Contracting Skilled Labor: You Can Attract Top-Notch Talent

By Carol Campbell
Published on: July 22, 2017

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There is increasing demand for skilled contractors; highly skilled people that are hired for short periods of time, as industries become less predictable and cyclic changes occur faster and faster. Companies are faced with finding, hiring and managing people that range from full-time employment to flex-time or contract roles. How you find and then attract the right people – people who are looking for new opportunities and open to contract work – is challenging. Here are a few ideas to keep in mind:

What Exactly Does the Contractor Want? Get past just thinking in terms of perks, flexibility and autonomy. Find out why this top-notch person left their last gig and decided to venture out as a contractor. Surveys suggest that among the top reasons people hire out as a contractor include a desire for more challenging work, finding a better work environment, career growth, and being able to contribute and be of value to an organization. 40% of contractors want to make an impact when considering a new role. Providing work that can meet these needs will make you stand out from other companies who are prospecting for contractors.

A Competitive Compensation Plan. For the majority of contractors, pay is their number one priority. Determining how to compensate contractors obviously includes the consideration of cost of living, supply and demand, years of experience, etc. That being said, contractors typically make 15 – 20% more than regular employees because they lack benefits and money talks when you’re trying to bring in top-notch talent from the outside. Both parties should be comfortable with the negotiated payment plan and always keep in mind that contract professionals are incredibly networked and are already fielding new offers even after they’ve accepted your offer. Think about sweetening the pot if you envision a longer-term relationship in order to ensure continuity down the road.

Be Upfront and Honest. Begin your relationship with an honest appraisal of how you hope to work together and for how long. Don’t say an assignment will last 12 months when you know it will be closer to six. Be up front about the working environment and what abilities they’ll need to be successful. Discuss how to work with your team. Be honest and upfront about whether there’s a chance for them to move into a full-time position if they are successful with the contracted work assignment or if you are just looking for temporary help.

R-e-s-p-e-c-t. Give contractors the same respect you show your full-time workers. Make sure they have all the tools needed to be successful. Make sure you introduce them internally to your other team members. Create a positive, welcoming atmosphere by including them in relevant meetings, as well as informal get-togethers.

As the business world evolves, so should your company. To find contract professionals you must be competitive, honest and respectful. Make sure to speak to their career objectives and pay your contractors appropriately. You’ll attract top-notch talent that can help propel your business as you navigate an ever-changing business landscape.

Carol Campbell

Carol Campbell

Carol Campbell is the Managing Director of the Technology Insider Group. She is a publishing, marketing and women’s thought leadership executive with a history of offering outstanding presentation, communication and cross-cultural team management skills. She is also the Executive Director of the Women In Consumer Technology organization.

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