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Business Tasmania

What type of employee best suits your needs?

So your business is looking good and you need some help. You need to think about the type of employee who will best suit your needs.

Here are a few questions to consider.

  • Do you need someone for a one-off short-term project, or in an ongoing capacity?
  • Would it be viable to get the job done using an outside contractor?
  • What specific tasks do you require the person to perform?
  • Does the person need to have specific formal qualifications to undertake the task (eg motor mechanic, accountant, etc)
  • How many hours per week do you anticipate you will need someone?
  • Should you take on an apprentice or trainee?
  • How much can your business afford to pay?

Once you know the answers to these questions, a range of employment options are open, each with advantages and disadvantages.

Employment option



Full time employee

  • Commit to certain number of hours per week
  • Become highly skilled and familiar with your business
  • Provide reliable back-up for you
  • Develop loyalty to your business
  • Costs
  • It can be difficult to terminate employment if your needs change or the employee is not working out as you expected

Part-time employees

  • Commit to set number of hours per week
  • Cost less than full-time employees
  • Commitment to your business could be open to question
  • You may need to work hard at developing their sense of belonging

Casual employees

  • Can cover short-term peaks in workload
  • Offer you maximum flexibility
  • Paid on basis of hourly or daily rate
  • Generally not eligible for entitlements that are applicable to permanent employees
  • Wage loadings usually apply to compensate for lack of permanent entitlements
  • Are likely to be the least committed of all employees

Fixed-term employees

  • Can be engaged for special project work
  • Useful to cover employees who are on long-service leave or maternity leave
  • Usually accrue entitlements on a pro-rata basis
  • If employment is terminated before contract expires, employee may have the right to sue you to recover wages for the balance of the term

Apprentices and trainees

  • Apprentices train to do the work of a tradesperson; trainees train to do the early stages of traditional trade occupations
  • Grants and incentives are available to encourage you to take up these options
  • Long-term commitment usually required on your part to take on an apprentice
  • Traineeships may only be for 12 months


  • Can meet a specific need in your business
  • Useful option where special expertise is required
  • Eliminates overheads associated with direct employment
  • Strictly defined by law to prevent employers avoiding legal responsibilities to their employees
  • Consequences of getting the contractual arrangements wrong can be serious

Corporate Internship Program

  • Completion of a valuable work project
  • The opportunity to trial interns as potential future employees
  • Students will not be paid a wage during the internship
  • Businesses must provide a suitable staff member to: mentor the student(s); provide guidance in the workplace during the internship; and contribute to the workplace assessment of the intern(s)