Hire an Agency or Keep it In-House?

To hire or not to hire – that is the question….

Well, it is anyways if you’re a business trying to understand just how to get the best bang out of your buck in the digital space.

And you’re not alone in wondering, most New Zealand businesses looking to take the social media plunge have come unstuck at the very question. On one hand, hiring someone internally offers unparalleled brand-sided insights – on the other, hiring an agency or contractor can often give you unmatched advantages that can only come from a team of creatives coming together to make your dollar work.

So which one’s better?

Hire an Agency or Keep it In-House?

While there’s no cookie cutter answer to this dilemma, and ultimately the choice will depend upon a variety of factors, such as resources, requirements, and corporate culture, here’s a brief breakdown outlining the pros and cons of each to help you make a more informed decision.

Internal Staff


Hiring an employee means that you’ll get an individual who essentially lives and breaths your brand. This will translate into a solid understanding of your company; it’s culture, needs and daily activities.

Chris (said hypothetical employee) is right there, in meetings, building legitimate relationships with those working in the same building as him. This in itself can be reason alone to hire an internal member.


While at first glance it may seem that Chris is the cheaper option, hiring an employee might just break the bank. Depending on the experience, a full time digital marketer will cost around $60,000-90,000 per annum.

And that doesn’t even factor in holiday pay, sick leave, payroll benefits, Kiwi Saver, training, and equipment needs. And when Chris gets sick, who’s going to look after your online communities?

Likewise, no matter how skilled Chris is he isn’t superman, and sadly he can’t be a master at every function required from the digital world.

Agency/ Contractors


Now let’s say the same business opts to hire an agency instead. For the same amount as an employee’s salary they can recruit what will essentially be a whole team of digital nerds devoted to maximizing that brand’s dollar.

Copyrighters, community managers, content creators, digital strategists, and web developers are at your beck and call – plus there’s no training or need to worry about sick employees. Not to mention the agency will be keeping itself in tip-top shape to survive against competitors by devouring industry trends and insights on a daily basis, so you’ll also be buying into highly creative strategies and campaigns.


Agencies (and contractors) depend upon clear communication lines and regular updates from clients to maintain a clear grasp on the brand itself. Where Chris can easily snap away a photo of a breaking company news piece, the agency will need to be kept in the loop.

There’s also the fact that an agency works with several other brands and so there may not be that level of exclusivity that some business owners seek.

Still can’t decide which one’s best? A new and popular model amongst businesses these days is a hybrid one where brands recruit agencies to develop the strategies and campaigns and hire part-time staff to implement these. Another example would be hiring a full-time internal Digital Marketer to manage all the different components of your online strategy, including agencies and contractors.

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