Navigating the Hiring Game: Pros and Cons of Contract & Permanent Hires

Amanda Lintvelt

Jun 05, 2023

Navigating the Hiring Game: Pros and Cons of Contract & Permanent Hires

When it comes to recruitment, clients often already have an idea of whether they are looking for a permanent or contract employee. While both options come with their pros and cons, making the right choice ultimately depends on your business needs. At CAST USA, we understand the complexities of recruitment. Here we've put together a comprehensive list of 7 common business needs and our opinion on whether contract or permanent recruitment is the best option for each situation.

By customizing each stage of the recruitment process, including job descriptions, sourcing channels, screening criteria, interview methods, assessments, employer branding, candidate experience, and onboarding, you can ensure that the process aligns with your organization's specific needs. This tailored approach enables you to attract and select the best candidates for the job, regardless of the position's length, increasing the likelihood of long-term success and satisfaction.

1. Accessing highly skilled staff

The candidate pool for contract recruitment features many with impressive resumes and skill sets that are much rarer in the permanent recruitment market. Contract professionals exude unwavering confidence in their exceptional skills and extensive experience, consistently securing successive engagements. Unlike permanent professionals seeking career progression, these professionals frequently specialize in specific project types, amplifying their expertise and depth of knowledge. Consequently, they possess a significantly elevated level of skill and proficiency, surpassing that of permanent professionals aspiring to climb the career ladder.

In contrast, permanent employees are more likely to better understand the company’s existing processes and values. Employers also have the option to upskill permanent workers with the precise skills they need, though this can take a significant amount of time.

  • The verdict: contract

2. Prioritizing work culture

Work culture is very important, and many businesses are beginning to recognize the effect it can have on productivity and a company’s overall success. While contract hires can slot in with teams, the fleeting nature of their work means that they are unlikely to contribute much in the way of long-term contributions to the company culture.

  • The verdict: permanent

3. Speeding up the hiring process

Permanent recruitment usually involves a time-consuming process, although technology such as video conferencing is helping speed things up. An effective screening process for both skill sets and cultural fit can also help reduce the time spent on recruitment. However, contract hires can be in place with their skills benefiting your business within 48 hours, which the permanent hiring process simply cannot compete with.

  • The verdict: contract, especially if the role is urgent

4. Investing in your future

Contract recruitment can help your business achieve specific goals or projects, but the skills and experience gained from delivering your project will disappear with your contract hire when they leave and the project is complete.

  • The verdict: permanent

5. Hitting the ground running

The high skill levels of contract professionals that are brought in to deliver projects make them ideal candidates to hit the ground running. They also work and thrive in environments where they are working on a project for periods of six months or less, making them adept at being effective immediately, with a limited onboarding process.

  • The verdict: contract

6. Making unpopular decisions

While contract hires need to be able to build relationships with the team members they will work closely with even for a short time, they are not there to build long-term relationships. This makes them ideal for some difficult tasks such change management or restructuring. Such tasks are usually best delivered by someone from outside to ensure office politics don't unduly influence decisions.

  • The verdict: contract

7. Minimizing costs

This one is a pretty close call as there are multiple factors to consider. Contract hires have a higher day rate, partly due to the uncertainty of their employment status and partly due to the relative scarcity of their skill sets. This would initially appear to award the verdict to permanent recruitment.

However, contract hires may also save a businesses money as they allow a company to scale up or down with ease. The real cost of a permanent employee is generally significantly higher than the basic sum of their salary, as taxes, insurance, pension contributions and vacation days must also be factored in.

  • The verdict: a tie


When it comes to recruitment, both contract and permanent hires have their pros and cons. While permanent recruitment may be more suited to those looking for candidates who can fully integrate into the company culture and make long-term contributions, contract recruitment is much better suited to specific, shorter-term projects that require specialist skills. By understanding your specific business needs and tailoring your recruitment strategy accordingly, you can ensure whichever route you choose provides the best strategic outcomes.

Here at CAST USA, we pride ourselves on our ability to find top talent for even the toughest recruitment challenges. We use innovative and tailored solutions to make sure that we find the talent your business needs, Contract or Permanent. We go the extra mile to provide recruitment solutions to solve your hiring headaches.

Are you hiring in 2023? Find the talent you need with CAST USA, where we use innovative, tailored solutions to solve even the most daunting recruitment challenges. Get in touch to start your search.