The number one responsibility of managers and executives is to delegate work properly. In the modern business landscape, hiring managers have the choice to hire in or outsource certain projects. There are a few rules that you can depend on if you are unsure of which strategy is best for your company or situation.
Frequency of Use
Do you need a specialist on a day-to-day basis, or do you only need that person for seasonal issues? Depending on how much you will be using the resource, you can either hire in-house for daily use or outsource for directed, specific use. Keep in mind that outsourced resources do not require the overhead of insurance, training, sick days, and salary on off days. It is usually best to outsource highly specific things to a third party. More general functions may be better for an in-house hire.
Is your company truly expanding, or are you making an "ego purchase" just because it is the trendy thing to do in your industry? Many HR specialists make a new hire simply because a competitor made the same hire across the street. You must look at the needs of your company specifically before you take on the expense of a new in-house hire or a third-party partner.
An in-house hire will usually cost more than an outsourced third-party specialist or team. However, you may be able to hire an entire third-party team for the same price as a single in-house generalist. Look into the price of the service that you are purchasing and how expansive that service can be for your business.
Specialty vs Generalist
In most cases, if you are hiring a single in-house employee, you are hiring a jack of all trades. This is a person who must know everything about the subject at hand. He or she may eventually lead a department, but for now, this person is the go to resource for the entire company. When you outsource to a company, you may have the space to hire an entire team. This team has people in different specialties, so you get more precise knowledge in the small details. Teams like web services might offer different services to choose from as well. For example, Timmermann Group not only has web design services, but also brand design and content marketing. Hiring a team might mean getting more than just one service.
The decision to hire in-house or to hire out is yours, and no one else will take responsibility for it. Take note of the tips above and hire based only on the needs of your business specifically.