What are the practical differences in hiring someone full-time, part-time, or as a freelancer?

Jessica Messano / April, 2018


Jessica Messano, Director of HR at Execustaff HR explains the main differences when hiring a full-time employee, part-time employee or a freelancer and what you should provide them.

Video Transcript:

What are the practical differences in hiring someone full-time, part-time, or as a freelancer?

I think a major difference is that full-time and part-time are actual employees whereas freelancer is an independent contractor. There are many different rules for independent contractors. They are not considered an employee so they’re not paid under your payroll.

They’re not really under your control. They should be their own business entity, like a vendor that you’re hiring to complete a particular project, so you’re not giving them equipment or supplies or treating them like an employee. You don’t give them a W-2 at the end of the year, you would give them a 1099-form. It’s very different than having an actual employee on site.

I’d say the difference between a full-time employee and a part-time employee really is just based on the number of hours that they work and what benefits are offered. Typically companies offer full benefits packages to full-time employees rather than part-time employees.

It’s up to the companies to determine what they consider to be full-time hours, but I think the standard right now it’s about 30 hours per week is considered full-time, 30 hours and above as under the Affordable Care Act. That’s the definition they use as far as when people might be eligible for benefits. That is typically what many companies use for full-time.

Typically full-time employees would be eligible for medical, dental, vision, holiday pay, paid time off, usually the full suite of benefits. Part-time employees usually aren’t extended the medical, dental, and vision benefits. Sometimes they can get prorated paid time off and that just depends on what the company chooses to provide.



  • Jessica Messano, Execustaff HR
  • April, 2018
  • 1:59
  • Team, HR & Admin

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