How to Decide What Type of Employee to Hire

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5 Questions to Help You Plan Your Next Hire

Hiring the right person for your business has far-reaching effects. A great hire can generate innovative ideas, take over important projects, and help limit your day-to-day stress so you can focus on growing your business.

But hiring isn’t always straightforward. After all, not all roles require the same type of worker.

To make the best decision for your business, ask yourself these five questions.

1. How much work is there?

Carve out some time to create a list of projects you need help with — both short-term and long-term. For each item, include details around the type of work involved, the level of complexity, the type of person you want to work on it, and the amount of time you estimate it will take.

Hammering out these details will give you a better idea of the type of employee best suited to help you with that work.

2. When do I need the work to get done?

Maybe you want to launch a new email marketing campaign within a month, gear up for your busy season, or get ahead on ideas for next year’s product line.

If you need to start a project right away, a contractor is a good option, since the hiring process is usually less intensive and there’s little to no training necessary. If, however, you can afford to wait, or if you need help with ongoing work in the future, a consistent, longer-term worker, like a full-time employee, may be better.

3. How much money do I have for payroll?

Your business’ financial situation will be the biggest indicator of whom you can hire. Review your monthly expenses, annual profit and loss statements, and accounts payable and receivable to get a more realistic idea of how much money you have for payroll.

If you hire part-time, you may only have to pay hourly wages, whereas if you hire a full-time employee, you may also have to spring for benefits. If you’re hiring a contractor, on the other hand, you don’t have to make regular payroll payments as you would with a full-time employee, but you may have to pay the fee in one large sum.

4. How long do I need the position?

If you need help with a one-off project, like remodeling your building, you don’t need to hire a full-time employee. If, however, you think a candidate’s talent can apply to ongoing work, even if they don’t have all the necessary skills at the start, consider a full-time position. A graphic designer who specializes in web design, for instance, can also assist with marketing campaigns and advertising with the right training.

Of course, it’s a bigger risk to hire someone who doesn’t have all the exact skills you need, and therefore requires more training, but hiring someone for their competence and growth potential could result in a higher payoff long-term.

5. How much time do I have to devote to the hiring process?

If you have limited time to handle hiring, a contractor may be your best bet, since you probably won’t need to conduct multiple interviews, train them, or fill them in on company policy and culture.

It takes significantly more time to hire part-time and full-time employees. You usually have to sort through stacks of job applications and resumes, schedule numerous interviews, administer tests to determine their qualifications, and usher them through the training process. And because it takes time to properly learn and apply company policies and procedures, part-time and full-time employees may have a ramp-up period before they can be productive, efficient workers.

Interviewing your next employee takes time

Though there are perks to hiring each type of employee, not every employee will be right for your particular needs and goals. As you consider your business needs, here are four common types of employees to think about adding to your team.

Part-time employees

Part-time employees typically work fewer than 30 hours per week, so their wages can cost less than paying for full-time employees. Business owners aren’t usually required to provide benefits for part-time employees either, so you’ll likely save money on items like health insurance and paid vacation time.

Hiring part-time employees also translates to greater flexibility. With part-time hires, you can better accommodate your company’s changing needs, whether that means hiring them for a busy holiday season or testing out a new position on a part-time basis.

You may also have access to a wider network of candidates when you hire part-time, since advertising for full-time positions eliminates a number of talented people who may not be able to work 40 hours a week, like students, working parents, or people close to retirement.

Full-time employees

Full-time employees benefit from consistent work, a regular paycheck, and increased job security, all of which can help foster their sense of loyalty toward your business. Plus, because full-time employees may stay at your company for a while, they have the opportunity to continually expand their knowledge of the business and industry, making them stronger, more astute workers.

While they’re usually the most expensive employees to hire and train, they’re also the most likely employees to spearhead new projects, cover for you in your absence, and emotionally invest in the company’s success.


Contractors generally have higher hourly rates than part-time or full-time employees, but hiring one can actually save you money in the long-term. That’s because you only pay for the work you need with a contractor, and you never have to cover benefits, vacation time, work materials, office space, or ongoing expenses. There’s less tax liability as well, since you don’t usually have to withhold or pay taxes for independent contractors.

Plus, contractors are usually flexible and highly specialized, making them perfect for projects that require immediate attention and a specific set of skills.


Rather than hire an individual, you may want to look for an agency that specializes in a particular type of work, like advertising or e-commerce. Using an agency to, say, run a Facebook ad campaign or set up a web shop gives you access to a team of talented people, all of whom you don’t need to pay salaries or benefits to. When you hire an agency, you usually pay either a flat hourly rate or a flat rate along with a monthly retainer. While a retainer may be costly, it ensures you receive the help you need when you need it.

Considering hiring freelancers instead of, or in addition to, new employees? Read on:

Where to Find the Best Freelancers for Your Company

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

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