What do you need to know to hire someone as an independent contractor, that’s what this blog post is all about.
As a business owner, perhaps you’re getting tied down with so many tasks that you rarely have time for other aspects of the business.
Due to this, your business is suffering.
These are clear signs that you need help before you burn out and your business fails.
So, this guide is what you need to help you find the extra hands you need to run your business by hiring someone as an independent contractor.
Speaking of getting help, as a start-up business, you might not have the financial muscles to expand your business just yet.
Hence, creating new departments and employing new full-time employees might not be the best move to get the extra hands you need.
Given this, an independent contractor is one of the best options you’ve got.
You’ll find out why as you read on further in this blog post.
So let’s dive right in.
How To Hire Someone As An Independent Contractor
To help you quickly grasp what this guide is all about, here’s a quick view of what you’ll find inside;
- Who is an Independent contractor
- What an Independent contractor can do for you; duties and responsibilities.
- Benefits of hiring an independent contractor
- What to do before hiring an independent contractor
- How to hire someone as an independent contractor
Who is an Independent Contractor?
According to IRS, independent contractors include people in an independent trade, business, or profession in which they offer their services to the general public.
Hence, independent contractors are self-employed individuals, business owners, or agencies that offer specific professional services to people in need of their services.
These could be lawyers, painters, accountants, web developers, graphic designers, engineers, consultants, and basically anyone with special skills that provides specialized services to an organization for some fees or charges.
Furthermore, these are the people you contract when you need certain tasks taken care of within a specified time frame.
You could also refer to them as freelancers, part-time or contractual workers.
This is because they work with you on a contractual basis.
It’s also important to note that these are not employees; hence they do not need to work for fixed hours.
Now you know the people classified as independent contractors.
It’s time to discover their scope of work.
Independent Contractors; Duties and Responsibilities
The scope of work of independent contractors may vary largely depending on their field of expertise and skills level.
However, they are generally contracted to handle specific tasks related to their skill areas.
It’s important to note that independent contractors are not obliged to work for you unless you enter into a working contract with them.
More so, unlike with full-time employees, you cannot expect independent contractors to work for you outside the agreed scope of work.
That being said, here are some of the things an independent contractor can do for you.
These make up their duties and responsibilities as independent contractors.
- Taking specific instructions from clients relating to projects/contracts
- Liaising with clients to ensure the success of project/contracts
- Determining and compiling the materials/resources needed to complete a project
- Starting and completing projects or contracts within specified deadlines
- Providing necessary feedback to clients on the progress or problems in a project
- Filing taxes
Overall, independent contractors are experts in their various fields of work.
So, hiring them means you’re consulting them to use their best judgments and expertise to get the job done.
Hence, their duties and responsibilities include getting your task/project completed for you in the best possible way as per your instructions or personal preferences.
Since you’re hiring an expert to take some workload off your hands and help you with certain technical aspects of your project, this will certainly bring you some benefits.
Let’s discover what these benefits are.
Benefits of Hiring Contractual Workers
There are a lot of benefits that come with hiring independent contractors rather than full employees.
Indeed, hiring contractual workers might come with few disadvantages such as less control over your workforce or projects, limited availability, etc.
However, the benefits outweigh these minor drawbacks.
Hence, let’s find out how hiring independent contractors benefit you and your business.
By hiring an independent contractor, you save your business from the financial strain of hiring full-time employees.
While hiring full-time employees gives you more control over your workforce and unlimited access whenever you need tasks completed, it could be quite costly.
This is true especially for startup businesses with limited finances to cover operational costs.
Hence, the need to hire independent contractors for tasks that someone with the right skills can easily complete.
This is because you only hire them when you need certain tasks or projects completed.
Also, when the tasks or projects are completed, you do not need to keep paying them as you would do for full-time employees.
Consequently helping you to save money on labor costs.
Hiring independent contractors also save you time.
It saves you the time spent on handling tasks requiring certain technical skills and helps you focus more on other aspects of the business.
