Tech industry heavily relies on contractors to quickly fill skill gaps and provide specialised skills and expertise that may not be available within the company. Given that contractors work with various companies on a project-by-project basis, retaining their services for future projects can be a challenge. So once you found great a contractor, how can you make sure you keep them around for future projects?
Understand Their Needs
Improving contractor retention begins with actively listening your contractors to understand their needs. Contractors face their own unique challenges. By addressing those challenges, you will become a client they enjoy collaborating with, increasing the the likelihood of contract extension. Some of the most common pain points that you can do something about are:
- Meeting unrealistic demands of clients
- Increasing rates of pay when necessary
- Working alone and maintaining good mental health
- Getting paid on time
Clear and Realistic Expectations
Start at the beginning. Outline what you expect in terms of deliverables, timelines, and quality standards but remember that contractors often work with multiple clients simultaneously. Unrealistic expectations can lead to over commitment, burnout and lower quality work.
Exciting challenges are always going to be more attractive. Contractors want work that’s exciting and important; it’s your job to show them why your initiative fits that bill. Identify a clear and compelling prospect. Outline precisely what assistance you require and how a contractor’s expertise will align with it.
Establishing an effective two-way communication will have a huge impact on your relationship with the contractor. It’s important to create a space where the contractor can openly share their thoughts and give as well as receive feedback. Schedule regular feedback checkpoints to ensure both parties are on the same page. Remember to keep the contractor in the loop about any new company insights or input that would assist with the project.
Fair Pay Rates & Getting Paid on Time
Fair compensation demonstrates a respect for their time and effort, and makes them feel more invested in the project. Contractors are unlikely to accept another project if they feel they are being underpaid. Make sure to compensate them fairly. Getting paid on time is just as important. Delayed payments can have a significant impact on the contractor’s financial stability and can harm the relationship between you and the contractor.
Positive and Inclusive Environment
A 2018 survey by Epson found that 48 percent of contractors found it a lonely professional life. You can prevent it from happening by creating a positive and inclusive work environment. This means fostering a culture of collaboration and teamwork, and making sure your contractor feels valued, respected and a part of the team. Introduce your contractor to the team, share information about the company culture, make sure they are included in all vital team communications and schedule regular communication. However, it’s important to remember that contract workers are independent. Making them part of the team doesn’t mean controlling their hours or how their work gets done.
Managing Renewal of a Contractor
Don’t leave it to the last minute
By staying on top of your contracts and renewing them in a timely manner, you can ensure that you have the right resources in place and keep your business running smoothly and efficiently. This will help avoid any unexpected gaps in your services. Be proactive in monitoring your contracts by frequently reviewing them. For 12 month contracts, it’s wise to start the renewal process three months before your current contract end date. For 3-6 month contracts, a 6 week time frame is appropriate for starting the renewal process.
Check in regularly
There is no better way to gauge the interest of your contractors than by asking them directly. Regularly check how they are getting on. This gives you a chance to find out more about their circumstances, goals and challenges.
Research competitive rates
Check online job boards or use salary comparison tools for similar roles and projects to get an idea of the going rates for similar work. You can consult with recruiters to provide valuable insights into current contract rates. They may have access to data and trends that are not publicly available.
In a Nutshell
Contract renewal is not just beneficial for your business but also for the contractors themselves, but you have to give them reasons to stay. With these tips in mind, you can build a strong and lasting relationship with your contractors and be proactive in managing their renewal.