Based on your answers, your team should consider the following:
Lean towards scaling with full-time talent, but leverage project-based talent for certain situations
There seems to be relatively modest volatility (20% or less) between your upside and downside growth scenarios.
Given that you are relatively confident in growth plans, the risk of layoffs due to changing business conditions appears lower. This should provide you with more confidence when growing your full-time team.
While swings in growth may not be as prevalent, project-based consultants can still be important resources to bring in the expertise you may not have in-house or to fill in skillset gaps that can arise from situations such as extended leave.
Although the hourly costs associated with project-based hires can be higher than those associated with full-time hires, benefits can include:
no severance/unemployment expense should you need to right-size your team.
faster time to hire, given many independent consultants/contractors can support the team at a moment’s notice.
optionality to “try before you buy.” Some independent consultants are open to full-time roles, and projects can be a good way to mutually test fit before making a commitment to a full-time hire.
Regarding your organization's top hiring challenge
We continue to lose solid candidates late in the interview process
Prolonged interview processes are commonly at fault for losing out on top candidates.
Sometimes interview processes are prolonged due to FOMO on a potentially better unicorn that may come along later. Data-driven talent acquisition partners can help transparently paint a picture of what the talent marketplace looks like for a particular role so that your firm no longer has to guess, “Are we missing out on someone better who may come along?”
By leveraging technology to quickly identify the universe of relevant candidates, a data-driven agency like Hire Learning can present qualified candidates to you when your needs are most urgent.