Hire or engage

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Senior Member
Castilian (Patagonian)
Dear All,

What is the difference between "to hire" and "to engage"?
E.g: I'm hiring/ engaging a forensic accountant for my case (?)

Even I've found on the net a compound usage: Letter of engagement template for hiring new employees – full-time/part-time

  • Enquiring Mind

    Senior Member
    English - the Queen's
    Hello Sherlockat, I agree with Rover that in your sentence the two words are effectively synonyms. To me (BE speaker), "hire" sounds a bit more mercenary than "engage", If you use "hire", you are making clear the fact that you are paying the person to do something. "Engage" suggests more of a commitment than a simple mercenary "hire and fire" arrangement, and there may be contexts in which you would like to place greater emphasis on the "commitment" aspect than the "paying" aspect. However, AE speakers may not agree.

    For example: I'd feel happier saying "we're intending to engage a nanny (or an au-pair) to help with our child-minding". It suggests you are prepared to offer a commitment to the person you are looking for, and you expect a similar commitment on their part.

    However, in the context you give, it is clearly a business transaction. Forensic consultants charge for their time and expertise, so either verb is acceptable.
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