If recruiting the best employees was not challenging enough in itself, think about hiring contractors. With externals, you often experience additional challenges because they might have a different contract than your own employees and they enter the company for specific projects without having much knowledge about the context or company culture. Therefore, it is important that you find someone with the right fit in order to make this work.
What are things to look at when you´re hiring contractors?
Work with an agency that knows you
Most companies work with agencies to hire contractors that will arrange all the logistics of the selection and hiring process. And this is where you can make a difference by working as much as possible with the same agency. Even though a contractor is only temporarily working for you, it is of significant importance that they fit in well with your company in order to really add value. Contractors need to be able to adjust quickly and to blend in the team to do their job. By working as much as possible with the same agency you can make sure that that agency really knows your company and understands what kind of profiles could work for you. By doing so, they will only recommend candidates that will fit in and will be able to add value from the beginning.
Don´t let price be your guide
Often with hiring externals, the price is the most important decision maker. It needs to be cheap. However, what about the quality? You are hiring external help for a specific reason and don´t let the price be your only guidance because you are bringing them in to achieve
Even if you don´t do this with hiring fixed employees (although, probably you should!) make sure to get some recommendations when you are hiring contractors. These recommendations can come via the agency from other companies they have worked for and you would need to focus on results but also how easy they were able to adapt and their working style.
Always meet face to face
Even if the agency handles most of the recruitment process, make sure to include a face to face meeting at your company in the process. No matter how many recommendations, tests or interviews the agency manages, this final step can still give your very important insights.
Discuss previous projects worked on
During the interview process, it is important to focus a lot on the previous projects the candidate worked on as a contractor. How did they adjust to the temporary workplace? Did they integrate well? How did they make sure to make a valuable contribution to the existing team? What can they bring to your team? Hence, apart from asking recommendations from previous employers, make sure to ask many behavioral questions about the previous projects during the interviews.
Check for cultural fit
When hiring someone external to help you out, make sure to not only focus on experience and skills, but also for cultural fit. This person that you are bringing in from outside needs to fit in with the team they will be working with and if there is not a good fit this will negatively affect the delivery you are expecting from this hire.
Communicate transparently about timelines
Bringing in a contractor implies that this a temporary arrangement. Make sure to always be transparent about timelines. Don´t promise contract extensions until you know they are approved, don´t be vague about end dates. Although contractors are used to the temporary part of their job, it is not more than fair to advise them well in advance of anything related to their project so they can make the necessary arrangements.
What other tips do you have for hiring contractors?