Comparing employees to contractors for growth companies

As a growing Life Sciences company, you are consistently hitting milestones and scaling up your programs, which means you need to scale your workforce and add more people to meet new needs. The question then becomes, is it best to fill the gaps with full-time, permanent hires, or is it better to bring contractors into those roles?

There are times where permanent hires may be the best fit. Permanent hires can help build and solidify a strong, lasting workplace culture, and they have the potential to grow with the company long term. These considerations make them suitable candidates for non-specialized roles where there is more time to onboard and transition into the role. Roles best suited to permanent hires often are those that are not likely to change over time, or at least any time soon – roles that the organization will consistently need, even as the organization continues to grow and undergo changes. Even in these roles,Staff that will be committed to the business long term are oftentimes the best option in these circumstances. The truth of the matter is that the market for in-demand, Life Sciences talent continues to grow and both full time and contractors are transitioning to new companies at an alarming rate. 

When it comes to more specialized roles in a growth company, a different kind of hiring strategy may be necessary. With these types of roles, there is a greater sense of urgency in filling them with someone who has done it before and does not require a lot of ramp up time – someone who can step in and fulfill the full scope of responsibilities almost immediately so you can continue to move projects forward without missing a beat. When you’re racing to achieve milestones, this timing is crucial. To meet this objective, filling these gaps with seasoned contractors is the best way to avoid lost time because they can usually come into an organization with minimal training and can truly hit the ground running, making an immediate and positive impact on workload. In comparison with permanent hires, this structure allows you flexibility to adjust roles to adapt to changes in the business without having to reskill existing permanent staff so you can obtain skills sets as the need arises.

When making the decision about the right kind of hire, there are a lot of factors at play. Whether you hire permanent employees or contractors depends on an assessment of short and long term objectives, an inventory of what skill sets will be needed and when, and how quickly you need to add those skill sets to your team.