Permanent or Temporary Staffing: Which One Is Right for Your Business?

If you own a business, you want to ensure you’re making the right hiring decisions.

But when you’re trying to choose between permanent or temporary staffing, it can be tough to figure out which one is right for your business.

Above all else, making the right choice will depend on the nature of the position you’re trying to fill, and will require you to consider everything from workload and project duration to legal obligations, budget constraints, and even employee retention.

But making that decision can be incredibly difficult, especially if you don’t have a firm grasp of the differences between permanent and temporary staffing.

With that in mind, we wanted to publish an article outlining the main differences, benefits, and disadvantages of these two hiring methods, so you can have peace of mind knowing you’re making the right decision.

So, if you need help figuring out whether you should go with temporary or permanent staffing, then this is an article you’re not going to want to miss.

And if you’re looking to learn more about the benefits of temporary hiring, you should read our article on Rethinking Recruitment: How Temporary Staffing Can Benefit Your Business.

Permanent or Temporary Staffing: What Are the Main Differences?

Aside from the fact that one involves hiring someone permanently, and the other involves hiring someone temporarily, there are several unique differences between these two options.

That being said, below we’ve detailed the key differences between these two hiring methods, so you can ensure you’re making the best possible decision.

Duration of Employment

Permanent Staffing: Involves hiring employees for indefinite periods. These employees are considered long-term assets to the company, often with the expectation of career growth and development within the organization.

Temporary Staffing: Refers to hiring employees for a specific, limited period. These assignments can range from a few days to several months, often tied to specific projects, seasonal peaks, or covering for permanent staff on leave.

Employee Benefits

Permanent Staffing: Permanent employees typically receive a full range of benefits, including health insurance, retirement plans, paid vacation, and sick leave.

Temporary Staffing: Temporary employees may not receive the same level of benefits. Some agencies offer limited benefits, but these are usually less comprehensive than those offered to permanent staff.

Job Security

Permanent Staffing: Permanent positions offer higher job security, and are generally more stable, barring performance issues or economic downturns.

Temporary Staffing: Temporary positions provide less job security, and employment ends when the contract period is over, although there’s sometimes potential for temporary positions to convert into permanent ones.

Cost to the Employer

Permanent Staffing: This method is more costly in terms of salary, benefits, and other employee-related expenses. However, investing in permanent staff can lead to greater employee loyalty and long-term value for the company.

Temporary Staffing: Going with this option is often less expensive in the short term, as temporary workers typically have lower salaries and fewer benefits, so it can be cost-effective for meeting short-term labour demands.

Recruitment Process

Permanent Staffing: This usually involves a more rigorous recruitment process, including multiple interviews and a comprehensive evaluation of the candidate’s fit with the company culture and long-term goals.

Temporary Staffing: Temporary staffing often involves a quicker hiring process, which tends to be focused on immediate skills and availability for the specific project or period of time in question.


Permanent Staffing: This option is less flexible in terms of scaling the workforce up or down, as layoffs or hiring sprees can be costly and have a greater impact on company morale.

Temporary Staffing: Hiring temporary staff offers more flexibility, as employers can quickly adapt to workload fluctuations by bringing in or releasing temporary staff as needed.

Integration with the Company

Permanent Staffing: Permanent employees are typically more integrated into company culture and are more likely to participate in things like team-building activities and company events.

Temporary Staffing: Temporary workers may be less integrated, focusing primarily on the specific tasks at hand without extensive involvement in company culture or long-term objectives.

What Are the Benefits and Disadvantages of Temporary Staffing?

Now that you understand the key differences between temporary and permanent staffing, you should also consider the benefits and disadvantages of each of these hiring methods.

With that in mind, below we’ve detailed the most important advantages and drawbacks of temporary staffing, so you can make the best decision for your business.

Benefits of Temporary Staffing

Flexibility: One of the primary advantages of temporary staffing is flexibility. It allows you to adjust your workforce based on current needs without the commitment of permanent hires, and this is particularly beneficial during peak seasons, special projects, or when covering for employees on leave.

Cost-Effectiveness: Hiring temporary staff can be more cost-effective compared to permanent employees. Since temporary workers are often not entitled to benefits like health insurance, retirement plans, or paid leave, the overall employment cost is reduced.


Reduced Training Time and Cost: Temporary employees are often hired for their specific skills and experience, which means they require less training and can become productive more quickly than new permanent hires.

