There are over 10 million independent contractors in the USA today.
If you’re in business, there are many advantages to hiring independent contractors to do given tasks. It saves money and time and can be more favorable from a tax perspective.
However, hiring a good independent contractor is easier said than done.
Read on as we explain how to hire an independent contractor.
What Is an Independent Contractor?
An independent contractor is any worker who is not part of your regular, salaried staff.
Instead of employing someone on a full-time basis to fill an ongoing position and paying them regular wages every week or month, you can get someone to do a particular job for an agreed sum and then terminate the working relationship.
This system has many advantages.
Firstly, it means that the job you need to be done will be carried out by an expert in their field. If the job is not something your business specializes in, this is important.
Secondly, you don’t have as many obligations to a contractor as to a salaried employee. This is particularly significant in view of payments like healthcare.
Roles That an Independent Contractor Can Carry Out
Generally, businesses hire independent contractors for one-off jobs that are not central to their core operations. Other contract roles may be ongoing but carried out on an intermittent basis.
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Payroll is a task that every company has to carry out, and it’s one that not many managers enjoy. Bigger firms bring in in-house teams to do their payroll, but this can be time-consuming and may not be as cost-effective as hiring a contractor.
Third-party payroll providers are therefore common. As well as this, many businesses now use an online paystub maker to generate their paystubs.
With almost every business nowadays using their online presence to drive sales, the demand for content creation has skyrocketed.
Many individuals operate as freelancers in this space. Bloggers, graphic designers, app developers, and copywriters can all find plenty of work as independent contractors in today’s business world.
If you need work done on your physical premises, chances are you’ll have to hire an independent contractor.
Plumbers, electricians, and construction teams all largely operate as independent contractors.
How to Hire an Independent Contractor
There are a number of ways to find independent contractors. The one you choose should depend mainly on the position you’re hiring for. However, your price range is also an important factor.
Many independent contractors find all their work on online job boards. If you need a blogger, copywriter, or graphic designer, an online job board should be your first port of call.
Asking for a Referral
Possibly the most reliable way to find a good contractor is to ask around in the industry. If you have a colleague who has recently hired a contractor to do a given job, reach out to them to see if it was a good investment.
This allows you to get the feedback of someone you know and trust, and also saves you the time you might have spent searching for a contractor yourself.
As a business owner, you’ve likely had plenty of cold calls and emails over the years from people offering this or that. Chances are that you’ve ignored the vast majority of them.
However, this is not always the right move. A lot of top-tier contractors use cold approaches to expand their business.
With this in mind, it can be useful to give some cold approaches some thought, especially if what they’re offering seems to represent good value.
What to Look for in an Independent Contractor
There are a number of things you should keep an eye out for when hiring an independent contractor. These are simple ways to tell quality operatives apart from less competent ones.
A contractor who does consistently good work will have a good reputation. Ask other people you know in your industry whether they have worked with a given contractor before and if they would recommend paying for their services.
Website or Social Media Presence
Nowadays, someone’s online presence is often the best indicator of their professional quality. Top-tier contractors will always have a website or a social media profile, most commonly on LinkedIn.
If this presence is clean-cut and professional, it says a lot about the person’s approach to their craft. If, on the other hand, it is messy or slapdash, you should think twice about hiring the person or firm.
You should always take the time to interact with a prospective hire before you agree to employ them. You wouldn’t take on a new employee without interviewing them first, and the same rules apply to contractors.
You don’t need to expend quite as much energy on a contractor as you would a normal employee. However, you still need to have some form of an interview.
The feedback you get here is crucial to determining how suitable a candidate is. If they don’t prepare for your interview or fail to grasp important aspects of what you’re trying to achieve, they’re not the right person for the job.
Using Independent Contractors to Grow Your Business
When wondering how to hire an independent contractor, your focus must always be on return on investment. If the person you bring in doesn’t do the required job as quickly or efficiently as someone else could, you’ve hired the wrong operative.
However, if you follow the advice we’ve outlined above, you should have no trouble hiring the best person for the job.
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