Independent contractors are one of the more cost-effective ways to get things done with your business. They’re more affordable than traditional employees and will still complete work to a high standard. Managing independent contractors, however, is a little different than managing their more traditional counterparts.
Here are 7 top tips for managing independent contractors.
1. Set Expectations
Be clear about what you want out of the relationship with your independent contractor. Make sure they know what your expectations are so they can meet them much easier.
Also, let them know how you’d like them to meet these expectations. The clearer you are, the easier it will be for everyone involved. Making sure they’re on the same page as you will make them be more productive from the start.
2. Give Feedback
If you have traditional employees, there’s a chance you do regular performance reviews with them to help them improve. While there’s no need to go through these with an independent contractor, it doesn’t mean you should avoid giving feedback. In fact, the more feedback you give, the better they can do their jobs.
Feedback tells them exactly what they need to work on while finding out what they’re doing well. Be clear with your feedback so everyone understands what’s being said.
3. Build a Relationship
As with other employees, you’ll need to build relationships with independent contractors. This might be more important with contractors because you’ll need to develop trust with each other so you know they’ll carry out the work, and they’ll know they’ll get paid on time.
Spend time developing trust and building a strong relationship because could end up with a long-term business relationship with your contractors because of the effort you put in.
4. Master Scheduling
You might not be the only company an independent contractor is working with, especially if you’ve only hired them for a few hours or tasks a week. They could be juggling other employers, and you’ll need to master scheduling your time with them.
Your contractors may be adept at managing their schedules, and time management software can help. If your contractors have to be out in the field for their jobs, then even BuildOps field service software can play a role in this.
5. Pay Well
Independent contractors are usually more affordable than hiring traditional employees, but that isn’t justification to pay them poorly. Pay well for the work you’re hiring them for, and it will help entice and keep high-quality contractors for whatever work you need done.
You probably won’t need to pay for other typical expenses such as office space or insurance. Even if you’re paying them exactly the same as you would a traditional employee, you’ll still save on these areas, and they’ll be more cost-effective than their counterparts.
6. Avoid Micromanaging
Nobody wants to be micromanaged, and that’s especially true with independent contractors. They became freelancers because they want more autonomy over how, when, and where they work. So give them as much as freedom as possible, and they’ll flourish while working with you.
While you’ll still need to supervise to an extent, try to take as hands-off an approach as possible. You might be surprised by how well they can do their job when you give them the space they need to get things done.
7. Understand What They Want
When you’re hiring anyone, whether they’re an independent contractor or not, consider what they want to get out of the arrangement. For traditional employees, this usually means job stability and a regular paycheck, but that might not be as applicable to an independent contractor.
Do they just want to get paid, or is there something else they would like? Maybe it’s the opportunity to work on something new or learn new skills. Once you better understand what your contractors want, you’ll be in a better position to give it to them.
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