As you look to start hiring again this spring and summer, you’ll probably need to make some tough decisions about whom to hire. Should you be bringing employees back on a part-time basis, or would it be better to hire temporary workers? Is a freelancer the right person to fill a role, or do you need a full-time team member?

The questions around freelancers versus full-time employees are going to be key asks for some time. What are the pros and cons of hiring a freelancer over a full-time employee, and how can you decide which one is the right fit for you? We put together this guide to give you a helping hand.

Pros and Cons of Hiring a Freelancer

Many business owners look to freelancers to help reduce overheads. This can be a smart move for a company concerned about how much they’re paying to hire, onboard, train, and then ultimately let someone go.

A freelancer could reduce these concerns. The freelancer can be hired to work on a specific project. When that’s complete, they go their separate ways. If there’s another project, they can be hired on again.

If you need someone on an ongoing basis, you could still hire a freelancer. You may be able to negotiate more flexible hours so that the freelancer works more when it’s busy and less when it’s not. Hiring a freelancer could also be a good way to bring expertise or particular skills onboard quickly.

Hiring a freelancer can be more economical, but it isn’t always. You don’t need to conduct payroll for them, nor do you need to extend benefits. You may pay a flat fee or by the hour for their time. A freelancer might charge more per hour than you’d pay an employee, though, so they could quickly start costing you more than anticipated.

Freelancers are considered business owners themselves, so you must treat them like vendors or other business partners. They are not employees, so you don’t exercise the same control over them. For example, freelancers can use their own equipment and software. They might set their own hours. They may also decide to end their contract with you.

Pros and Cons of Hiring a Full-Time Employee

Hiring a full-time employee is another option you have. In this case, you are the employer, so you have more control. You can see the employee’s hours of work, dictate what programs they use, and so on.

You also have more guarantees this employee will reflect your company culture. You’ve taken them through onboarding and training, which will help them perform for your business. They’re also more likely to stay long-term, and you might be able to cross-train them or promote them.

Employees may cost more because you need to provide payroll and compensation. If you really only need someone for 33 hours a week, then you might not want to hire full-time. You may also not want to hire permanently if you think there will only be one short-term project.

How to Choose Between a Freelancer vs a Full-Time Employee

The first step is to look at what role you have to be filled. Is this a project-based role? If so, a freelancer might be the right choice. Is this an ongoing role, which may need to expand in the future? Then a full-time employee could be a better option.

You’ll also want to consider skills. Is this a project that requires a particular set of skills your business doesn’t currently have and you don’t want to add long-term? Then a freelancer could be the right fit. If you see opportunities by adding these skills to your in-house capabilities, then a full-time employee could be the best choice.

Wondering how to hire smarter in the new business environment? An HRIS could help. Get in touch with our team to learn more about the HRIS’s capabilities and how you can use them to make the right hire!