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Attract — When are contractors better than employees? And when aren’t they?

Sometimes it’s difficult to decide if you just need some help on a project or your team is missing people with critical skills to achieve the success. Here’s a quick list of the pros and cons of hiring contractors and full-time employees to you help you think through your own needs and what will generate the results you need.

The upside of hiring contractors:

  • You may pay a higher hourly rate for freelancers than staff but you don’t have to cover benefits and you’re not committed to salary long-term.
  • It’s easier to match the right person to the project at hand.
  • It’s much easier to stop using a freelancer than terminating an employee if things don’t work out.

 

The upside of adding staff:

  • Pride. Employees become a part of your culture. When employees feel pride and a sense of belonging they are often more motivated to excel.
  • Ease. You don’t have to manage the constant hiring, training and scheduling of workers when your staff is on board and ready to work.
  • Trust. You can let staff behind the curtain and touch parts of your business that are off limits to freelancers and they can handle business when you take vacation.

 

The downside of hiring contractors:

  • Process. You don’t have as much control over how the work gets done by freelancers. They may not be on site and certainly don’t have your team’s training.
  • Availability. As hired guns, the same freelancer may not be available the next time a similar project comes up.
  • Reputation. Freelancers may not represent your brand the way you want. They have their own brand.

 

The downside of adding staff:

  • Commitment. You are responsible to pay their salary no matter how your cash flow is doing.
  • Provisioning. You are responsible for training, equipment and licensing.
  • Paperwork. There are more forms and regulations for payroll employees than freelancers.

 

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