It’s time to hire another employee for your small business and you’re not sure if you want to take on another person full-time. Temporary help have been used effectively by businesses for over 60 years, and their role has grown from menial office work to just about everything. In fact, temps now include respected professions such as accountants, financial officers, assembly-line workers, nurses, doctors, scientists and lawyers.

Temps are not for everybody, however, so consider the pros and cons before going out and hiring them.

Pro - flexibility

Hiring temps allow for more flexibility when starting to build your business. Moreover, they can help fill in when employees have to be absent from the office for extended periods of time. This could be for a number of reasons including illness, vacation, maternity leave, disability leave or sudden departure. Temps can also be brought in to help work on special projects, seasonal or peak periods as well as employee shortages.

Pro – save on time and money

The cost of taking on a new employee can be expensive at times, especially when you factor in things like health insurance and other benefits. If you need someone to work for only a short time (less than 6 months) then it will probably be more cost-effective to hire a temp as opposed to going out and hiring someone new. Plus, if the temp doesn’t work out then you didn’t waste a lot of time on a job search or invest too much into one employee.

Pro – temps are highly specialized

Temps are trained to come in to a working environment and work on specific projects for a short amount of time. If you were to bring on another employee that wasn’t as trained at tackling projects with limited time and scope, they may take awhile to get adjusted before they can really dive in. Beyond that, temps are trained in particular fields or specialties, so you can basically get an expert in any area that you need.

Con – training takes time and money

No matter how skilled your new temp is, you will have to spend some time training them to make sure that they are well equipped to handle the needs of your business. Chances are you will be bringing the temp in to work on some special project so you will have to bring them up to speed on the project and train them to get the results you want. It’s possible that you will bring in the same temp more than once so the training time would be decreased, but still prevalent nonetheless.

Con – morale could slip

There could be an issue with morale if you bring a temp in and she works alongside the same people for months, working on the same projects but not receiving the same pay or benefits. Even though it’s understood that they are being brought in as a temporary position so pay and benefits would not be similar to those of full-time employees, after awhile that mindset could start to slip and the temps may feel unappreciated and underpaid.

There are good reasons on either side whether to hire a temp or not to hire one. At the end of the day, it’s a case-by-case basis depending on what you need the extra help for. Before going out and hiring temporary help, consider the pros and cons of what the larger consequences could be for your small business.