Certainly, you can decide to learn the skills required to handle specific tasks by taking online courses.
This will improve your skillset and efficiency as a business owner.
On the other hand, it would be time-consuming, which may not be an efficient way to handle tasks in the long run.
However, independent contractors already have the expert knowledge to handle specific tasks required of them and do not need much learning to get the job done.
So hiring them saves you time, helps you meet important deadlines, and achieve your business goals overall.
Besides saving time, hiring an independent contractor would also reduce stress for you and your workforce.
Too much workload can be excessively strenuous and will eventually lead to burnout.
Hence, burdening your in-house employees with extra tasks that you can easily outsource to professionals would increase their stress levels and harm their productivity.
The same goes for you as a business owner.
Rather than that, outsource certain technical tasks to professionals, independent contractors skilled in that area.
This might cost some extra money, but the benefits you’ll enjoy in the long run are immeasurable.
Higher Level of Expertise and Efficiency
An independent contractor is someone with a certain level of expertise in his/her field.
This expertise comes from a wealth of experience handling different tasks/projects for different clients.
More so, with these experiences comes an increased level of efficiency.
So, for you, as a business owner hiring an experienced independent contractor, you’re not just hiring someone to get the job done.
Instead, you’re hiring an expert to apply expert knowledge to handle your project.
Hence, you’re getting a high level of efficiency that you would not normally get from your in-house team, who don’t have a wide range of experience with various clients.
Increased Productivity and Profitability
Hiring an independent contractor means that you’ll get tasks and projects handled timely and efficiently.
This means productivity and profitability for your business.
This is true especially for time-sensitive projects/tasks such as social media marketing, blogging, business branding, etc.
Overall, handling the important aspects of your business promptly and efficiently increases profitability in the business.
Now you know some of the ways using independent contractors to handle specific tasks in your business can positively impact your business.
Before you go on to hire one, there are certain things you need to do to get the best results from your efforts.
What to do Before Hiring A Contractual Worker
Research all the Necessary Requirements
Hiring an independent contractor is not so different from hiring an employee.
However, there are certain things involved that you need to take care of.
This is because the person you’re hiring is a skilled/self-employed individual with a business of his/her own, offering services for which you have to pay.
Given this, certain requirements guide the working relationship between these independent contractors and their clients.
As a business owner looking to hire one, you have to do your homework by researching what these requirements are and how it affects you as a client about to hire an independent contractor.
Some of the requirements to acquaint yourself with include;
- Tax forms: This is a form that helps you collect the independent contractor’s tax information.
In some parts of the world, this is an essential document that you need to have before you hire an independent contractor.
Hence, research to find out if this is a requirement in your location.
If it is, take the necessary steps towards acquiring the relevant tax form form and fulfilling the requirements attached to this form before you start the hiring process.
- Contract Documents: Some documents binding you and the independent contractor in a contractual agreement would also be required.
Hence, it’s important that you get the necessary information regarding these contract documents and get help preparing them if necessary.
Overall, the requirements for working with independent contractors may vary depending on the location.
It may also vary depending on the nature of the project and task.
Hence, research to be clear on these requirements in your location and the nature of your project.
Determine the Scope of Work
It’s also important to determine the project’s scope of work you’re hiring an independent contractor for.
This would include milestones, mode of operation, and results of the project.
Doing this will help you set clear expectations of what you want from the independent contractor once you hire him/her.
Determine the Time Frame/Length of the Project
This has to do with how long the project/contract would last.
Furthermore, this would largely depend on your business goals.
Based on what you want to achieve with the project or task, decide on the length of time of the project.
Determine the Costs
This is all about deciding on how much you’re willing to pay for the project.
Your decision on this should be based on the following;
- Your budget
- The average cost/price (that is, how much do such projects cost; your research will reveal this)
- The nature of the project(Some projects might involve a lot of technicalities and may require extra funds to complete).
Now that you have the right information you need to hire an independent contractor, you’re all set to start your hiring process.
