Hiring Freelancers vs. Permanent Employees: The Pros and Cons

October 31, 2017 2:32 pm

Whether you’re a startup or managing an already established business, there will be a time when you need to think about the staff that you hire. From a team to start you off or adding new members, having more staff members is going to help you to help the business to grow. But the question you need to be asking yourself is if you need to be hiring staff to be on your payroll, or will contractors and freelancers do? Here are some of the pros and cons for both.

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Hiring a Freelancer

The good thing about a freelancer is that they will specialize in one area. If you want to hire warehouse staff for new product launch, then that is what you can hire. If you need someone to run your social media or write your blog posts, then they can do that job. They will have experience in that one area. You can also start to think about the fact that you only need to hire them for that. As soon as their job has been done, you don’t need to be paying them for other things; that is that. Because of the short-term commitment nature of freelancers, it does mean that eventually you are likely to save money. You will pay them for just that job, rather than a wage and other benefits as you would for a full-time employee.

The negatives is that you will have to take time to find a freelancer that will work for you. They are unlikely to know your business inside out from the start. So some training may still be needed, as well as arranging things like contract forms and non-disclosure agreements to sign. Once those things are sorted, it will mean it is quicker in the future. But you could arrange all of that and then they just disappear or don’t do a good job. So checking references is a must, as well as previous work, which is a similar process of employing staff members too.

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Hiring Staff

If you have permanent staff, then one benefit is that they are likely to be more interested in your business as they have a vested interest in it. They will still have a job if the business goes well. Which for many, can help them to work hard. You can talk to them face to face to resolve problems, which may be easier than doing so remotely with a freelancer. With a permanent staff member you also know what work they should be doing. Your favorite freelancer may be fully booked for a while as you have no idea how many other jobs they are taking on at a time. So that is definitely a consideration, especially if you plan to take vacation time. Staff will be there to carry on with things.

That being said, permanent staff do come at an additional cost. You may have to cover some benefits like vacation pay, sick pay, or pay into a pension. It is likely to help the staff be loyal, but can cost you extra.

Have you had experience of hiring? What works best for you?

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