Staff versus contracted workers

A conversation with my friend Joe that followed on from this blog post about startups raised the pros and cons of employing staff compared to paying external workers.

Advantages of Contracted External Workers

  1. You can get someone who is super good and super efficient at a few key things and pay them for that, rather than an all-rounder who is not necessarily great or fast at any of the jobs they have

  2. You don’t have to oversee staff administration, personal development and so on

  3. You can chop and change until you find the right person… and maybe eventual invite them to join the staff team down the track

  4. A part-time or full-time staff member will inevitably have unfocussed and unproductive time. A contracted person can just not be paid when you don’t need them

  5. A part-time or full-time staff member will do other work-related stuff ‘on the clock’: answer emails, get trained, build relationships, plan their work whereas much of this stuff the contracted worker will have to do in their own time

  6. They are able to give an outsider’s perspective on the ministry

  7. You can bring them on for a very discreet period of time to boost your work or propel things forward - for example running a major mission event or moving to a new database system

Advantages of Staff

  1. You can establish the ministry relationships dynamics much more easily with staff. As a result you are modelling and growing in the gospel, rather than just getting jobs done

  2. You have a higher stability: they are more likely to be available and responsive - not busy doing other freelance work.

  3. They are easier to retain because they have invested a larger amount of their livelihood in the role. There is a greater risk of losing a contracted worker at short notice and having to rush to find someone to take over all the work they were doing.They are in a better position to let their overall understanding of the ministry vision, culture and people shape the way they do their work

  4. You have less people to manage - if you employed lots of contract work, you have lots of different people to delegate to and communicate with

  5. Staff are usually cheaper-per-hour

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