[hackerspaces] Paid Staff

Clement Quinson clem at electrolab.fr
Fri Aug 19 13:56:13 CEST 2016

Hi all,
Electrolab (1500m²/17.000sqf hackerspace near Paris, France, 5+ years of
existence) currently has one fulltime employee and plans to recruit more
within few months.

Key aspects:
- we're obviously organized as a non-profit, and most of our work/tasks to
run the organization is done by volunteers.
- first employee was on a heavily subsidised 1 year contract (cost for us:
800€/month) and was recruited when we had around 70 regular members and
more or less enough income margin to pay that cost.
- current employee was recruited on a standard fulltime position (and costs
us much more than 800€/month)
- tasks include:
1/ accounting, billing, mail, ... in general, admin stuff.
2/ Refill of the bar & vending machines (important chunk of our income).
3/ opening the lab during office hours (& phonecalls, emails, etc) & tours
of the facility.
4/ member interface (eg membership dues, emails, subscribe to trainings,
use of meeting room, activities planning...)

Yes, this is absolutely not an easy job (worth more than one fulltime
position), and we plan to add more workforce soon/as soon as possible/even
before that (classic chicken and egg problem).
We recruited one of our long time member who was looking for a job and
willing to dive deep into this pile of cr... to assist volunteers who try
to get shit done aside of their own daytime jobs (which, at some point,
becomes impossible).

We had a vote about cleaning: should we pay someone to come an do it, or
keep this task for volunteers. Members decided to not pay someone to do it.

- current member base: between 150 and 200 ; we also have companies (we
sublease 3 separate offices of approx 40m² each to startups)
- current monthly rent: approx 5000€
- current monthly income: between 7000€ and 10000€ (depending on occasional
revenue streams, eg events/renting of space, subsidies, sponsoring, ...)

So... yeah, that's super tight, BUT we (board members) see it as a
transition phase.

Having people paid to fulltime focus on critical day to day tasks allows us
(the organization, the board & volunteers) to grow the memberbase, have
more companies pay a premium to use our facility during office hours, and
have volunteers focus on tasks other than the routine/recurring/boring
things that should ideally be done on a payroll.

Hope this brings interesting info, comments and additional questions more
than welcome!
Clement, board member and co-founder

On Fri, Aug 19, 2016 at 12:41 PM, Bill Shaw <bill at funwithbots.com> wrote:

> As Tampa Hackerspace approaches 100 members, we're starting to look
> forward for the best ways to handle growth and scaling without driving
> ourselves crazy. One thing we're considering is whether it makes sense to
> have someone on payroll to take care of some basic things.
> For the more established and larger spaces out there, I'm curious how many
> members you had when you added your first paid staff. What was your overall
> budget at the time? Were they part time or full time? What responsibilities
> did they have?
> Regards,
> Bill Shaw
> Tampa Hackerspace
> _______________________________________________
> Discuss mailing list
> Discuss at lists.hackerspaces.org
> http://lists.hackerspaces.org/mailman/listinfo/discuss
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