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In today’s business world it’s often necessary to have many types of employees. Having a core of professional 9-5 full-timers is an asset, but flexibility is also needed. Many companies also add part-timers, temporary workers, and talented contractors to the mix.
Having a variety of employees helps you take advantage of a rich and mobile labor pool. It’s worth knowing the nuances and differences between them, and how you can use them.
For a guide on the common types of employees, read on.
The most common type of employee is the traditional full-time one. These individuals operate on a 40-hour work week and are eligible for benefits. Most companies hiring employees of this type will offer things like healthcare coverage.
The Fair Labor Standards Act has provisions in place for what you have to provide as an employer. Companies with around 50 or more full-time workers are legally obligated to provide health care coverage. Beyond that, employers tend to offer full-time employees a little extra.
This is especially the case for competitive industries where talent is hard to hold on to. Full-time employees are one of the biggest investments a company makes. A staff of well-trained and invested full-timers can offer near unparalleled value.
This is because full-time employees are more likely to stay with the company long-term. This opens the door to advanced training that nurtures and keeps talent. If you build a core of skilled full-timers that want to stay, your company will reap the benefits.
Among the many types of employees, part-timers are also very common. These can be loosely defined, but a few rules of thumb apply. Usually, a part-time employee works less than 40 hours in a given week.
Part-time employees are still official employees of the company. The main difference is they don’t work as much, and thus might have less investment in the company. This isn’t always the case, however.
Part-timers can be every bit as skilled or talented as full-timers, and also productive. Some individuals prefer the flexibility of part-time, especially if they have family obligations. It’s also common for workers to have fluctuating schedules, where they might not be able to work 40 hours consistently.
When finding employees, some companies like having a mixture of full and part-timers. The full-timers are the consistent “safe-bets” that can make setting a baseline easier. Part-timers offer extra flexibility in scheduling for management to fill any gaps.
Part-timers also don’t qualify for all of the automatic benefits that full-time get. In many cases, it’s up to the employers to decide how competitive they want part-time benefits to be.
Seasonal or Temporary Employees
Many successful companies also employ seasonal or temporary employees. These are people who you only hire for a fixed period of time – often seasonal or for less than 6 months. Such workers are popular in industries that see predictable shifts in business.
Companies that always get busier in the summer might find it easier to hire seasonal labor. They can offer contracts for 2-3 months to deal with the rush. The same can apply for the winter holiday season, where an extra pair of hands or two can help make the difference.
Seasonal employees can also cover for full-timers going on vacation. If you stagger the vacation time over the 2 or 3-month period, then 1 seasonal worker can cover the shifts of multiple employees. A seasonal worker who fits in well might also be willing to come back next season.
This can offer employers a sense of consistency. It isn’t uncommon for seasonal or temporary workers to land a full-time position. In this way, seasonal employment can act almost like a trial period for open positions.
Temporary employees on a 6-month contract can also help fill temporary gaps. These are good if someone goes on maternity leave or sustains a long-term injury. It can also help if you anticipate a surge in demand for labor that won’t be sustainable beyond a few seasons.
Leased employees often work for employee recruitment firms. Many people know these as “job centers” that specialize in finding talented workers. Unlike temporary workers, leased employees usually work for a staffing agency.
This means that the agency that hires them pays their salary and any benefits themselves. They “lease” these workers to companies that might need them. Often these leased employees have a specific skill set that the company needs.
Leased workers usually work on temporary projects, and might only work in one place for a year or two. They are similar to contractors but don’t work for themselves. Unlike temporary workers, who negotiate their own contracts, leased employees go where the agency sends them.
Of course, leased employees have the right to pick and choose or refuse contracts. That said, the agency decides the pool of options.
In some cases, a larger company might “loan out” a member of staff to another company, while covering the costs. Given the competitive nature of many industries, this is very rare. In such cases, these workers would also count as leased employees.
Freelancers, Consultants, and Contractors
The last major category involves what is sometimes called “contingent workers”. They include skilled and talented experts who get hired for a specific need or project.
Depending on the circumstance they have different titles. These include freelancers and contractors, as well as consultants. A company usually hires them directly and negotiates an independent contract.
For major projects, these contracts are usually “a statement of work” provision. It includes the details, responsibilities, and remunerations for the completion of specific work. Once the work or project is complete, the contract ends.
Companies are of course free to hire these workers for future projects if they like them. They can also try and offer them full-time positions. Some of the best and most talented individuals work as contingent workers. This is because they know the value of their skills and how in-demand they are.
Bradsby Group executive search firms know this and work hard to find the best candidates available. Regardless of how specific your needs or project is, a good search firm can find the right person.
The Most Common Types of Employees
There are many types of employees to consider when making hiring decisions. Aside from full-timers, you have part-timers, seasonal and temporary, leased, and contracted ones. A good combination of these types can benefit almost any business.
Different employee types offer flexibility in scheduling, payroll, and talent retention. For more information on topics like these, be sure to check out our blog and other articles.
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