Opportunity for Evaluation: Temporary staffing gives you the opportunity to evaluate a worker’s performance and fit before committing to a permanent offer. This “try before you buy” approach can lead to more successful, long-term hiring decisions.

Quick Hiring Process: The process of hiring temporary staff is usually quicker than that of hiring permanent employees. This is crucial when you need to fill a position rapidly to meet project deadlines or handle unexpected increases in workload.

Access to Specialized Skills: Temporary staffing allows you to bring in professionals with specialized skills for specific projects or tasks. This can be particularly beneficial if you own a small business or startup that may not have these skills in-house.

Disadvantages of Temporary Staffing

Lack of Commitment: Temporary employees may have less commitment to your company’s long-term goals and culture. This can affect team dynamics and overall workplace cohesion.

Training and Integration Issues: While temporary staff require less training, there is still a need to familiarize them with your company’s procedures and policies. Integration into teams can also be challenging, as they tend to be viewed as short-term solutions rather than integral team members.

Potential for Lower Quality of Work: Since temporary employees know their tenure is limited, they may not invest as much effort into their work compared to permanent staff. This can sometimes result in lower-quality output.

Limited Career Growth and Benefits: Temporary positions often lack the career growth opportunities and benefits associated with permanent employment, which can affect the morale and motivation of temporary staff.

Legal and Ethical Considerations: There are legal nuances associated with temporary staffing, such as compliance with labour laws and regulations, and ethical considerations, like equal treatment of temporary and permanent staff, also need attention.

Inconsistent Workforce: Relying heavily on temporary staff can lead to an inconsistent workforce. This inconsistency can disrupt work processes and affect long-term strategic planning.

What Are the Benefits and Disadvantages of Permanent Staffing?

People often think that one of these hiring methods is better than the other, but one isn’t inherently better, and making the right decision about how you want to hire will depend on many different factors.

The reality is every situation is different, and if you want to make the right choice, you’re going to have to carefully consider the benefits and drawbacks of each option.

With that in mind, below we’ve detailed the most important advantages and drawbacks of permanent staffing, so you can make the best decision for your business.

Benefits of Permanent Staffing

Long-term Stability: Permanent employees provide stability to your company. They are more likely to understand and be committed to your company’s long-term goals, contributing to a steady and predictable workforce.

Increased Employee Loyalty: Offering permanent positions often results in higher employee loyalty. This loyalty can lead to increased productivity and a lower turnover rate, which is beneficial for employee morale and can help to ensure the long-term success of your business.

Opportunity for Employee Development: Permanent staffing allows for the continuous development of employees, and when you invest in the professional growth of your staff, this can lead to a more skilled and efficient workforce.

Consistent Company Culture: Permanent employees contribute significantly to the development and maintenance of your company’s culture, helping to build a strong, cohesive work environment, which can enhance productivity and employee satisfaction.

Better Customer Relationships: Permanent staff tend to develop stronger relationships with clients due to continuity and familiarity, and this can lead to improved customer service and client retention.

Comprehensive Benefits Package: Permanent employees usually receive a full range of benefits, including health insurance, retirement plans, and paid leave. These benefits are important for employee satisfaction and can be a key factor in your ability to attract top talent.

Disadvantages of Permanent Staffing

Higher Costs: Employing permanent staff can be more expensive than temporary staffing. The costs include not only salaries but also benefits, training, and other employee-related expenses.

Reduced Flexibility: Permanent staffing offers less flexibility in terms of workforce management. Scaling up or down quickly in response to business needs can be challenging and costly.

Risk of Wrong Hiring Decisions: Making a permanent hiring decision comes with the risk of the employee not fitting well with your company culture or not performing as expected. These mistakes can be costly in terms of both time and resources.

Longer Hiring Process: The process of hiring permanent employees is often longer and more complex than hiring temporary staff. It involves extensive searching, interviewing, and decision-making to ensure the right fit for your company.

Potential for Decreased Morale: In situations where layoffs or downsizing occur, the morale of remaining permanent employees can be significantly affected. This can impact productivity and the overall work environment.

Liability and Legal Obligations: Permanent employees come with additional legal obligations for the employer, including adherence to labour laws, contract terminations, and potential legal disputes.

Challenges with Workforce Adaptation: In rapidly changing industries, permanent staff may struggle to adapt as quickly as needed. This can lead to skill gaps and the need for ongoing training and development.

Are you searching for the best staffing solutions in B.C.? Our professional recruiters and certified personnel consultants can help you with all your staffing needs. Contact us today to get started.



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