Hiring for full time, part time, or contract to hire
Learn the pros and cons of each type of worker to discover which one meets your needs.
The IRS defines a full-time employee as someone who averages at least 30 service hours per week. Full-time employees are best suited for long-term projects that directly impact your company’s mission, require close supervision, or rely on building interpersonal relationships.
More control over the work
You decide how employees are trained, when they should work, what tools and processes they should use, and what they should prioritize. You can supervise closely or check in regularly on the status of their work.
Better relationship building
Full-timers can develop meaningful bonds with other employees as well as clients. This is especially useful when they have unique insights into a particular market or clientele.
Employee retention and loyalty
Full-time employees gain a sense of job security and community, encouraging them to invite more potential followers, customers, or candidates. Full-time compensation and benefits can greatly reduce your turnover costs.
Payroll and benefits management
Employers must pay out regularly and manage benefits (including paid time off) for full-time employees using some type of payroll solution. They must also navigate a multitude of tax requirements.
Cost of development and reimbursement
To keep your workforce skilled and relevant, invest in your full-timers by paying for their training, mentorship, equipment, and travel.
Contractors are independent workers well suited for short-term assignments or peripheral, low-supervision projects that require specialized skills.
Seasoned expertise for a flat rate
You can negotiate up front for top-tier services on projects that are smaller, more time-bound or discrete, or require a specialized touch.
Minimum setup required
Contractors usually have their own equipment, network connections, or team. The right contractor can help you hit the ground running on projects with quick turnaround.
Diverse backgrounds and experiences
Contractors are exposed to a wide variety of clientele, best practices, and learnings across their industries. You can tap contractors for knowledge about trends or new approaches.
Contractors may work hours that don’t align with yours, and may be juggling multiple projects.
Less control over the work
Because contractors use their own tools and teammates, some of their processes might interfere with yours. It’s important to agree beforehand on a project’s “how” and “when” in addition to its “what.”
Not a permanent solution
Hiring seasonality, economic trends, or competitors might make your best contractors suddenly unavailable. A good solution is the contract-to-hire employee.
DID YOU KNOW?
Contract workers can only work a maximum of 1,040 hours per year, per employer.
Contract-to-hire workers begin as contractors and become full-time employees when they fill recurring or increasingly complex business needs. When building a smaller team, you can hire contractors to fill immediate objectives and then keep the most qualified workers.
Try before you buy
On contract, you can sample the employee’s quality of work while simultaneously giving the employee a taste of your company. If it’s not a match, no one is under pressure to renew the contract.
A hiring advantage over your competitors
If you already know a contractor is qualified, you don’t need to waste time interviewing candidates — and you can keep talent away from the competition.
Lower overhead costs
Contractors often provide their own work equipment, which lets you reserve budget for full-timers and critical objectives. Offer the best contractors more work to keep them engaged until a full-time position opens.
Unaligned hiring expectations
There's a subtle but important difference between a contract with the intention to hire and a contract with the possibility to hire. Be up front with contractors about whether a full-time slot will open.
Not a full-time match
Some contractors simply want to maintain their own hours, projects, studios, or brands, which might conflict with tying themselves exclusively to your company culture or mission.
Don’t slip into the cycle of repeatedly hiring and onboarding contractors just to let them go. Clearly define what the current role requires and how you expect it to evolve.
Hiring during COVID-19
No matter what type of employee you’re hiring, you might be facing unprecedented challenges. We’ve put together a COVID-19 resource hub for small business employers, which includes:
• Tips to manage a remote workforce during the coronavirus and beyond
• Best practices to conduct webinars that keep your team engaged
• Strategies for effective diversity recruitment
Find qualified workers for the short and long term.
If you’re looking to accomplish specialized tasks fast, using a contractor might be a good solution. But if you’re ready to invest in a full-timer, the returns can be enormous. And if you have the time to “try before you buy,” contract-to-hire work can build lasting employees from temporary projects.