Interim vs Permanent – Which should you hire?

Can’t decide whether you should consider hiring interim employees rather than permanent? There’s benefits to both!

In our latest article, we break down when you might need to hire an interim and what the benefits of interims are!

Interim vs Perm

What is an Interim worker in comparison to a permanent employee?

Interim professionals are also known as contractors, self-employed workers, or freelancers. They work on a freelance or contract basis. Their salary may be based on set projects they are assigned to work on, the contract then ends when the work is completed.

Interim workers might be working inside or outside of IR35 (off-payroll or on-payroll) depending on a set of criteria. Interim workers don’t tend to have the same rights as permanent employees; however, they do negotiate their own terms of business and manage their own schedules.

Permanent employees are employees who work for a company and are paid directly by that company, and can receive benefits such as pension, sick pay, health care, holiday entitlement etc. in addition to their salary.

Permanent employees have a contract that does not have a pre-determined end date. Therefore, it will not expire until either the employer or the employee chooses to end the contract, in which a specified amount of notice will need to be given.

Benefits of Interim

What are the benefits of hiring interim talent?

“Try before you buy”

Hiring an interim employee gives you a chance to make sure you get your hiring decisions right as you’re not committed to keeping them for the long term.

For example, if you created a new position for a Finance Process Automaton Specialist, you could initially hire an interim on a three-month contract rather than a permanent employee. This gives you a chance to make sure the newly created role is a worthwhile business decision, that there will be enough work for that employee to do in the long term, and that it is a good area of the business to invest in.

You could then offer the interim employee a permanent position or look for a different permanent candidate to fill the role.

Extra help

Interim employees can help when it comes to covering busy periods, such as seasonal periods where a higher level of staffing might be needed, when specific projects are being undertaken, to cover things such as maternity or paternity leave.


Interim workers tend to have a great set of skills, including adaptability.

Typically, interim professionals are very used to adapting to new environments, people, and processes.

As they can often be in many businesses for a short period of time, these individuals are often able to ‘hit the ground running’ a lot quicker than permanent employees who might have stayed in a business for several years, becoming used to them.

Immediately available

Interim employees tend to know exactly when their contract is ending, so know when to start looking for new opportunities.

So, if you need to fill a gap immediately, or have perhaps hired a permanent worker who has a three-month notice period, hiring an interim to bridge that three-month gap can be very convenient.

Interim or Perm?

Is Interim or Permanent best for me?

There are various instances when either an interim or a permanent hire would be more appropriate than the other.

Interim worker’s hourly rates tend to be higher than that of a permanent employee, so hiring an interim worker for a long-term ongoing period is likely to be more costly than hiring a permanent employee. However, the flexibility of interim employees’ hours means you can alter how many hours they work depending on business requirements, which could be a better value option for the short-term.

Although interims tend to have a higher hourly cost than permanent employees, if you need short term help and an extra set of hands for specific projects, hiring interim talent is the way to go!

With permanent employment businesses can save time in training and gain more stability, permanent employees can help businesses to grow as they become more efficient at their jobs and can help out when other employees are off sick or on holiday.

Whether hiring interim or permanent talent is the better option is dependent on the circumstances of your business and its requirements for additional staff. It’s always good to consider both options – if you’re in doubt then get in touch to discuss your requirements and we’d be happy to help talk through some solutions!