Making a wrong hiring decision can take years to recover from. After accounting for the time it takes to find suitable candidates, interview them, submit an offer to someone you want to hire, on-board them, train them, then set them loose, you have already invested a significant amount of time, money, and energy into your new full-time employee.

But what if they don’t work out? It happens more often than we like to admit, but we all make bad hiring decisions, and once the employee’s bad performance has finally hit a tipping point, more time and energy must be allocated to fire him or her.

And on top of it all, if not handled properly, you open yourself and your company up to potential legal action.

But by hiring a contract employee or freelancer, you can “try before you buy”. It may seem like a callous way to view another human being, but in actuality, it is a lot more common than you might think.

By hiring a contractor or freelancer for a specific, defined project, you can judge their work ethic, ability, and potential before deciding to offer them a full-time job. Or you may simply elect to keep them on a contract basis indefinitely.

Which leads to another benefit of hiring contractors. When factoring in benefits and insurance costs, a freelancer is almost always cheaper than hiring a full-time employee. Even if paying a higher hourly rate than you would pay an employee, you are not required to pay anything above and beyond that rate, thus saving you a significant amount of money.

Additionally, by developing a relationship with a staffing firm, you will be able to surge your workforce when needed. Did you just win a major contract and must ramp up immediately? By maintaining a ready pool of qualified workers, a staffing firm will be able to have “butts in seats” in a matter of days versus the weeks it can take to hire full-time employees.

Additionally, when business inevitably slows down, you can stand down your freelance force, thereby lowering your overhead costs