Finding the perfect contractor

Staffing can be one of the most challenging functions for small businesses. Deciding whether to employ someone full-time, part-time or on a casual basis can take up a lot of time and energy. However, hiring well from the start will propel your business towards further success.

Understand the working relationship

Before you take on a contractor, be clear about how the association. Contractors aren’t your regular employees, nor are they permanent staff. They are called consultants or freelancers and they often work off-site, although in some cases you can arrange for them to work on your premises. They are usually booked for short assignments or projects. However, this time period may last anywhere from a few days to weeks or months. Having a contractor on board provides flexibility in how much you pay and when. You also have the opportunity to find an expert who can complement and enhance your business projects.

Ask around

Use your networks to get the word out for a contractor. Word of mouth is great for identifying people who can add value to your business. Make sure you ask for references, previous work samples, and if necessary, speak to their clients to gain better insight into their style, capabilities and experience. Tap into your networks, you never know who may be presented to you

Ask questions

Be sure to meet with them (or arrange a video call) so you can ask all the questions you've got. Their experience and rate? Are they flexible on hours? When can they start? Do they have any conflicting clients or projects? Where will they work from? What additional resources do you need to provide in order for them to do their job?

Speak to recruitment experts

If you’ve got a project coming up but you don't have the need for a permanent, full-time staff member, then hire a contractor. It also helps to speak to a recruitment agency that deals with contractors or people in your industry. While you may have to pay them a finder's fee, it will relieve you from the time and effort. Agencies are generally quick at identifying and assessing the right candidates before presenting them to you.