Many businesses rely on independent contractors to plug gaps in their workforce, and building good working relationships with freelancers allows organizations of all sizes to be more flexible and agile.
Of course the process of finding the right contractors and collaborating with them can be difficult to navigate, so let’s discuss the core principles involved, and the obstacles to be aware of as well.
Why Hiring Independent Contractors Makes Sense for Your Workforce Needs
Hiring independent contractors (ICs) is a great way to access skilled workers quickly and cost-effectively. ICs provide the flexibility of short-term or project-based work, allowing you to meet your workforce needs with greater agility than traditional employees.
Moreover, with an IC you may not have to worry about hiring costs such as training or benefits, as you can just pay for what’s needed on demand. Plus, bringing in specialized skills from outside sources can open up new opportunities within your organization that would otherwise be unattainable.
In today’s competitive landscape, having highly experienced professionals on tap makes all the difference when it comes to delivering results fast and efficiently.
What Types of Jobs Can Be Handled By Independent Contractors?
Independent contractors can provide a variety of services, ranging from IT programming and web development to writing, graphic design, marketing strategy consulting, and more.
Not only are ICs an ideal solution for short-term projects or dealing with deficits in your team’s skill set, but they can also be hired on a recurring basis for ongoing work that requires specialized expertise. From virtual assistants and copywriters to financial analysts and software engineers, the possibilities are endless when it comes to finding the perfect fit for your organization’s needs.
How to Find and Recruit Qualified Candidates for the Job
Finding qualified independent contractors can be a challenge, but there are a few strategies you can use to find the best candidates.
Start by asking your current team members if they know anyone who might be interested in working as an IC. Word of mouth referrals are often key when it comes to finding top talent.
You could also post on freelance job boards, or create targeted ads on social media platforms such as LinkedIn. Additionally, networking events and industry associations may be great places to meet potential candidates face-to-face.
Once you’ve identified some promising prospects, make sure to thoroughly vet them. Conducting interviews and reference checks is essential before bringing any new ICs onboard.
Best Practices for Onboarding a New Independent Contractor
Speaking of onboarding, it’s important to consider this carefully in order to forge successful relationships with independent contractors from the get-go.
Make sure that you have all the necessary paperwork in place, and provide your ICs with clear instructions on what’s expected of them. Communicate regularly and set expectations upfront, such as deadlines or any special skills they need to complete the job successfully.
Furthermore, you should establish trust by providing feedback throughout their contract period. This will help ensure that everyone remains on the same page while working together.
Finally, make sure you’re paying your ICs fairly and promptly so that they remain motivated to do great work for you. Given that the standard late fee for an overdue invoice is typically 1-1.5% monthly, you have a responsibility to take this into account and do your best to stick to your side of the bargain to keep them happy.
Crafting an Agile Working Agreement with Your ICs
When it comes to working with independent contractors, having a clear and mutually agreed-upon agreement is essential. Make sure that the document clearly outlines all expectations, as this will help ensure everyone understands their roles and responsibilities.
Also, consider setting up milestones or deadlines so you can track progress in real time. Be sure to include provisions for payment terms, as mentioned, and also cover dispute resolution procedures and termination clauses if needed, as well as data security measures if applicable.
Tips on Managing Performance & Output from Remote Workers
Managing performance and output from remote workers can be a headache, especially if they are not permanent team members. Thankfully there are strategies you can use to ensure successful outcomes.
First and foremost, ICs need an unambiguous understanding of what role they are to play in a given project. Without this, they could be unable to bring their full expertise to bear on the goals you are working towards.
As discussed, you also need to be liberal with feedback from start to finish so they always know how their work is progressing and are also on point when it comes to deadlines or deliverables.
Lastly, consider utilizing collaboration tools such as online project management systems, which will enable real-time communication between all stakeholders involved in the project. The less manual intervention that’s required to keep up the momentum, the better the eventual outcome.
The Benefits and Challenges of Building an All-IC Team
Building an all-independent contractor team can have its advantages, such as greater flexibility and cost savings compared to traditional employees. What’s more, you’ll be able to access top talent quickly without having to invest in long onboarding processes or extensive training sessions.
However, it’s also important that you consider the potential challenges, such as managing remote workers from different locations and a lack of team bonding due to the physical distance between members.
To ensure success when building an IC team, be proactive in providing them with the tools and feedback they need to thrive, and of course, listen to any issues or concerns that they raise rather than brushing them under the carpet.
Cajoling contractors into coming onboard for particular projects you want to complete without hiring full-time team members is a duty that recruiters are often faced with, and one which takes time and experience to master.
That said, if you know where to find the right talent, and you are comprehensive and conscientious about how you bring them into the fold, then the benefits will be obvious, and the potential pitfalls will get filled in.
Jess helps ambitious SaaS companies with growth hacking initiatives to help rapidly scale their inbound leads and customer base. She specializes in content marketing, SEO and paid advertising.
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