What’s the difference between Freelancers, Consultants and Temporary Staff?

freelancers vs consultants

Freelancers, consultants and temporary staff are often used as synonyms. However there are subtle differences between freelancers, consultants and temporary staffing that you need to look into if you are looking for alternate options to hiring a full time employee.

Freelancers are independent professionals working on project basis. You’ll find freelancers who specialize in IT, Content or Design.  Freelancers are hired to complete a specific task at hand within a short period of time. For example – If you are looking to design a logo for your company, you’d hire a Freelancing Logo designer who’d charge a specific amount upon completion of the task.

It’s important to note that freelancers are self-employed individuals. They are typically individuals who –

–  Do not have employees under them
– Set their own rates
– Work remotely
– They choose which clients or project they want to work with
– They also usually work with multiple clients at a time
– Pay taxes on their own as opposed to full-time employees whose employers deduct taxes on their behalf

On the contrary, Consultants are advisors or experts who provide guidance on broader issues such as Legal advisors or a SEO specialist which would be on-going consulting role. Thus, the scope of the project is broad and extensive which stretches over a long period of time. Thus, commitment is long-term and the association with that consultant won’t exactly have a specific start and finish date.

Temporary staffing is having an employee who is recruited on a temporary basis from another organization that provides manpower. Temporary staff is not on the company’s payroll and their salary is paid by the staffing Company. This is done by companies to reduce costs by outsourcing certain functions that are not necessarily related to the company’s core business. Temporary staffing is based on contracts between the Staffing Company and the organization. Typically these contracts last for three to six months.

How to decide which type of employees would work for your company?

If you are confused with deciding if you need freelancers, consultants or temporary staffing, you need to dig deeper to understand the kind of project at hand and what kind of skills would you require for the same.

Question 1 – Are the skills you need for the project available in-house?

If your answer is No, then you need a freelancer to help you with the task at hand. If the project is an on-going mission that helps you with the core business for example – Digital Marketing having a consultant to help you with this would be a better choice as compared to a freelancer.

Question 2 – Will you need to provide special tools, training and equipment for this role?

If your answer is yes then you’d be better off getting outside help. If it’s something like building a Mobile App for your company, a freelance developer can help you out with the same that would come with required tools, training and equipment to get the task done.