Hiring temporary employees or contractors

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Whether your organisation is going through a growth period or you’re looking to fill a specific skills gap on a project basis, hiring another employee can make all the difference. However, deciding if your needs are better suited to a temporary or permanent hire can be a complex decision to make. We advise taking the following factors into consideration before making the decision in order to ensure the type of hire is best suited to your business needs:

Consider your budget

Temporary or casual contractors provide the flexibility an organisation often needs to increase capacity or bring in essential skills as required. However, in lieu of permanent employee benefits such as annual leave, temporaries are ultimately paid a higher hourly/day rate. Therefore if you forecast a steady flow of business into the future that in turn drives a steady resource requirement, hiring a permanent employee might be the better option for you.

Is your business heavily seasonal?

Organisations can experience fluctuations in their business activity for a variety of reasons, including seasonal periods, peak production times and unforeseen workloads. Temporary workers can provide the extra hands often required to ramp up when business is at its peak.

Are you on a tight timeline?

Timing may determine whether you should seek out a temporary or permanent employee. Temporary workers are usually immediately available, whereas permanent candidates are typically in an existing role and are required to work a notice period of at least four weeks. If a new contract is won at short notice and you require immediate assistance, temporaries are an ideal short-term solution to ensure workloads are completed. They can also fill a gap period until a permanent employee commences or cover annual, sick or parental leave for invaluable staff members.

What skills are you looking for?

Temporary employees provide an ideal solution if you need someone to perform specific tasks for a short period of time that fall outside of your employees’ day-to-day expertise, such as during a project. Temporary candidates are highly-skilled professionals and are available to fill even the most specialist skill requirement.

However, if you’ve set a goal to expand your organisation, then it may make sense to invest in a new permanent employee. Hiring the right permanent employee can have a powerful impact on your business. By investing in their training and career development, they will become more engaged in return.

Other considerations

If you have decided that a temporary worker is what your organisation needs, consider using a recruitment agency to find a suitable candidate. A recruitment agency can reduce your administration by ensuring workers are paid, fully interviewed and reference checked, and have undertaken any necessary pre-employment medicals, safety checks and OHS training. 

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