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How to Employ Independent Contractors for Your Startup

A great business idea and perfect execution of such an idea isn’t complete without the required workforce. For the effective running of your startup, you will need skilled individuals to carry out one task or the other.

It is almost impossible for you to carry out all the activities in your startup yourself. Even where possible, there will be some challenges of ineffectiveness, especially as it touches on areas where you are not skilled. Therefore, at one point or the other, you will be confronted with the decision to hire employees.

Hiring full-time employees can be costly. What is more expensive than the monthly salaries and other allowances with full-time employment is the cost of the structures house these employees; they need a place to work.

If you are hiring a full-time employee, you will need to get such an office, a working table, and other things needed to facilitate their jobs.

These put several financial burdens on business owners that can have a costly effect on the business. What then is the way out for new startups that do not have the finances for full-time employees? The solution is to look into the gig economy.

An independent contractor can be a cost-effective alternative to full-time employees. | Unsplash

The gig economy is a thriving one and an escape route for many startups to save a lot of money from the employment of workers. This economy also makes it possible for businesses to connect with the best hands in a particular field.

The gig economy comprises independent contractors who get paid for carrying out specific tasks. Upon completion of such tasks, their contract with your startup can be terminated. Hiring independent contractors are one of the best ways startups can save money while still working with skilled individuals.

However, it is not enough to be aware of the importance of independent contractors; you have to know the best ways to hire them for your startup. Five steps to follow when hiring an independent contractor for your startup include:

  • Open your horizons

The first step towards hiring independent contractors for your startup is to open your horizons. There are several places that you can find the best individuals willing to work for you. 

Start by talking to those around you, and that can include your friends, families, and loved ones generally. These people may know individuals who offer their services on a contract basis. They may know someone who can provide you with helpful information about finding one.

Another option with regards to opening your horizons is to surf the internet. The internet is where you can find almost everything you are looking for, including independent contractors.

Several platforms like Upwork, Indeed, Guru, Fiverr, and Freelancer connect businesses to individuals with the requisite skills to fill such vacancies. However, when surfing the internet for independent contractors, ensure you are looking in the right places.

  • Scrutinize your options before hiring

If you open your mind and look in the right places in your quest to find independent contractors for your startup, you are going to come across a lot of options. You then have to carefully scrutinize your choices to ensure you are not just hiring an independent contractor but also hiring the best.

In scrutinizing your options, there are some important things to pay attention to about the independent contractor, and they include:

  • Qualifications and experience in that field.
  • Availability and pricing for services offered.
  • Review from past startups such a person has worked with.

The qualifications and experience of the independent contractor give you an insight as to how well they will deliver when hired for your startup.

Their availability and pricing help you know whether or not they fit into your startup’s budget. Their reviews from past clients help validate their qualifications and experience to be sure they can deliver maximally.

  • Build a relationship with them after hiring

Hiring an independent contractor after vetting looks like the end of the road, but it isn’t. Considering that you may be needing their services at other times, you must build a healthy relationship with them.

Apart from the possibility of you requiring their services at other times, you can enter into strategic partnerships with these independent contractors. Some of them could be critics who provide healthy criticisms to help your startup grow and serve its customers better.

Keeping in touch with the independent contractor is a good way to build a healthy relationship. | Unsplash

  • Consider referrals from existing contractors

Suppose you are working with an independent contractor or have worked with one in a particular area of your business. In that case, they can be an excellent way to get an independent contractor in another area. Instead of going through the stress of looking for individuals who want to work on a contract basis, you can seek referrals from existing contractors.

Many of these independent contractors belong to online and offline communities where they interact with one another. You can save your startup the stress of working with someone you may not trust by working with the referrals of someone you’ve worked with and can trust.

  • Build a positive portfolio from hiring independent contractors

As a startup, you should note that you’re not the only one who does a background check before hiring. Independent contractors also do some background checks before accepting to work for some startups, and this is where building a positive portfolio becomes essential.

Upon completing your contract with an employee, don’t be the only one leaving them reviews. As a startup, you should also request these independent contractors to leave you reviews about their experience working with your startup.

These reviews are what other independent contractors will see in your startup’s portfolio when running a background check on it. With a positive portfolio, you can attract the best independent contractors, especially when hiring virtually.

Conclusion

The two primary responsibilities of business owners are to cut costs and maximize profits. Hiring an independent contractor is better than hiring full-time employees because it helps you to save operational costs. It also means you are not limited in choosing your startup’s workforce, and you can work with individuals from across the globe.

However, to hire the right way, you have to open your mind, scrutinize your options, build a relationship with them, consider referrals from existing contractors, and seek an honest review of their experiences working with your startup.

References

Pacific Crest Group: Full Cost of Hiring an Employee

BBC: What is the ‘gig’ economy?

The Balance SMB: Hiring and Paying an Independent Contractor

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