What Is the Difference between a Contract Employee and a Consultant

In the world of business, there are many different types of employment arrangements that companies can use to hire workers. Two of the most common arrangements are contract employees and consultants. Although these two types of workers may seem similar, they actually have some important differences. In this article, we will explore the difference between contract employees and consultants, and help you understand which one may be best for your business needs.

Contract Employees

A contract employee is someone who is hired for a specific period of time and is paid on an hourly or project basis. The employer typically provides the contract worker with a set schedule and specific job duties, and the worker is responsible for fulfilling those duties within the contracted timeframe. Contract employees are often used to fill temporary or seasonal positions, or to provide additional support during busy periods.

One key feature of contract employees is that they are typically provided with all of the tools and resources they need to complete their work. This includes things like computers, office space, and other equipment. In addition, contract employees are typically subject to the same rules and regulations as regular employees regarding things like safety, attendance, and conduct.


Consultants, on the other hand, are hired to provide expert advice and guidance on specific business issues. They are not typically involved in day-to-day operations, but instead act as outside advisors who provide objective perspectives and recommendations. Consultants may be hired for short-term or long-term projects, and may work on an hourly or project basis.

Consultants are typically considered independent contractors, and as such, they are not provided with the same tools and resources as regular employees. They are responsible for providing their own equipment, and may work from their own offices or from client locations. Consultants are also not subject to the same rules and regulations as regular employees, as they are not considered part of the company’s workforce.

Which One Is Right For You?

So, which is better for your business – a contract employee or a consultant? The answer depends on your specific needs. If you are looking for someone to fill a temporary or seasonal position, or to provide additional support during busy periods, a contract employee may be the best choice. They will work on-site and be subject to the same rules and regulations as regular employees, making it easier to manage their work.

On the other hand, if you need expert advice and guidance on specific business issues, a consultant may be a better choice. Consultants can provide objective perspectives and recommendations that may be difficult to obtain from regular employees. However, they will be working independently and not subject to the same rules and regulations, so you will need to be able to trust them to work in your best interest.

In conclusion, both contract employees and consultants can be valuable resources for your business. Understanding the differences between the two types of workers will help you make the best choice for your specific needs. Whether you need extra support during a busy period, or expert advice on a specific issue, there is a solution out there that will work for your business.