July 8, 2022
Here’s the understatement of 2022: running a business is not for the faint of heart!
What’s going on here? The unique combination of economic and societal disruption has changed not only the hiring market, but the decision-making framework business owners have historically leaned on. Changes are afoot – some temporary, some permanent. How do you navigate these choppy new waters?
From a hiring perspective, many businesses are finding success in hiring independent contractors. This model gives you the flexibility to respond to immediate market forces while providing you the space to be thoughtful about your long-term planning. In other words, it gives you breathing room.
If you’re at all unsure how to make the best use of the contractor model, we can help. Not only do we have a huge pool of vetted candidates, but we also have the experience to help you build your contractor strategy.
The contracting model can be vital to your business, but it’s not without its cautions. Here are some Pros and Cons(iderations) of hiring contractors:
Contractors add value because they:
- Bring a higher-than-average level of varied experience to the work and to your company
- Often have specialized skills that are an exact fit for the project
- Can hit the ground running; onboarding is minimal – they know how ‘get to it’ quickly
- Can be hired for discrete projects during busy times, which allows you to react organically to changes in business
- Are easy to let go, if needed (just call your recruiting firm)
- Require minimal paperwork – no taxes or benefits
- Often require little supervision; they’re used to working independently and providing value
- Allow you to ‘try before you buy – if you’re considering hiring a person fulltime
A few cautions here:
- Bringing on a contractor often requires upfront time to define the project and expectations. You need to be aware of those parts of the project that might require value judgments or creative approaches and decide if a contractor is right for them.
- Though the contractor may be familiar with your industry, they may not know your specific company. Check your assumptions and be upfront about your requirements and definition of success.
- The culture fit can hit and miss. Some contractors will fit right in; others won’t. (We think it’s important for us to get to know your culture before we send you candidates).
- Freelancers might be juggling multiple projects and, unless specified, may not be always on the clock for you.
- For some (usually longer) projects, you may experience a ‘brain drain’ when the contractor leaves, taking their learnings with them.
Get Set Up for Success
While contractors can make life easier for your business, you’ll still want to follow some basic best practices to create the best experience possible – for both them and you. This means covering your bases, from screening and hiring to contracting and onboarding.
- Craft a job description. For the sake of clarity, and to find the ideal contractor, crafting a job description is in your best interest. Share details about the project, skill set, and expectations. Define what success will look like. (We can help you write a job description, if you’d like.)
- Interview them for both cultural and skills fit. Your recruiter should be checking their credentials and references, as well as making their assessment around the fit of the contractor with your workplace. And though you don’t need to vet a short-term freelance employee the same way you would a potential full-timer, you’ll still want to schedule an interview to go over the particulars of the project, as well as get a feel for their personality and working style.
- Draft a work agreement. Once you’ve found the right person, draft a Statement of Work that stipulates the scope, rate, dates of engagement, and other pertinent details. You’ll also want to have a W-9 and 1099 ready for your contractor to fill out.
- Give them the tools to succeed. Finally, you’ll want to set your contractor up for success in much the same way you would a full-time employee. Make sure they have access to all the tools and resources your company provides for them to get to work. Step them through any training they need to understand the dynamic of their role and associated expectations. Agree on how they’ll communicate their status. Set up regular touchpoints so you can make sure your project is on track and on schedule.
Finding a Rock-Solid Contractor
At Accountants One, we specialize in helping our clients align with the ideal candidate, whether that’s for the long haul or a month-long (or year-long) assignment.
To better understand the services we offer, please visit our Staffing Services page, where you can read about Contracting work.
If you know you’re ready to seek out a qualified Accounting & Finance Contractor right away, jump on over to our Featured Candidate page devoted to vetted and qualified accounting contractors who are immediately available to support your team through Accountants One.
Learn More About Our Services
Accountants One has been developing and refining value-driven hiring strategies since 1973. Our clients range from Fortune 500 Public Companies to entrepreneurial startups. With expertise encompassing more than eight areas, we are confident that we can bring exceptional results to your organization.