You’ve just launched your business and you already have more work than you can do on your own. Or your business is growing so fast your team can’t keep up. Whatever the situation, organizations may find themselves asking the same question: Should we hire a full-time employee or a contractor?
1. Understand your specific industry.
Get a feel for what similar companies in your industry are doing. If you are a marketing company that writes a lot of short-form content, are other organizations hiring full-time copywriters or are most of them freelancers? That industry will be different than a law firm needing a team of lawyers.
2. Determine the most important role for your company.
The most important role in your company will more than likely need to be a full-time team member. The benefits of loyalty, connection, and availability with a full-time team member outweigh a contractor position in most cases.
3. Look down the road.
If you are currently spending (or project to spend) three-fourths the cost of a full-time salary on contractors, it’s time to make a full-time hire. As mentioned above, the benefits of a full-time team member can be immeasurable.
4. Hire for what you will need 3-4 months out.
This will likely be the hardest point for launchers to implement. Projecting 3-4 months out may sound daunting. Many launchers are just trying to make it day by day. That’s understandable, but not sustainable. If needed, develop a business plan and look 3-4 months out, 6 months out, and a year out.
Emma says the key to hiring 3-4 months out is having 3-6 months’ expenses in a business account. If you have that financial cushion, you can take a more calculated risk when hiring for suspected (not always guaranteed) new projects.
5. Start slow.
Remember that you can always start slow. If you aren’t sure a full-time team member is what you need, hire a candidate on a contract basis. That way you can determine if they will be a good fit and if the work coming in will be consistent enough to sustain a full-time hire.
There will always be advantages and disadvantages to contractors and full-time team members. If you walk through these 5 points, we are confident you will make the right decision for you and your company.