You need more people on your team, so you write a job posting. That’s a great place to start – but wait, don’t post that job yet!
While it’s great to have a concrete sense of what skills and qualifications you’re looking for, there’s a chance you may not need them ALL of the time. I’ve spent the last decade acting as part-time HR resource for businesses that don’t need/want a full-time person, so I know of what I speak (or write).
So how will you know what will work for you?
Some things to consider when deciding whether to hire a full-time employee vs. a contractor or freelancer:
- Do you have the budget for a full time resource? When you factor in full time salary, benefits, vacation pay and bonus, the cost of a full time employee can be quite high compared to a resource you pay on an ‘as needed’ basis.
- Do we need a full time resource? Is this really a full time role that you need on a daily basis? Especially in the case of projects or new initiatives, the responsibilities at the outset are often vastly different from the requirements once the new innovation is in place or once you’ve reached a certain milestone in the project. In the case that there are some initial responsibilities that are highly specialized and strategic, it’s best to use a freelance resource for those responsibilities, then hire full time talent to handle the day-to-day requirements for the project or role.
Are there really high quality people who are consulting and freelancing?
Definitely. Flexible approaches to work are increasing in popularity. There are a growing number of professionals who seek more variety in their careers, want to have multiple streams of income and/or want to have more work/life balance. You can find more tactical resources, like designers and web developers, and even senior strategic ones, like Controllers and CMO’s.
Is ‘fit’ still important?
Not to the same extent as when you’re hiring a full time employee and you need them to be a ‘fit’ for your culture. But, ‘yes’ in terms of this person being an extension of your organization. It’s likely that in his or her role the consultant is dealing with third party vendors, clients and suppliers on your behalf and so it’s crucial that they conduct themselves in a way that is consistent with your brand and culture. You also want to make sure they work well with your team and don’t negatively impact any of your employees.
When it comes to staffing, you want to find good eggs you just may not need them living in your hen house.
Sari Friedman is a Human Resources Consultant and Coach who specializes in offering high-quality, sophisticated HR support and guidance.