if this is a role that will contribute to the success of your business, but isn’t a critical component, then maybe a junior resource would work well.

As you can see, there is no one size fits all answer. You have to understand what you need this person to do, how this role will affect your business, and whether you have interest or talent for managing people.