How to Write a Job Description for an Independent Professional
When looking for independent professional talent to incorporate into your workforce, there are many factors to consider. If you are engaging independent contractors for the first time, you may be facing fears about the quality of the final product, cost considerations, or whether or not the person you’re hiring will make a productive use of time and resources. In short, it may initially be intimidating to find an independent professional who ticks all of your boxes.
One way to overcome any concerns you have about hiring an independent contractor is by writing an accurate, detailed description of the opportunity available to attract the right person from the start. A good project description will help weed out people who don’t have the skills you’re looking for and draw in best possible matches.
Follow these four tips to write a job description that helps land the independent talent you’re looking for.
1. Understand How Independent Professionals Differ from Employees
When writing any job description, it’s first important to understand the audience you are trying to attract. Independent professionals are fundamentally different than employees, and getting a handle on their motivations will help you write a project description that assures independents you know where they are coming from and that you can meet their specific needs.
The top reasons cited by people for pursuing a self-employed career include: a desire to control their schedule, greater work/life flexibility, earning more money, and the ability to work on projects they like. Make sure the place you are posting your project description makes it clear that the opportunity is for a freelancer or independent contractor and contains information about what it is like to work as an independent with your company.
Remember, independent professionals are experts in their industry. That doesn’t mean you need to incorporate industry terms or jargon in a project description, but you should be able to provide goals for the project and describe any specialized skills needed.
2. Get Down to Details
As much as you can, list project details and traits you are looking for in an independent. These details might include years of experience, the number of hours you expect this person to dedicate per week, a date range for the project, whether or not there are any travel requirements, if expenses will be reimbursed, primary responsibilities, and any required licenses or certifications.
3. Know the Budget You’re Working With
While you don’t need to include the project budget explicitly, be sure you know the budget you are working with before you post a job opening. Experienced independent professionals will likely have a standard bill rate they are working with and will want to discuss finances with you upfront. If you are able to do so, it can be helpful to include an hourly range of what you are able to pay.
4. Look for Talent in the Right Place
Many enterprise managers today use an online marketplace to find independent professionals to fill project needs. Marketplaces can be a useful place to post jobs, and source and self-select independent talent. Typically, an independent will fill out a profile and then apply to or be matched with positions that fit their skill set. Independents are familiar with using marketplaces as a way to search for work, and leveraging a marketplace where you are able to clearly post available opportunities with your company can be a big help in attracting top talent.
Check out MBO’s marketplace to post opportunities, run a search to find talent, or let proprietary algorithms send matches directly to your inbox.