How to Hire Someone as an Independent Contractor
After fulfilling all the prerequisites for hiring a contractual worker, you’re all set to hire one.
Here’s what you should do.
1Start Your Search by Checking Job Boards/Social Media Platforms and Ask for References
Start your hiring process by searching some of the job boards or social media platforms where most professionals are found.
To narrow your search, you can search job boards or social media platforms specifically made for independent contractors.
Some of these platforms include;
- SitePoint Remote
- Guru.. among others
Another way to search for someone to hire as an independent contractor is to ask for references.
Sometimes you might be fortunate to find someone in your circle of friends or business associates who have worked with some competent professionals in the past.
Furthermore, they’ll be happy to recommend the professional to you but only if you let them know the skills you want to hire.
Hence, you can ask some of them for recommendations.
2Post Your Job Ad
This should be your next line of action if you were not fortunate enough to get any recommendations.
You could pick any of the job boards mentioned above, such as Upwork or Fiverr, and post your job ad as an employer.
Your job ad should be detailed and nicely-presented.
By seeing your job ad, potential candidates should be clear on what the projects entail, the requirements for the project, and how working for you would benefit them.
Hence, your job ad should contain all the necessary details to get you the right candidate for the job.
3Review and Shortlist Potential Candidates
After posting the job ad, applications might begin to roll in, sometimes a little bit more than you expected.
At this, point you have to be careful to select only the best candidates for the job.
You have to carefully review each application paying attention to details such as;
- Area of expertise
- Experience/work history
- Location (if necessary)
- Among other things
After reviewing various applications, you’ll be left with a shortlist of candidates for the job.
Contact the selected candidates and schedule an interview.
4Interview Potential Candidates/Review Portfolio or Test the Candidates
The interview is another important part of your hiring process.
This allows you to assess the candidate or candidates for the job.
Most employers skip this step and go straight to testing the candidate for the project.
They put the candidate through various tests that would require a demonstration of the skills required for the job.
Even more, most employers use both methods.
They test the candidates during the interview process.
Whichever method works fine for you, adopt it and ensure that you thoroughly assess the candidate for the job.
- What’s the initiative behind why you do what you do as an independent contractor?
- Which of your previously handle projects are you proud of the most?
- How often do you have challenges meeting deadlines?
- How do you track progress and your performance?
- What approaches would you use to handle difficulties or challenges should you encounter any in this project?
At this stage, you should also review the candidate’s portfolio by checking past work records and the authenticity of the work done.
If there are contact details attached to the portfolio, you might want to check-in with previous clients to assess the working relationship with the intending hire.
Overall, this the point where you thoroughly assess the potential independent contractor as it determines how your working relationship with him/her will be.
5Discuss Terms of Contract/Project
After assessing the candidate for the contract and you’re certain that the candidate is the right person for the job, it’s time to discuss the project in detail.
In your job ad, you must have stated some details about the contract.
Hence, the prospective independent contractor already has an idea of what the project entails at this point.
However, there are still some specific details you both still need to discuss.
This could include; setting milestones in the project, deadlines, expectations on how to handle the project, channels of communication, feedback, and more.
6Negotiate Pay and Finalize the Contract
With an idea of how much the project should cost, you should negotiate a reasonable pay that would not hurt your budget and that’s palatable to the independent contractor.
There might be a little bit of going back and forth in this process so, anticipate it.
However, in the end, you and the independent contractor should negotiate and settle on a mutually acceptable rate.
You should also discuss the payment method.
Will it be an upfront payment, hourly basis, based on milestones completed or mid-level payments?
Once, this is settled and both parties are on the same page, it’s time to finalize the contract.
This could include signing off some legal documents and submitting some important details.
Final Words on How to Hire Someone as an Independent Contractor
There you have it!
Easy steps on how to hire your first independent contractor.
To make the process even easier, we’ve included links to various job boards where you can find the best independent contractors to hire.
This means that you’re few clicks away from hiring an independent contractor.
Skip the rigorous search process, click the links and go straight away to hiring your first.
Good luck finding the best person for the job.