Difference between Consultant and Full Time Employee

Key Difference: A full time employee is an employee of the company that works there full time. They have all the benefits of employment, including being on the payroll, vacations, benefits, overtime, etc. A consultant is a specialized professional who provides expert advice in their field. Hence, they are often hired for a particular task or project on which they can apply their expertise or give advice.

Consultant Consultant and Full Time Employee are two different types of employees that a business may have hired to work with them. They may also have other types of employees working with them, such as freelancers, part-time employees, or contract workers. However, these differ significantly from consultants and full-time employees.

In the day to day running of the business, there may be no difference between a consultant and a full time employee. They may work the same number of hours and make even end up doing the same work. However, there are certain differences between the two titles.

As the name suggests, a full time employee is an employee of the company that works there full time. They have all the benefits of employment, including being on the payroll, vacations, benefits, overtime, etc. However, in return the employee must put in the hours of a full-time employee, which in most cases amount to about 40 hours a week.

A consultant, on the other hand, is different. While they are also an employee of the company, their role can vary tremendously depending on the contract that they have with the company. At the core of the definition, a consultant is a specialized professional who provides expert advice in their field. Hence, they are often hired for a particular task or project on which they can apply their expertise or give advice. For example: a tax consultant may be brought on to handle the finances as required on a new project that the company is developing, or perhaps to go over the company’s books to put them in order.

A consultant is usually hired when the company requires someone with their skill set, but does not need them on a full time basis. Hence, a consultant may be hired on an hourly basis, or for a particular duration, such as a day, week, or a few months, as needed.

Full Time EmployeeIn these kinds of scenarios, hiring a consultant is usually beneficial for the company because they need not have to go through the entire process and paperwork involved in hiring somebody and the firing them a few week down the line when their work is done and their purpose fulfilled. It also allows them to get the experience of a professional consultant for the duration they need.

In addition to this, there are a number of various differences between the two, primarily regarding the number of hours worked, location worked from, as well as in the benefits they receive. However, the main difference between the two is the fact that a full-time employee is an employee of the company, i.e. they typically work in the 9-to-5 job. A consultant, on the other hand, is usually on contract pay and is hired there on an hourly or as per project basis. They are usually their own boss and have a working relationship wherein they provide their knowledge and experience to their clients for a fee.

Comparison between Consultant and Full Time Employee:

 

Consultant

Full Time Employee

Purpose

Typically hired for a project or a specific task

Hired full time regardless of current and ongoing work or projects

Role

Consultants are paid to share their expertise and knowledge to help businesses attain goals and solve problems.

Employees are hired by the company to fill in their work force.

Hours of Work

Hours can be fixed or can be varied

Hours are fixed

Work time

Can be varied. Can be full time, part time, on a weekly or monthly basis, or on the basis of a project

Works full time, i.e. 8 hours a day, every working day

Companies

Can work for a number of companies and clients as their schedule allows

Usually works for one company at a time

Location

Can work from their own office, client’s office or even from home

Usually works from the company’s office

Employment benefits

Does not receive employment benefits from the employer.

Receives employment benefits, such as health and disability insurance.

Independence

Works independently, but needs to answer to the clients

Works under the control and direction of the employer.

Guidance

Generally accepted to be an expert in their fields and

May receive training on the job and/or guidance from the supervisor

Experience

Have vast knowledge and experience in their field

Depending on their designation, they may or may not have vast knowledge and experience

Payment

It usually on contract payment, either by the hour or as per the project

Receives a salary from the company after deductions

Termination

Can be terminated at any time without consideration. Usually the contract is for a short time and ends before termination and may or may not be renewed.

Can be terminated by the employer only for good cause and with notice.

Reference: Wikipedia (Consultant and Full Time Employee), Find Law, Entrepreneur, Quikchex
Image Courtesy: ichemepresident.wordpress.com, hrhero.com

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