Recruiting and Hiring

Should Companies Hire Full Time Employees Or Contractors For IT Projects?

10.12.2016

With outsourcing quickly gaining foothold in every industry all over the world (to slash costs), IT hiring managers are also facing the axe with businesses relying more and more on technical staffing agencies and IT contracting companies. If you are an IT hiring manager, you have probably faced the predicament of deciding whether to hire full time employees for a job or to hire independent contractors.

This is something that every company has to decide, one time or the other. But for IT staffing, the challenge is even harder, because it could be that you require a team of IT professionals just for one project and you do not know how long it will last so you cannot really figure out whether to hire dedicated IT professionals or outsource it to IT contractors. It is more important for those medium or small enterprises that do not need regular IT support and most of their IT requirement is project based. Well, worry no more; we are going to provide you an overview of the pros and cons of both sides and hopefully, it will make it easier for you to make an informed decision.

Hiring Full Time Employees

Pros

  • It is all about developing a culture. Developing an organizational culture is a vital dimension for all large enterprises for long term survival. Employees must have an association where the employees must feel pride in associating and “belonging” to an enterprise. This type of environment causes employees to own up to their organization and step up their commitment during the”lean times” for the sake of the company. Development and sustenance of such a culture is only possible with full time employees.
  • It can be cost effective. Employing full time can be cost effective (especially when you have regular work flow to keep your employees productive). Full time employees usually charge less per hour than outsourced projects.
  • Flexibility. A regular workforce of full time IT employees understands the business policies and workplace culture. They are better placed than independent IT contractors to deliver dedicated output in relation to business objectives. They are always “available” to undertake and handle “crash projects” and emergency situations.

Cons

  • They can be costly. Hiring full time employees would mean a workforce that you have to pay regularly (no matter your business is breaking even or not)
  • They have implications. A full time employee has legal rights and enjoys certain regulatory covers owing to his or her long term commitment with your company (unlike IT contractors who have limited rights and liabilities).


Independent Contractors

Pros

  • A relatively hassle free mode of operation. Independent contractors are freelance workers usually hired for one job or project. You can contact any IT contracting companies or IT temp agencies to provide you with the required service.
  • They have limited liability. Your commitment in such an arrangement is limited to successful discharge of the contracted job without any long term implications, liabilities or rights. You do not have to pay for their health insurance and other employee benefits.
  • They may be cheaper. They may actually be cheaper in certain circumstances, especially once your IT support requirement is just about periodic at best.
  • It’s a “œmarriage of convenience”. You can hire and fire at will (remaining within the contractual limits). You can afford this “luxury” with full time employees as easily.
  • They may provide you specialized services. Since most independent contractors serve in a specific niche, they may be in a better position to provide more expert services in complex projects.

Cons

  • A case of reliability. There might be emergency situations where quick response and reliability may be of paramount importance. You may be at a loss with IT contractors in such a case.

  • They may come at an unaffordable cost. Generally speaking, IT contractors cost more in terms of per hour wages. Small enterprises may find them unaffordable in certain cases.

  • You don’t have an option of monitoring and overseeing. Monitoring and overseeing option is usually not available in most cases (unless made part of the contractual obligations).

Verdict

Both the options have their advantages and disadvantages but to make the right choice, you are going to have to thoroughly analyze the project you need to execute. Is it a long term project? What is your budget? What kind of services are you seeking?

If you want to overlook the project closely, you might want to hire full time employees. When you anticipate similar projects and regular flow of work in the longer run, it is feasible to hire full time employees since they would get trained in “ON JOB” in due course of time.

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