When you need external talent to handle a job, you simply can’t beat a good referral. You could post the job on your company website, try online job boards, social networking sites and of course industry associations.
But if you want to save yourself time and effort, you should really build a relationship with a good recruitment partner.
Step 1: Hiring
Vetting a potential contractor and choosing the right one can involve pretty much the same pain as choosing a permanent employee, but this hard work is crucial and will help avoid costly mistakes further down the track. The process is even lengthier for more critical and senior hires, requiring face-to-face interviews as well as several reference checks. The more complex the project, the more careful you should be in hiring the person who is ultimately going to make you look good – or bad.
Step 2: Briefing
Once you’ve recruited the people you need, it’s essential to brief them correctly and thoroughly. Don’t, above all, leave anything open to interpretation. Documentation is definitely the name of the game and is particularly vital for project managers and creative and technology professionals. If you don’t give a good brief, it’s unfair to blame your contractors if the end product doesn’t meet your expectations. Unfortunately this happens too often, particularly with inexperienced people who try to rush the process.
Step 3: Payment
Agreeing on payment terms can be problematic, as projects often blow out and therefore so do the costs. Most professional contractors have their own ABN (Australian Business Number) and charge in various ways from hourly/weekly to fees for a total project. Ask the contractor to put together a plan including an estimate of timeframes, costs and deadlines. If you’re likely to use a contractor on a lengthy and complex project, you should consider setting KPIs (Key Performance Indicators), so you can regularly measure how well they are getting the job done.
Step 4: Work arrangements
There are many ways to work with your contractors, either on-site or remotely. In new relationships, it’s normal for the contractor to work on-site at the start, and once knowledge and trust have been established, you can give them greater flexibility. It really depends on the project and if the work is within a team that benefits from physically being together. Of course, as an employer, you will need to have secure systems and may need the contractor to sign an NDA (Non Disclosure Agreement) or similar terms regarding confidentiality.
Step 5: Retention
At the end of each project, make sure you have full documentation of the processes and resources involved in getting the job done. If you don’t clearly track the process of what was done and how, it can be an absolute nightmare for anyone picking up the project later on. It also means that some of the project’s intelligence walks out your door when a contractor leaves, which is not only costly but also dangerous to your business.