pmo partners permanent employee versus consultant

How to Decide Between a Permanent Employee and a Consultant

Finding talented employees and consultants can be difficult in this competitive market. Knowing where to begin, however, is half the battle. Do full-time employees or consultants make more sense for your company?

Employers today have to make these types of decisions in a highly-competitive market that is constantly adapting. It is important to keep factors such as payment expectations and the length of your project in mind. Looking for a project management recruitment solution that adjusts to your needs? Work with the team at PMO Partners.

What are three major differences to consider before making your decision between hiring a full-time employee and a consultant?

Short-Term versus Long-Term

Let’s pretend you need to integrate a new software program into your team’s everyday work flow. You expect this project to take several months, but less than a year.

If you have hired full-time workers in the past, you may struggle with the idea of hiring multiple team members you won’t need in a few months. There are many complications to consider.

If you withhold your intention to dismiss employees after the program is completed, you’ll severely damage your reputation. If you keep the employees permanently, you’ll spend thousands of dollars in benefits and salary for an employee that you might not need in a year’s time.

For the vast majority of companies, short-term needs are the primary reason for choosing contractors over full-time employees. Consultants are aware of your limited need, don’t require benefits or training, and are prepared to fully embrace your project.

Benefits versus Higher Wages

Full-time employees require fair wages and benefits, including affordable healthcare, paid time-off and paid leave for family emergencies. Employers have also noted the growing emphasis on work’s relationship to family life – essentially, the idea that people should work to live, not live to work.

More than ever, full-time employees expect benefits like regular schedules, weekly paychecks and company-sponsored events. To remain competitive, employers offer unique benefits and perks to loyal employees.

Consultants require fewer benefits. In return, they ask for independence and higher wages. Freelancers don’t want or expect hand-holding, preferring to complete their work in a timely manner around the schedule they’ve chosen. While you might pay 25 to 75 percent more in base wages when you hire a consultant, you could spend less in the long run when factoring in benefits.

Loyalty versus Knowledge

Full-time employees require onboarding and months of training. Depending on their experience during this time, they will hopefully become loyal to your company. Indeed, many full-time employees remain with the same company for decades before retiring. Having this intense loyalty can prove useful in many ways, through word-of-mouth recommendations, dedicated service, and valuable engagement.

On the flip side, consultants come equipped with outside knowledge. They’ve worked with your competitors, they’ve seen which tactics succeed and which fail, and they know how to improve specific metrics in several weeks or months. In addition to supplying their skill or talent, consultants are valuable informants, answering your questions and even training your long-term staff.

At PMO Partners, we understand your need for skilled labor, whether you choose full-time employees or consultants. Contact our experienced team today to learn more.