I don't blame them. Contractors can help reduce the bottom line, step in during seasonal pushes within an organization, and offer unique expertise when needed. To this day, I have contractors on my teams for very specific tasks and functions.
That said, when it comes down to building a business with a strong mission and greater goals, there is something vastly different about having a team of full-time employees. Here's why I like to hire full-time employees whenever I can.
Everyone is engaged in a bigger vision.
If you want people to engage in an outcome as opposed to a task, you must hire them on a full-time basis. Simply put: Don't outsource the outcome, outsource the task.
I want people who aren't merely punching the clock but are fully on board in taking actions to create a vision of the future we all believe in. While you can hire part-time or contract hires and make them feel as though they are part of the mission, the level of commitment won't be there, and it will be evident in how they show up. When you rent an apartment, you probably aren't as diligent and careful as your neighbor next door who owns their condo. The same goes with the mindset of employment styles.
You hold greater flexibility.
A contractor or freelance hire is there for a very specific duration of time, task, or need. That's it. You can't typically expect them to show up and contribute to other projects or be called randomly to review a report or provide input. The terms of hire are usually very cut and dried for what is and is not accepted.
This creates a lack of flexibility in your resources. And, as recent events may have shown, when things get tough, you need flexibility with your employees.
When the pandemic caused businesses to pivot, they needed their staffs to pivot as well. Restaurants servers were suddenly answering phones and taking to-go orders, personal trainers were filming and promoting video classes, and secretaries were becoming virtual assistants. While they were not executing the same task, they were still working for the same outcome--the business's success. Being able to move the players of your team to different positions gives you the power to navigate swiftly and strategically.
I hire full-time staff based on their skill sets, but also on their ability to adapt quickly to change, to move seamlessly, and collaborate well. When you have multiple projects going on, having the ability to quickly shift someone from one team to another can help. This level of flexibility must be considered when evaluating your next hire.
A symbiotic relationship is formed.
Hiring a full-time employee is a long-term relationship that requires a higher level of investment. But if invested properly, the dividends can be exponential. When I dedicate my valuable time, expertise, and energy into someone, I want to keep them around for life. Full-time employees allow you to invest in them.
Choose to view your employees as mentees, help them grow, and hit their future goals. In return, they will help you hit yours. There is something truly fulfilling about this level of commitment that can't be established with hires working on a short-term task basis. When you care about your employees, they care about you.