8 types of employees and when to hire them

July 27, 2022

Types of employees that companies need to be aware of

There are many types of employees, but essentially an employee is an individual that is hired by either a person or an organization to perform work for that person or organization. It is important for every company to know what type of employee is suitable for the particular job. With the right hiring strategy and knowledge of employee types, a company can save time and money.

According to the OECD, only in the UK the number of full-time employees has increased from 76.6 % to almost 80% in the last seven years. On the other hand, the same study shows us that part-time employment dropped from 23.4% to 20%. Understanding the different types of employees and knowing when to hire them will improve and stabilize your company.

Types of employees every company needs to be aware of

Have a look at the eight most common types of employees to consider when hiring for a new position. Then decide which ones fit your company’s needs the best.

Full-time employees

Typically, in most work cultures, full-time employees work an average of 160 hours per month. Usually, they receive health and retirement benefits, as well as vacation days and paid time off. This type of employee isn’t employed elsewhere, and is fully dedicated to the company. That way, the employer can rely on the employee in their full capacity and include them in the day-to-day functioning of the company.

Offer a full-time contract to someone you see as extremely vital to your business. Full-time employees can grow and develop within the company, and are also made to feel appreciated by the employer. Creating a work environment where everyone is feeling important can only lead to more growth. Still, it is essential that the employment agreement outlines all the responsibilities of the employee, the extent of their services (hours and days of work), benefits provided, termination, notices and applicable law.

Part-time employees

Part-time employees work less than 40 hours a week and are typically paid by the hour rather than salaried. It can be anyone who wishes to work for less due to having a second source of income or personal commitments that do not allow for more time spent at work. These employees are, of course, considered legitimate employees but may not be eligible for benefits.

Opt for a part-time contract if your company needs to save money, or if you have no need for the employee’s full services. Keep in mind that, having someone on a part-time contract doesn’t necessarily mean that you don’t consider them an integral part of your business. However, if you wish to commit to them or their services more fully, consider promoting them or extending their contract.

Seasonal employees

Sometimes you might, very briefly, need the services of someone for a limited period of time. Enter seasonal employees! These are individuals who are hired for a short period of time, based on a company’s needs. Generally, they help with increased work demand or seasonal work that arises in specific times of the year. Think about the summer, when most employees are vacationing, or during the Christmas holidays when the demand is high, but most people are busy wrapping gifts.

A seasonal employee might be the extra kick your business needs to keep going. Who knows, maybe a short stint at your company can transform into a full-time contract.  

Temporary employees

Temporary employees or ‘temps’ are usually hired, on a temporary basis for a predetermined period of time, such as three-to-six months. They are often hired to work on a project and terminate their contract when the project is complete. Most temps are working for a short-term period, either to act as a substitute for a permanent employee on leave, help with a short-term project at the company or as an open-ended position that may lead to permanent employment (temp to hire).

Temps, unlike other types of employees, work for a wide variety of companies in many industries for varying lengths of time. They could work in offices, restaurants, retail stores, manufacturing companies and shipping businesses. The length of time depends on the needs of the company. Some temps may work for one month while others could stay with a company for more than a year.

Many companies use staffing agencies to fill temporary roles. These agencies provide companies with pre-screened employees who then fill a gap in their workforce. The temp agency acts as human resources, matching you with available positions that fit your skills, arranging interviews and providing your pay.

Leased employees

If you find yourself looking for someone for the job, but lack the time or resources to go through the hiring process, you might need a leased employee! These individuals are, most often, hired by a staffing agency and then “leased” out to an organization to complete a specific job. The typical work time for leased employees is a year or longer. While still considered part of the company, leased workers are paid by the staffing agency and also receive their benefits through the employment agency rather than the organization they are working for.

Contract workers

Not sure about the length of the work that needs to be done? Are you maybe a small company that cannot commit to full-time employment? Your HR team should then offer a contract to the prospective employee for a set period of time to perform a specific task or duty. It is important for the contract to specify the compensation the worker gets after performing the required amount of work. Contracted workers usually do not receive benefits, unless it is specified in their contract.

If you need a re-design of your company’s website, or a rewrite of your e-mail strategy, consider lending out a contract to a designer or a copywriter to do the job. Afterwards you can part ways, or extend their contract and offer full-time employment. Freelancers are great candidates for contracted work.

Independent contractors

An independent contractor is a person or firm sourced by a company to perform work or services. Independent contractors, like some other types of employees, may work on a permanent basis for the company or they may work on a single project or as-needed. These workers are responsible for paying their own taxes and are not eligible for benefits through the companies they work with. Independent contractors may also be referred to as freelancers, subcontractors or contractors. Examples of an independent contractor include actors, freelance writers and auctioneers.

Interns

An intern is a person who performs work for a company on a paid, unpaid or partially-paid basis in exchange for the work experience gained. Internships are offered to many high school or college-level students who need the extra cash or experience to prepare them for the workplace. Internships typically last for a few months, and are considered jobs, as much as they are learning experiences. After the internship ends, most interns move on from the company, but others are offered to become permanent employees.

Consultant

When things get tough and an extra hand is needed, consider hiring a consultant. This employee type is a self-employed person who offers professional advice in their area of expertise. They may specialize in education, law or marketing and provide companies with expert advice in an attempt to help the company improve in these specific areas. Consultants provide their services on a temporary basis but may be utilized repeatedly by a company based on the organization’s consulting needs.

Conclusion

There are as many types of employees as there are company’s needs. It is always up to the employer to determine what type of employment suits their project, as well as the prospective candidate. Consider the candidate’s work experience, qualifications, commitment, and passion before offering a contract. Moreover, always be open to their needs and suggestions, as an employment agreement is always signed between two parties.

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