Companies hire contractors to save time and money – they’re expected to hit the ground running with little or no training and simply get the job done. Because they’re normally paid at a daily rate, it’s important to keep track of their productivity and ensure you’re getting the most of your contractors’ time. Here’s how.
1) GIVE THEM A GOOD START
It’s important that you’re all on the same page when it comes to deadlines, milestones, results and pay. The beginning of a freelance relationship is often what determines the rest of it, so you need to communicate your expectations clearly from the beginning. Don’t be scared of giving them a lot of work when they start. Contractors aren’t trainees and they’re usually happy to tackle a heavy workload, but you have to make sure that they keep a timesheet that will detail the hours spent working on different tasks (more about timesheets later).
2) TREAT THEM LIKE EMPLOYEES
Contractors are used to adapting to new teams and work environments, which is why all concerns about integrating them into a company are usually groundless. The best way to help freelancers (and the permanent staff they’ll be working with) feel comfortable is to treat them like employees and engage them in team building.
3) ENSURE THEY HAVE THE RIGHT TOOLS TO DO THE JOB
This is equally important for contractors working on-site and remotely– if there are special tools, programmes or requirements to do the job, you should make sure that your contractors have access to them ASAP! After all, they are being paid by the hour or day, so the sooner they have the tools to do their job the better!
4) MAXIMIZE THEIR SKILLS
Hiring a freelancer means working with a specialized expert. The job is normally second nature to them, which means you should feel comfortable using their expertise in ways you may not be able to with your permanent employees. Don’t be afraid of giving them complicated tasks or tighter deadlines than the ones you set for employees, just ensure time frames are realistic and that both parties can agree on it. Don’t try to micromanage them – trust them to get the job done their way.
5) KEEP THEM HAPPY
Just like your permanent employees, a happy contractor is a more productive contractor. Encouraging feedback, such as positive reviews on freelancing or contractor sites they are registered with, and emails makes your freelancers work harder for you. Making them feel appreciated and taking time to answer any questions will make them prioritize you over other clients should they be working on multiple projects.
6) PAY THEM ON TIME
Another important part of keeping contractors happy is making sure you pay them correctly and on time – late payments can make them frustrated, which can really impact their productivity. Cloud based timesheeting, invoicing and payment systems will help take some of the administrative hassle.
Employers, for information on how we help businesses effectively hire and manage IT contractors, visit our employers page.
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