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?