....in the end, I spend more time managing them than if I did the job myself....
So the key is to come up with a system that if a person does the work, they get the pay. And if they don't do the work, they don't get the pay.
I feel like most people will say "if you pay me $100,000 per year, I will do whatever you tell me to do." And a few will say "Here is my plan. You set me up with these three things, I think I can bring in $100,000 in the first year for myself, expand projects at the lab and put about $40,000 in your pocket." The latter is who I am looking for.
Maybe people need cash to get started. Maybe they need me to promote their stuff. Maybe they need access to equipment. Maybe they need a few bounty projects.
In time, I don't want an employee/employer relationship. I want a very good business relationship. Something that improves the quality of the other fiefdoms at the lab and puts some coin in my pocket (which will probably go to my projects at the lab).