Should I hire a contractor? Where do I start?

By Tayo Leigh

 28 Jun 2016     Comments

Hiring temporary staff is a great way to increase your headcount for a short time, maybe you have a large project, big order or you need a specialist skill none of your existing staff have. Whatever the reason for bringing in reinforcements if this is your first time, here’s some advice to make it a painless process.

Where can I find quality contractors?

Word of mouth, referrals or even a former employee who left on good terms are all good sources of talent. The most important thing you must do is ensure you have an accurate and detailed job description, both you and your candidate have to be completely clear about the role, expectations and deliverables. Be ready to pay what their worth, it’s a false saving to choose the cheapest candidate, if the job is important and timings short don’t risk it – choose the best person for the job!
If you’re looking for a specialist skill you may want to advertise the role externally. Choose a reputable site with a good database of candidates - of course we’d recommend our good selves if you haven’t already, check us out at, we have 20 years of recruitment expertise and thousands of experienced candidates at your fingertips via our free to access online database.

How do I handle contractor from a HR perspective?

The paperwork around contractors couldn’t be simpler and that’s why start-ups and small companies often prefer to work with temporary staff. Ensure they sign a contract; this can be as simple or extended as you want it to be. As a minimum, outline the notice period, agreed monthly salary and key responsibilities.
A contractor can invoice you, allowing you to pay them just like any other vendor without attracting the additional costs of pensions, health and other benefits, but as a result they may sometimes charge higher than a permanent staff to compensate the instability of the role. Here is a simple and thorough guideline to creating a contract

Contractors have no loyalties, what if they steal my clients?

The right contractors are professional, there to do a job and get paid. Permanent staff are just as likely to steal ideas or clients too, it’s down to the integrity of the person.
You can limit this with the use of an NDA (Non-Disclosure Agreement) ensuring they sign before joining and driving home the consequences of not adhering.
Consider this: having a contractor come from a competitor is a bonus to your business, they understand the industry and can give you insights into how other businesses run. So having your contractor come from or go to a competitor isn’t the end of the world.

References, references, references – do your homework and check out their previous employer’s feedback.

The best way to ensure the loyalty of your temporary staff is to make them feel part of your company family. Involve them in social events, keep them informed on key business updates and ensure all staff are welcoming and warm towards them.

In conclusion contractors can be a game changing addition to your business, take the time to right an accurate job description, check their references, pay a good salary and give a good impression of your business. A flexible workforce is the way the future is going!

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