How to Get the Most Out of Contractors

How to Get the Most out of Contractors

People management is often a challenge, particularly when it comes to workers that will only be around for a short time. Whilst it can be easy to put the majority of your focus on the team members that are there for the long haul, the key to getting the most out of your contractors is to give them the time and attention they need to succeed. Using our expert knowledge of recruiting IT and Accounting contractors, we’ve put together this guide to help you maximise your contract talent.

Manage Expectations

With contractors coming on board for such a limited period, it’s crucial to have a plan in place ahead of time.

Before you begin hiring contract workers, address these questions:

  • How long will they be working for your company?
  • What is the scope of their responsibilities?
  • Who will be responsible for training them?
  • How do you plan on bringing them up to speed on procedures?
  • Who will be they report to?
  • What goals will they need to achieve?

Aim to map out the role thoroughly so that the contract worker will be aware of exactly what the role entails, particularly the aim of the project and the business benefit, as well as the timeline, scope, deliverables and key stakeholders. Don’t forget to identify any goals or benchmarks they will be expected to hit during their contract. To get the most out of contractors, think about how to communicate this information effectively to someone outside of the business to minimise the learning curve, as company-specific language will likely lead to confusion.

Have an Efficient Onboarding Process

Onboarding a new hire is always an important step, but it’s even more critical when hiring Accounting and IT contractors. There is a limited amount of time available to get them familiar with internal processes and performing at top capacity. Consequently, a well-thought-out onboarding process is key to easing the transition and ensuring the worker can get started as soon as possible. When managing contractors, don’t assume they already know something – even if they have done the same job for other businesses, every company operates slightly differently. Taking time to properly introduce them to how things are done when they are first brought on will save time re-explaining in the future.

Start by thinking about what is actually needed for the tasks they’ll be doing – don’t burden them with extra information that’s not relevant to their specific role in the project. It’s great to give them an overview of the company and its goals, but sharing unnecessary material is counterintuitive. The contractor must quickly become familiar with all the tools, resources and people they need to do their job. This is a lot of information for anybody to take in, so it’s a good idea to provide a document, visual guide or online tutorial they can refer to when needed, and appoint an approachable team member they can go to with any questions they may have. In addition, remember to check in regularly when managing contract workers and give them a chance to ask questions. This not shows personal investment, but respect and consideration for their situation.

Make Them Part of the Team

Most people will be far more engaged if they feel they are respected and equally valued members of the team, but contractors can often feel like outsiders. Since they’ll be with the company for a limited duration, many contract workers find it hard to build relationships with others in the team. Change this trend early on by treating them as you would permanent staff – make a point to include them in team meetings and invite them to after-work drinks so they have a chance to get to know people and feel included. It can also be a good idea to partner them up with a permanent employee who can provide support.

Summary

Training up a contract worker can seem like a tedious task with little payoff, but rest assured you can get the most out of your contractor’s time by providing them with the tools they need to succeed. Armed with proper guidance, clear expectations, a warm welcome and inclusion, any qualified individual can seamlessly integrate into the team, no matter how long they will be there for.

If you’d like more advice and support with your Accounting and IT contract recruitment, get in touch with the experts at SustainAbility.