Hiring Temporary Vs Permanent Employees: Knowing Which Move to Make

Making decisions on how to build your team can be the most challenging part of running a business. Before acting upon your choices, it is imperative to understand your options and how they will impact your company. The types of employees you can hire branch out into two main categories, permanent and temporary workers.

Permanent employees are a long-term investment that can help build a strong foundation for your company. They can also help you establish your brand well. In comparison, hiring temporary workers provides more flexibility and involves lower costs. A temporary employee works for a specific length of time or till a project is completed.

Depending on the employee group, some temporary positions also come with additional benefits. A permanent job in comparison does not have any defined employment end date. In this article, we will explore in detail the differences between the two and discuss which would be the best for your organization.

Know Your Hiring Options

No matter the size of your company, it is important to understand the hiring options available. Keeping yourself updated with the latest information is a great way to begin looking for new employees. Both permanent and temporary roles have their own pros and cons, so it is important that you consider them carefully.

The best option depends on your business goals and the budget you have set aside for recruitment. If you have a small business, you can consider having both permanent and temporary employees. Small businesses can outsource some functions like IT, accounting, and human resources, to save on hiring costs.

What Is a Permanent Employee?

This role, as its name suggests, has a long-term job without a predetermined ending date. What that means is that the employee can work for your organization for months, years, or even their entire career. 

A permanent employee can also work as either part-time or full-time. Some of the most common motives an employee may have for wanting to join your organization in a permanent position would include:

building job security
  • They want to commit to a long-term position so they can plan their career.
  • Permanent workers want to leverage their work experience or connections in the industry.
  • They can rely on their employer for a full range of health care and retirement benefits.

What Is a Temporary Employee?

Temporary workers technically work for a specified time frame that can be as brief as a few days or as long as a few weeks. There are cases in which a temporary worker may work for an organization for a longer period of time or the length of a season. Temporary employees have many reasons to take up a short-term job which would include:

  • They want to gain experience in the field or build a professional network by working a series of temporary roles.
  • Temporary workers prefer the smaller time commitment that comes with a temporary job.
  • The position in question is available only as a temporary role, with no permanent employment option available.
  • They have experienced extended unemployment and have decided to take one or more temporary roles while searching for a permanent position.

“Recruiting should be viewed as a business partner, someone who is critical to the success of the business.”
– Mathew Caldwell, Entrepreneur

Temporary workers application

Hiring Permanent Employees

As an employer, you need to carefully assess when is the right time to hire and to what end. When it comes to hiring permanent employees there are certain advantages and certain disadvantages. The same is true when it comes to temporary employees. For instance, if we look at the hiring of permanent employees, it can be more costly in the long term, and when their employment period ends, the termination process can be lengthy and complicated.

Then, of course, there are the perks to this path. For one, a permanent employee can be associated with values of company loyalty. They are more likely to stick with your business through tough times because both employer and employee have entered into a long-term commitment. Since permanent employees have the chance to grow with the organization and advance their careers, they will invest more in terms of commitment and effort.

Permanent employees are also more likely to align with your company’s values and culture when compared to seasonal or contractual workers. This is a great benefit for workplace culture, work atmosphere and overall morale.

Hiring Temporary Workers

On the other side of the fence, we have temporary workers. One of the major benefits of hiring temporary workers is their lack of permanence. This means that as an employer, you don’t have to invest as much time to train them up, or on the payroll as they will only be with your company for a brief, fixed amount of time. This is a big win for the bottom line if that is your goal. 

However, as we mentioned before, there are disadvantages. For example, temporary workers likely won’t get as invested in your company and its values or culture. This may impact the workplace atmosphere, and maybe even your values as a business if you aren’t careful. You also have to remember that many temp workers might be working two or more jobs to make up the difference in salary. So, their concentration or commitment to your project might not always be 100 per cent like that of a permanent employee.

Having said that, temp workers are a great choice for short-term or contractual projects because they have industry-relevant skills to get the job done.

Recruiting temp workers to your cause also allows you to keep recruiting for a more permanent positions on the side. If that doesn’t work out, you could consider the temp worker’s initial work period as a sort of built-in trial period or probation. If you like their work, there is always the option of trying to recruit them for a more permanent position.

Whichever path you choose to take at the end of the day, you need to make sure that you have weighed all the pros and cons, and analyzed where your business stands and what your needs are.

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