Temporary vs. Permanent IT Staff: Key Considerations

According to the Society for Human Resource Management, the average cost of hiring a new employee is $4,129, although this does not account for onboarding and training costs, which can be quite significant. In fact, the cost of hiring new staff was higher for more complex, higher-paying positions. This means that it’s fair to surmise that the hiring costs for a IT and tech positions are significantly higher.

Hiring is a complex equation, with a recipe for success that’s unique to every company. As such, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. In fact, there are many points to keep in mind when considering temporary vs. permanent IT staff. This is typically a consideration for companies that—for whatever reason—cannot or prefer not to outsource or use independent contractors.

Company leaders and even hiring managers may erroneously believe that hiring a permanent employee is more productive and economical, especially considering the sometimes-lengthy and costly recruiting process required to find the right talent. But this is not always the case. There are many instances where hiring a temporary IT staff may lead to far greater cost savings and productivity.

The Impact on Employee Morale and Team-Building

Many hiring managers are keen to take on permanent IT staff with the belief that it’s better for employee morale and team-building, but this isn’t always the case. When a temporary team member arrives on-site, there is an expectation that they will only remain as part of the team for a finite period of time. As such, you won’t see a hit to morale when the project reaches its conclusion and the temporary hire departs.

But in the case permanent employees, a departure can be far more upsetting to fellow team members, resulting in a major dent in morale. It’s difficult when a colleague leaves, especially if you had great team dynamics.

Employment length could also be comparable for either a temporary hire who’s working on a larger year-long project or a permanent hire who only remains on board for a year. In fact, in the tech sector, the average tenure with a company averages between 1-2 years, so it’s not inconceivable that a permanent employee’s time with your business could be measured in a matter of months.

When it comes to team-building, temporary talent usually has an advantage over permanent hires. That’s because temporary IT staff are usually more adept at finding their place within the team dynamic, simply due to the number of times that they’ve had to integrate with the existing onsite staff. Temporary tech talent may also have experience working with a broader range of personality types and office types, making them more adaptable.

The Cost of Benefits, Vacation and Perks

Permanent employees typically expect to receive benefits, paid vacation and other perks, which can combine to account for a very sizable sum of money. These are recurring costs, so the cost of maintaining this sort of employee can be quite significant.

This is especially true for high-level, high-paying positions—which are fairly common in the tech and IT sector. High-level talent generally expects to receive a generous benefits package and plenty of perks. The highly competitive nature of the tech industry has created an environment wherein these benefits and perks are used to attract prospective hires, so many companies will pull out all stops to offer the best possible total compensation package. Temporary employees don’t have such expectations, although some smaller perks are sometimes included.

Considering Relocation, Travel and Accommodation Costs

Relocation costs can be significant, but they’re a price that many companies are willing to pay to land the right tech talent for their company. Relocation costs can include the cost of hiring a moving company, travel costs and temporary accommodations for long-distance moves that take several days.

A temporary employee generally does not permanently relocate for work, so you can side-step relocation expenses. But if you’re hiring talent outside of commuting range, there are costs associated with travel and accommodations that must be considered.

If relocation or travel is necessary, both temporary and permanent talent are associated with expenses, whether it’s moving costs or hotel and rental car expenses. These expenses can be highly variable on a case-by-case basis, so it’s hard to perform an accurate comparison between temporary and permanent staff on this basis.

The Cost of Unemployment Benefits

If you’re uncertain whether you have sufficient work to keep a team member permanently employed, then it’s generally best to opt for temporary staffing and staff augmentation solutions. That’s because you could face the burden of contributing to an individual’s unemployment benefits in the event that you’re forced to lay off a permanent staffer.

There is no such cost associated with temporary tech talent, which can be quite advantageous. Plus, many individuals are open to more permanent opportunities if a short-term arrangement proves to be a success.

What’s more, companies seeking temporary staff often have access to a larger pool of candidates. That’s because people tend to be more willing to travel, whereas individuals tend to be far more hesitant to relocate on a permanent basis. This means that if you opt for temporary staff, you won’t be limited to the best local talent; instead, you’ll be in a position to hire the best person for the job—period.

Temporary IT talent can provide companies with a much-needed competitive edge, particularly when your business turns to an IT staffing company like iTech. Our recruiters can slash the amount of time and the cost associated with finding the right talent for your precise needs. In fact, we maintain a pool of qualified candidates who are ready to be dispatched to work onsite at one of your office locations.

Allow iTech to search worldwide to help you find the right IT staff for your unique needs. We invite you to contact us today to begin the hiring process.

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