What has worked for us in my firm is analyzing your bottom line. Keeping your best, most productive, and most cost efficient co-workers is the key. Period. It does not matter whether they are consultants or employees.
The questions I ask before deciding on scaling employees or consultants are these:
1. Who is more productive, the employee or freelancer?
2. Who is more cost efficient, the employee or freelancer?
3. Who will give me a better return on investment (ROI)?
There is nothing wrong with scaling employees for freelancers as it always happens in today's economy as long as those freelancers give you a better return on investment. If not, then keep your employees and maybe have one freelancer for the really technical stuff.
I can show you some of my documentation on this if you'd like if we do a call.