When to Hire Contractors vs. Full-Time Employees

There is often a debate in businesses when it comes to hiring. Generally, you have two options: bringing on a full-time employee or hiring a contractor. While both of these approaches are valid, the one that represents an ideal solution depends on a number of factors, and each comes with its own set of benefits and drawbacks. To help you determine which is right for you, here is some guidance on when to hire contractors and when to bring on full-time employees.

Start With the Workload

Typically, if you only need an extra set of hands for a particular project or just need something examined on an occasional basis, selecting a contractor can be the right choice. This allows you to acquire the necessary skill set to complete the work without having to worry about what they’ll do when the project is done. The arrangement is more flexible than a full-time employee since you can release the contractor as soon as their tasks are complete.

However, if you anticipate needing long-term support in that specific arena, choosing to go with a full-time hire is generally the smarter choice. This allows you to use their skills on multiple projects as well as ongoing support needs. A full-time employee will likely stick with you for the long haul, ensuring their expertise is always readily available.

Consider Your Budget

When you take on a new hire, you are making a long-term commitment to them, so being able to provide their salary over the long term is essential. If your budget won’t support that arrangement, then choosing a contractor may give you the flexibility you need (in regards to cost management) while still giving you access to the required skills. And, should your budget suddenly be able to support a full-time employee, you may even be able to offer the position to the contractor you selected previously.

Recruitment Time

When hiring a full-time employee, it is wise to dedicate a significant amount of time and energy to the screening process. Failing to choose the right candidate can be costly when making a permanent hire, so taking your time to get it right the first time is critical.

In the vast majority of cases, you can hire a contractor much faster than a traditional hire. Often, the screening requirements are less cumbersome for short-term workers.  Typically, since contract employees are hired for a singular purpose and their duties are well defined, you only need to find candidates who fill that specific niche instead of the full range of duties your full-time employees may need to cover. Additionally, you can use the services of a reputable staffing firm to make things progress even faster, as they have often already completed basic screenings on all of their available candidates.

There is a way to get the best of both worlds by using a contract-to-hire process. This typically involves partnering with a staffing firm and allowing the selected employee to begin working for you as a contractor. In this arrangement, you can screen the person more thoroughly while they are actually doing the job. And, if it is a good fit, you can then make an offer for permanent employment. If the candidate turns out not to meet your expectations, you can simply release them from their temporary position and select a new candidate with relative ease.

Whether you are interested in bringing on a full-time employee or a contractor, or want to learn more about the contract-to-hire approach, the recruitment specialists at The Squires Group can assist you with all your hiring needs. Contact us today to see how our flexible approach can work for you.

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