The Pros and Cons of Hiring Full-time Employees

By Susanna Blake

The seasonal nature of the construction industry means that many employers rely on contract workers, most of whom become established career contractors. However, for construction company owners, having a trusted crew of full-time employees has its advantages. As you plan to build a good reputation and long-term relationships with your customer, it is essential to weigh the pros and cons of having a full time or temporary staff.

Pros of Hiring Full-time Employees

Full-time employees are often more invested in cultivating relationships with the company and the customers they serve. Established employees carry a sense of pride in their work as part of a team and are willing to go above and beyond to follow through on assignments and achieve greater customer satisfaction. In addition, employees depend on their employers economically, so they are more likely to try to build their own personal reputations within the company as skilled, professional, reliable, loyal, and able to rise to challenges to meet customer needs and to be rewarded for doing so. Another advantage of having proven full-time employees is that employers can take time off knowing their team is managing the work effectively and on schedule. For employers, having a team of reliable company employees also means a greater sense of continuity in the quality of work. When the amount of work increases, an employer with a dedicated team is not forced to scramble to recruit and train new workers. Additionally, with contract workers, owners may be met with varying degrees of skill sets and work ethics.

Cons of Hiring Full-time Employees

Hiring full-time employees can add additional levels of complexity, cos, and risk to employers. In accordance with numerous federal labor and employment laws, employers can be subject to minimum wage, overtime and federal leave requirements for their employees, among many other state and city compliance laws and regulations. To compete with other contractors vying for workers, employers may often have to offer such employee perks as bonuses and paid vacation. Along with typically offering a benefits package, the company also undertakes the responsibility maintaining compliance and appropriate paperwork related to all of the benefits. Another difference and potential downside for employers is the requirement to maintain a steady, predictable cash flow to ensure employees are paid in full on a regular, ongoing basis. As with all employers, construction business owners are responsible for maintaining employment and payroll records and withholding and remitting employees’ taxes, social security and Medicaid. Employers of full-time workers are also obligated to provide adequate training and professional licensing required for every employee.

When Hiring Regular Full-Time Employees Makes Most Sense

If you have year-round work and an established clientele with ongoing needs and expectations associated with your services, having a well-trained crew of regular employees will help you deliver consistent, quality work and high customer satisfaction.

When Hiring Contract Workers Makes Most Sense

If you are short on time and need to staff a job quickly to meet the needs of a client, being able to turn to a reliable contract worker can help your business meet the needs of the workload quickly. With these considerations in mind, construction owners should ultimately hire workers that will help them achieve long-term results that best serve the business and the work that they do for their clients.

Susanna Blake, PHR, is a senior human capital consultant at TriNet.

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