How to Decide When to Hire a Freelancer Vs a Full-Timer?

Over the decades, we have witnessed the changes in the preferences for working patterns. From finding government jobs attractive to viewing the era of passionate entrepreneurs to going after 9-5 jobs for stability to now spotting the times of freelance working.

We have seen our parents’ relationship with their work. The crucial factors like security and stability appeal to many of us and hence we tend to take the traditional career paths. What has changed this thinking? Why is the freelancing industry flourishing? The independence and the freedom to work on your own terms appeals the most to the workforce in the current times.

With the changing times, businesses are now in the race to evolve their hiring needs. There have been ongoing debates in the meeting rooms on whether to hire on a contract basis or go for full-time employees. To quote Robert Half, “Time spent on hiring is time well spent.”, you do not want to hurry when making one of the most crucial decisions. It is a time-consuming task, but learn the various aspects before finding a suitable employee.

People are the most important asset of your business, they help you shape your company. Whether you own a start-up, a small company, or an MNC, know what kind of employee will be more suitable for your business considering your priorities and circumstances. Every penny you spend, each resource you invest should prove to be worthwhile. This article will help solve your dilemma, as we take you through the factors that affect your decision making of whether to hire a freelancer or a full-time employee.


In the short-term, contractors prove to be a better choice of option. When the business needs aid for a specialized or a specific task, go for a freelancer. Freelancers can be hired when an internal employee is lacking the skill set that is required to accomplish a task. Only hiring for a small project can lead to cost reduction. A full-time employee, in this case, can prove to be unproductive, as he/she will not be required to work at all times. Freelancers come with flexibility and commitment to one project. You also gain the advantage of hiring a qualified expert for a successful outcome.

The other side of the con talks about long-term commitment. Full-time employees are better if your workspace requires regular expertise over-demanding work. When you constantly keep outsourcing work, the quality of it can go for a toss, as there is no guarantee of working with the same freelancers over and over again. You know you are handing the work in the same hands if you hire a full-time employee. They will be in touch and know the history of the project. This eases the task of communication and the work gets completed in a knowing manner.

Check the level of commitment and the time period of the work when you decide to hire. One should have enough work to hire a full-time employee. The responsibility of their career goals lies in your hands. When it comes to a freelancer, your responsibility ends with the contract.


Every business has a budget constraint for a task. As suggested, in the short-term going for a freelancer is a better option as it is a one-time cost and this can help you save money. Freelancers are many times open for negotiation. If you keep on working with freelancers at regular intervals then in the long run it will prove to be costly.

While on the other hand, hiring full-time employees also comes with additional costs. As along with salary, you will have to bear the additional costs such as health insurance, paid leaves, bonus, etc. Decide by keeping your budget in mind and how much you are willing to spend. Always go for the option that will prove to be the most cost-efficient for your business.


As the freelancers are involved with you for a limited period of time, they do not commit their full loyalty to you. Once the project is over, they will associate with another business if they pay them more, or do not take up your work next time when they have a busy schedule. While full-time employees offer their full loyalty to the business. They give long-term commitment as they are permanent members of your business. A lot of times, their loyalty is also derived through the number of incentives you offer them. They help your business grow by supporting it in their community. 


Freelancers are the best if you create a new team for each project. With involving them in a team, you can gain different industry insights as they come with more diverse experiences. To ensure qualitative work, you have the option of seeing their portfolio and flexibility to choose from multiple options. Considering the style of your work is necessary when making your decision.

Full-time employees are not always productive. Due to the long-term nature of the relationship, you see periods of low productivity also from them. However, due to their dedication towards the work, they help create a stable working environment. If your pattern of working involves a fixed number of members for a given task or repeated style of working, prefer full-time workers. 


Full-time employees are known for a greater level of dedication and for sticking around for a long period of time. Full-time employees show more dedication and advocate the business in their social circle too. They inculcate a sense of family and community and hence have a higher degree of engagement with the business. They will be ready to go the extra mile for your business and ensure you with qualitative work.

For freelancers, they can give you competitive advantage, but this is only limited to the time when you are associated with them. Freelancers will not be engaged with you to achieve the mission of your company. Freelancers do ensure you their best foot forward, but will not be ready to go outside their parameters for your work. You will also have less control on the quality of the work with freelancers.

Eventually, both freelancers and full-time employees are good choices. What matters the most is the needs of your business. Your decision should only be influenced by what will serve the best for you. 

An additional reading resource called “Living His Best Life – David Nuff’s Inspiring Freelance Success Story”, is a great article on how one person becomes successful as a freelancer. It discusses the interview process, tools to use, and how freelancing works in general which can be very handy.  You may check it out here on the Toptal Blog:

Author Bio:

Ashutosh works as a Product Manager at – India’s most powerful platform for freelancer’s finances and growth. He has helped some renowned technology companies with their product. In this blog, Ashutosh shares some tips and tactics to generate blog ideas from Social Media. You can follow on Twitter, LinkedIn.

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