Are you struggling with whether to retain your employees or to hire consultants for the job? Read this article prepared by Atlantic Partners for guidance.

As this pandemic has truly thrown any and all businesses for a loop, it is only natural to begin thinking about what business will look like in a post-COVID world. Int terms of hiring more employees after this pandemic, it can be up for debate whether to hire consultants for a particular job, or to simply retain your own employees.


Advantages of Hiring a Consultant

Hiring consultants has some advantages and disadvantages. Hiring a consultant to perform a particular job or provide expert insight can greatly benefit your company or organization. Usually, a consultant will work on a contractual basis within a certain time frame, and for a set amount of money. An advantage of hiring a consultant is that they can provide you with an outside perspective, as well as expertise. With the use of a consultant, they can complete a particular project within the time frame given, which in turn, boosts productivity and efficiency. They also can provide you with an outside perspective and help you see your company or organization from a different point of view. Consultants are also relatively cost-effective. You don’t have to spend money or time training them, and you also don’t have to enlist them on your payroll after the project is completed.


Disadvantages of Hiring a Consultant

Conversely, hiring a consultant can also come with disadvantages. Firstly, consultants usually have a limited knowledge of the company, as well as in-house procedures and policies. Consultants could come in and disrupt workflow, or potentially cause work conflicts within the space, being that they are a new person thrown into the line of fire. Consultants are also abiding by what’s outlined in the contract, which makes them seemingly more difficult to control. Secondly, you are investing in the consultant and your results can vary. Since the consultant you hired is filling a gap that you can’t fill in-house, there is no one to check on their progress to ensure that they’re doing the correct thing. If you are not actively seeking out progress reports or feedback, you are entrusting them to work independently and run the risk of less than high-quality results.


Employee Retention – Advantages

In regards to employee retention, there are also advantages and disadvantages. Employee retention refers to the practice of ensuring that employees don’t leave your company or organization, as they are an asset. Whether or not this practice is beneficial will greatly depend on the organization. One of the best advantages of employee retention is the cost-effectiveness. Each employee that is hired procures hiring costs, training costs, on-job training costs, mid-employment training, and exit costs which can cost your organization a lot of money in the long run. It can sometimes be wiser financially to retain employees who are proving to be successful in the company. There is also a level of experience that employees accumulate that can potentially be unmatched in comparison to consultants. They know the ins and outs of your organization and have the knowledge to perform well within your company. If an employee leaves, they take all of that insider information that they’ve accumulated and can now apply it elsewhere. Lastly, when an employee leaves, it disrupts the workplace and the work flow is affected. You will now have to also train another suitable employee to take over those tasks and until a replacement is found, that workflow will continue to be disrupted.


Employee Retention – Disadvantages

Some disadvantages associated with retaining employees can also be aspects like: retaining non-performing employees, cliques, and an overall poor working environment. In regards to non-performing employees, it can happen at any point. You can retain an employee with a lot of promise, but once they are retained, their motivation drops and they stop performing. Employees can sometimes not be ready to grow, and consequently, under perform and leave you with a dull employee and piles of tasks that need to be completed. Cliques can occur when employees who are retained end up suffering a power trip and as a result, become very cliquey and create a  negative group in the workplace. This can affect the work flow, as well as quality of work that is completed, when their work ethic may have been one of the determining factors for why they got hired initially. A poor working environment can take place when under performing retained employees begin demanding for more. This can negatively impact the culture of the workplace, which is vital to the morale of the organization.


People in the Workplace Define the Workplace

Either way, both consultants and employees have advantages and disadvantages. The most important thing to remember is the people. The people in the workplace define the workplace, so it is important to seek out individuals who connect to you on a personal level and seem like they may fit within the work culture. At the end of the day, you want to seek out people who are going to work hard, work efficiently, and bring something new and great to the table.


Quality Work is Important

Another thing to remember during this hiring or retention process, is that quality work is important. You want to make sure that the people you hire to take on projects, or the people you retain, are going to deliver the level of quality that is expected of them. You don’t want to spend money on someone who isn’t going to take the time to do an accurate, good job. Above all else, ensure that who you hire will bring the level of quality that is expected of them, and deliver great results.