Temporary vs. Permanent | How to Determine Your Needs

Both temporary and permanent workers can contribute significantly to your business. However, the two do offer different advantages and are best used in certain situations. Below we outline the factors that need you need to consider when deciding how to grow your team.


Training for both temporary and permanent workers can be time consuming and costly. However, if your business is shuffling through a lot of temporary workers, this training time and cost can add up quickly.

Time Investment

How many hours need to be invested in work each week? If it’s less than 20 hours a week you might be better off with a temporary worker or you could incorporate the tasks into the job description for a permanent employee.

Project-Based or Ongoing?

Is your need project-based or ongoing? Temporary workers excel at project-based work. However, if a work task is ongoing and requires enough of a time investment you may be better off with a permanent employee.

Expertise Needed

Temporary workers have the advantage here because you can hire special skills and expertise for your company’s short-term needs.

Flexibility and Focus

Temporary workers provide great flexibility but may lack focus. Permanent employees can focus deeply but limit your flexibility.

Temporary employees may also work for other employers, so their time and energy may not be solely dedicated to your projects. Permanent employees may feel that their work is redundant and look for a change. If the job does not provide enough work to keep permanent employees busy and it leads to reduced working hours, it will be hard to retain employees in need of full-time work.


It is usually more cost effective to hire a temp from a financial perspective once you take into consideration benefits such as a 401K and PTO. However, the hourly pay rate for temporary hires is typically more expensive than permanent employees.

The Future

What does your future look like? A good relationship can be developed with a temporary candidate for future staffing opportunities. However, a temporary employee may leave a job for a full-time position or higher paid opportunity. Permanent employees can develop long-term friendships with colleagues in a team-oriented environment, contributing to the success of the company.

What’s your next big project? Is it a better fit for a temporary or permanent worker?

The 7 Best Books on Hiring

Work Rules!

In Work Rules!, Laszlo Bock shares insights and anecdotes from his tenure at Google. Bock is currently the head of Google’s People Operations department. He shares his philosophy on work and provides a blueprint for attracting the best talent in your business.


Hire With Your Head

Lou Adler probably knows more about hiring right than anyone else in the country. In Hire With Your Head, Adler shares his performance-based hiring system with you. This system is not for the weak of heart. It’s extremely complex, but takes all of the guesswork out of hiring. It will all but guarantee that you are hiring the very best.



In Who Geoff Smart and Randy Street provide a simple and effective solution to one of the biggest challenges in the business world today: unsuccessful hiring. Smart and Street conducted the largest research study of its kind in order to arrive at their hiring insights. They interviewed over 325 business leaders to find out exactly where our current hiring methods were failing.


High-Impact Interview Questions

Victoria Hoevemeyer’s High-Impact Interview Questions is a must have book for preparing an interview. The book contains over 700 behavior-based interview questions. These questions are designed to draw out the real-life behaviors and attributes of your interviewee. Every hiring manager needs this book on his or her desk.


Hiring Smart

In Hiring Smart, Pierre Mornell draws from decades of research to put forth 45 strategies for reading interviewees, observing their behaviors, and predicting what they’ll be like in the workplace. Mornell’s methods are simpler than those laid out in Hire With Your Head and Who, but are quite effective.


Keeping the Millennials

Joanne Sujansky and Jan Ferri-Reed wrote Keeping the Millennials in order to help companies better understand their younger employees. If you’re concerned with utilizing and keeping your millennial talent, this book is a great place to start.


Hiring For Attitude

Mark Murphy teaches you how to recognize one of the most important elements in the hiring process: attitude. Murphy stresses that it should be your number one focus during the hiring process. Attitude is what separates the good businesses from the great ones. Murphy includes some great case studies from Southwest Airlines and Google.