Contractor or permanent – who should you hire? The Hidden Market freelancer guide
Deciding team makeup can be tough: the split between contract and permanent staff.
Here in The Hidden Market's blog we look at the decision between hiring contract and freelance employees and we look at the benefits & the costs too.
Contractor or permanent – who should you hire? The Hidden Market freelancer guide
Contractor or permanent – who should you hire?
Considering hiring another employee to assist you or help your business through a period of growth? Having difficulty in deciding who should you hire – a permanent employee or a contractor? We know that this is a difficult question to answer so we’ve listed some of the pros and cons of both contractors and permanent employees to help you decide which one is right for you.
Benefits of hiring a permanent employee
Making an effort to hire a permanent employee can result in having an individual with greater loyalty and commitment to your organisation than an independent contractor, which can result in higher productivity. When you make a new permanent hire you aren’t simply taking someone on to fill the particular role. What you invest in them will – with the right management and attitude to their progress – bear healthy dividends in future.
Cons of hiring a permanent employee
Hiring a permanent employee can be costly. You need to calculate all the costs which can add up very quickly and you need to make sure you can maintain them in the long-term. You need to work out a suitable annual salary according to the job role and responsibilities and to factor in the work benefits like holidays, sick pay, maternity leave and pension schemes. There’s also the cost of business essentials such as payroll taxes and office equipment to consider.
It will cost you more time, energy and money to go through the recruitment process, to hire, manage and train your permanent employee.
Benefits of hiring a contractor
The advantage of hiring a contractor is the reduction of costs. This is especially true in the short term. You won’t pay sick, holiday, overtime or other benefits that you offer regular staff, and contracting agencies will take care of things like insurance too. You also won’t need to include them in your pension scheme.
It is much easier and faster to hire a contractor. They are flexible and many will be able to start immediately. It is also very simple to end the relationship.
The need to train your contract workforce is minimal as they often come fully trained and specialised. Contractors can provide new ideas and solutions, thanks to their experience working within several different companies across different industries. Also, when hiring contractors there is no lengthy and costly recruiting process.
Cons of hiring a contractor
Contractors can be expensive. Their rates are often significantly higher than the salary paid to a permanent employee. This is because they need to cover all their expenses themselves and need compensation for the stress of seeking intermittent work and the lack of job security. For the business, hiring a contractor may work out to be cheaper as a short term solution. In the long run it is often less expensive to hire a permanent employee.
One of the disadvantages is that hiring contractors can bring the risk of loss of intellectual property once the contractor leaves.
When deciding between contractors and permanent staff, always keep in mind the additional costs associated with the hiring of employees, and the higher costs of employing a contractor in the long term. Also remember the intangibles, like flexibility and loyalty to the organisation.
More and more businesses are choosing to hire flexible talent for their specialised needs and also more and more professionals are choosing to work on flexible models. This trend is certainly here to stay and expand across different sectors. Marketing is definitely one of them. With the rise of the startup culture, brands and small businesses are waking up to the benefits of hiring freelance marketers.
Why hire a freelancer marketer?
What are the most compelling reasons to hire a freelance marketer for your marketing project? Why you might want to choose a freelancer or contractor rather than choosing to hire a new employee?
So what are the benefits of hiring a freelancer marketer:
1. Quality of work
Marketing freelancers usually have years of experience in their chosen field. They can confidently enter your business and jump straight into a task while providing quick and quality results. Also, a freelancer marketer is always relying on the next job. Establishing a good and long term relationship with an existing client is of high importance for them as it can lead to referrals and recommendations or to repeat work. For this reason, a freelance marketer will be highly motivated to produce the best work they possibly can. Also, getting work done on time is a priority. Their ability to pay the bills next month depends on it.
2. Innovation and expertise
Freelance marketers can bring a set of fresh ideas and opinions. They have built up experience working on a variety of different projects for a diverse range of clients in varying industries. Freelancer marketer can look at things from a more objective and honest position without preconceived ideas of how things can, or can’t, be done which can be beneficial for your business.
3. Flexibility and freedom
Oftentimes marketing freelancers will be available in short notice and they can provide services on flexible schedules to meet your business needs. This can mean flexibility in working hours. Also, many freelancers work irregular hours on projects to stay competitive. A freelancer marketer is used to working independently so they usually need a short but detailed brief to understand your business and you can leave them to get on with the job.
4. More time to focus on your business
If you’re a small business owner with smaller marketing budgets, working with a freelancer may be the best option. When you are busy running a business you simply won’t have the time to do everything. By hiring a freelance marketer to manage your marketing activities, you would be able to dedicate more time and focus on your business and high-level tasks that require your full attention as an entrepreneur.
5. Cost and ROI
Hiring a freelancer marketer for a short term project will cost less than hiring a full time employee or agency. They often work from home and can offer competitive rates relevant to their skills and experience. Freelancers are efficient, only being paid for the work you require them to do. Providing results on time and on budget will always be a priority.
Whether you choose to hire a permanent employee or a contractor, remember that at the end the most important is finding the right people who “fit” your organisation.
More resources on hiring permanent employees or freelancers from The Hidden Market
If you would like some more information on how to hire a freelancer have a look at our blog "How to hire a freelancer - Best freelancer platforms - The Hidden Market"
How we work at The Hidden Market:
We're specialists in commercial careers: think digital, marketing, sales, and product. We place professional candidates in a range of specialisms in professional marketing jobs in a variety of industries.
With professionals, essentially we are a strong recruitment partner for you, taking the time to truly understand what might interest you and to match you to roles on your skills. If you would like to find the best marketing roles then you can sign up here.
With brands essentially we’re an extension of your brand, connecting it to more passive talent. If you would like to learn more about how we can help you drive engagement with candidates and attract the best talent then get in touch with us - firstname.lastname@example.org or you can register a company account here.
Author: James Gilford - Founder of The Hidden Market.
James has significant experience in hiring & coaching marketing & digital leaders and building their teams across a range of sectors and business types from start-ups to corporates. After running recruitment teams for leading marketing recruitment agencies, James left to set up The Hidden Market in April 2020 with the core aim to improve the recruitment market and provide alternatives for candidates and clients equally.