5 Top Tips for Onboarding a Contractor
With COVID-19 shaking up hiring as we know it, many businesses are more open to the idea of hiring a contractor. Whether your business requires a specialist skill-set or you need someone flexible to fill in a skills gap, hiring a contractor is a great way to (temporarily) reinforce your workforce. There are countless benefits to hiring a contractor but, much like hiring a permanent member of staff, the success of the placement relies heavily on the success of the onboarding process. Why invest in onboarding for a member of staff who isn’t going to be around for a very long? Here are five reasons why:
Meet the team(s)
Whether it’s face to face meetings, video calls or organisational charts, taking the time to help your contractor understand the structure of your business will ensure that they know who to contact when they have a query (and prevents them from treading on any toes). Which team will you contractor sit in? Who will they report directly to? What are the responsibilities of each team? Knowing who to turn to will help the contractor to work more efficiently as queries are solved faster.
A contractor who feels part of a team will be more engaged in the work they do. Taking the time to make sure that your contractor feels welcomed and integrated could mean the difference between a contractor who comes, gets the job done and leaves, and a contractor who takes the time to share their expertise with internal staff. Having a thought-out team integration plan will help to increase productivity and could save you money on internal training.
In your onboarding process, you should clearly outline the work that you expect your contractor to carry out and the time frame that you expect work to be completed in. Schedule them regular meetings with their line manager to monitor performance and adjust goals (if required). Giving your contractor structure, support, and guidance will increase productivity and ensure that desired outcomes are achieved in a time-efficient manner.
An effective onboarding process will provide your business with the opportunity to meet your legal due diligence obligations. The paperwork surrounding your contractor will depend on the type of contract you have engaged in with them, and you must take the time to educate your contractor on their rights and responsibilities before they engage in the contract. Failure to do so may result in hefty legal fines or legal ramifications. Having a thorough contractor compliance process now is likely to save you a headache next year, when the delayed changes to the IR35 rules come into effect in April 2021; any contracts that end after April 6th 2021 with be affected.
Contractors work via word of mouth. Your reputation within the contracting community depends on what those who have engaged with your company have to say. Take the time to onboard your contractor correctly, support them during their time in your company and thank them for all that they have contributed to the team – show them that they are valued. Doing so will encourage them to speak well of your business and, if they leave on good terms, they will be happy to return if required.
Update, amend and fine-tune your onboarding process over time. To gain insight into what it is like to be a contractor in your business, ask former contractors for feedback. Take pride in positive feedback and address any constructive criticism with an action plan.
If your business is looking for a contractor or you would like further support and guidance, get in touch:
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