Posted by Rachael Jones on Jan 6, 2021 9:30:00 AM

When Should I Hire a Permanent
Instructional Designers vs. Contract?

hire instructional designer

An Instructional Designer can prove to be a great asset to any business, since they are responsible for ensuring that learners understand a new education concept. But a good Instructional Designer does much more than that. In the ever-changing world of business climate and education, they redesign courses, develop complete methods for learning initiatives, and create learning materials such as student guides and teaching manuals to provide an excellent, well thought out learning experience.

Instructional Designers work in many different fields, including schooling and education, government, business, or even the military. They are versatile and often work either as an individual or within a wider group setting.

But, do you know when should you hire an Instructional Designer as a permanent team member, or only on a contract basis?


The Role of an Instructional Designer

It is, of course important that the Instructional Designer you work with has a wide variety of skills and experience. This is so they can build useful learning materials and courses to meet the goals of your learning program. Instructional Designers must master not only the learning design but possess tech know-how as well.
They are responsible for the following tasks;

  • Design instructional management systems - they develop designs that the learners easily understand
  • Access new eLearning information - Instructional Designers are responsible for evaluating the new syllabus and ensure that they fully understand it. They should have extensive knowledge of any revised edition to answer any questions that may arise
  • They develop educational assets such as podcasts, content, and videos; building learning materials is a plus to the instructor as it assists them when training. Videos also help learners to visualize content, and thus they quickly absorb the information
  • Create and reconstruct both new and accepted learning materials; learning materials are crucial when training
  • Apply feedback from program review; Instructional Designers may use any information they get from a prior program
  • They teach others how to deliver training materials; it's hard to predict what tomorrow holds; hence it's essential to ensure that someone can conduct training successfully in their absence
  • Study new innovations in both learning design and education


The Benefits of a Contract Instructional Designer

A good Instructional Designer is worth their weight in gold. There several advantages that a business will enjoy if they choose to hire a contract Instructional Designer.

  • They are project focused when it comes to their duties since they have a single task. Unlike employees who have a variety of work, contract Instructional Designers will work on the specified project and quickly deliver the desired results
  • Instructional designers offer specific skills that may be lacking in your team and ensure that they apply their experience to get the work done
  • They induce fresh ideas into the team who may be exhausted. Their experience and expertise can come with new ideas and handling the project motivating the internal team
  • They help a business to create high-quality training materials. It helps keep the team well informed on what is current, thus avoiding making costly mistakes for an organization
  • Having an Instructional Designer on contract as part of your team helps push your project forward. They can work with your internal team and master the training materials in detail.


The Difference Between Hiring Permanent vs. Consultant

According to each organization's differing needs, they may decide to hire or consult Instructional Designers’ services. These two options offer similar services on different working terms. Of course, if hired full time and a member of your companies staff, they will receive full benefits like everyone else. Needless to say, a consultant hired for a specific project, is there for a temporary basis. A consultant will bring value by adding a specific expertise to your training team.

Permanent Instructional Designers

Hiring on a permanent basis comes with several benefits to an organization:

  • You’ll benefit more when you can fully access an instructional designer's services at no extra cost. They are fully involved with the program and have information on the project. Having an expert reduces maintenance and quality assurance costs.
  • Hiring instructional designers ensure an organization maintains high-quality training materials and can quickly and easily make any required changes.
  • When a project requires specific management skills with expertise on the subject, a permanent Instructional Designer can easily handle the task.
  • They have detailed information on a project; hence they can analyze it to give good content and offer suggestions on how best to run it. Hired instructional designers can predict future possibilities that they have prepared for.
  • They are generally a good fit when you have ongoing, or long term requirements for their services.


Contracted Instructional Designers

Contracted Instructional Designers offer similar services for a short period, after which their servicer is no longer needed. Opting to consult has its advantages, such as:

  • Contracting ensures that you can save money since you will need their services for a shorter period. It keeps you from paying for overhead costs like employee benefits.
  • Contract Instructional Designers come with a different approach to projects with different designs that keep training sessions engaging. Their ideas can jumpstart the creativity of your staff.
  • They do not want to multi-task; hence, they are focused on the assigned project. Lack of interruption by other projects guarantees quality results as they concentrate on getting the job done, especially when trying to beat deadlines.
  • They present skill and expertise on a project. If your team lacks specific skills to run a project, consulting might save you as they will offer the needed detail.
  • Contractors only work with what the client has presented to them and can take the shortest time possible to come up with a solution. They work as an individual or can work as part of a team with your staff to come up with expected results.

Still not sure if you need a Contract or Permanent Instructional Designer?
Contact the experts at TrainingFolks!


"Finding the Right Instructional Designer" includes six sample questions to ask an Instructional Designer during the interview process and outlines the five most desirable instructional design skills to look for when hiring.

Get our FREE 'Finding the Right Instructional Designer' for a step by step guide.


finding the right instructional designer




Topics: instructional designers, instructional designer, instructional design company, instructional design service, contract Instructional designer, what is instructional design, hire instructional designer

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