Staffing Options: Should You Hire Permanent or Contract IT Staff?
Today’s IT companies are increasingly turning to contract hires to fill holes in their workforce, but that doesn’t mean they have completely replaced the need for permanent employees. The simple fact is that the demands of every project/position are different, and it is up to individual companies to decide which type of hire makes the most sense for their short- and long-term goals. Use this simple guide to help you make the right decision.
Full-Time IT Employees
- Commitment – Full-time employees are more invested in their jobs, their workplace, and their future with a company. That often spurs them to commit more to their jobs, because they know they will be directly impacted by the results.
- Quality – It’s possible to hire bright IT talent to contract positions, but the best, and the majority, will be searching for a permanent position. Don’t expect the next Bill Gates to accept a three-month assignment.
- Stability – Since full-time employees are a more stable part of your workforce, you can plan around them, allowing you to think more strategically and ambitiously. These employees are known commodities.
- Cost – Over the long term, you will have to pay a permanent employee significantly more than you would a contract employee. Factor in their present compensation, their future compensation, and all the attendant costs like office space and IT equipment.
- Recruitment – Since full-time employees are such an impactful part of your workforce, they are much harder to recruit. There are real consequences if you go with the wrong person, and the recruitment process can be lengthy, expensive, and leave you with a long-term hole in your workforce.
- Loss – When a permanent employee leaves a company, it has a much deeper impact. Losing them doesn’t just affect the skills you have on your workforce, it can also change the culture in the office.
- Agility – Hiring contract employees can open your business up to new opportunities because you have the ability to change the character of your workforce quickly yet impermanently.
- Cost – Contract employees will not work for slave wages, particularly if they have sophisticated IT skills, but the total cost of their contract is less that a permanent employee.
- Availability – The depth and breadth of the available contact IT workforce means that companies can quickly find the employees they need and trust that they have the skills to complete the project at hand.
- Culture – Since contract employees are only around temporarily, they don’t typically impact company culture for the better. Unfortunately, they can compromise the culture by breeding resentment or bringing a toxic attitude into the office.
- Motivation – Contract employees that have no option to be hired full-time may not be as motivated to work to the best of their abilities. And since this is only a temporary position, they may not be worried about getting a negative evaluation.
- Legality – Depending on the duration of the contract and the terms, these types of employees can create legal issues and affect they way you file your taxes. Be sure to investigate the implications fully before bringing on contract workers.
Both full-time and contract workers have something to offer, and create liabilities. That is just the complicated reality of recruiting. For help finding the best of both types of employee, partner with the Chicago recruiting and hiring experts at CultureFit.