6 Ways to Boost Independent Contractor Retention
Independent contractors bring on-demand expertise, staffing flexibility, and better control over employment costs to enterprises.
Forward-thinking companies that wish to remain competitive in today’s talent marketplace need to prioritize the needs of independent professionals.
When independents are satisfied with their client relationship, they will be more likely to return for future work.
Employee retention is an important part of maintaining a streamlined, productive workforce. Enterprises want to hold on to their top performers—the same strategy should apply to independent contractors as well.
More than ever before, companies are relying on independent talent for the in-demand skills and professionalism they provide. Independent contractors bring on-demand expertise, staffing flexibility, and better control over employment costs to enterprises. Today, more than 51 million Americans are choosing to work independently and competition for these workers is increasing.
Most independent professionals have a lot of choice when it comes to picking the clients they work with. In order to compete in today’s marketplace, businesses must structure policies, procedures, and engagement practices to meet the needs of these workers. Here are six ways to attract, retain, and re-engage high-quality independent professionals.
1. Streamline Onboarding
Having a good onboarding process in place is one of the key factors leading to high satisfaction among independent talent. In fact, 93% of independents say that having a fast and efficient process for setting them up to work is an important factor in influencing the clients they choose to work with.
A good onboarding process begins at the very start of the engagement journey, with a website that makes it clear that your business offers opportunities for independent talent. On the jobs or careers section of your website, be sure to include language to distinguish between full-time opportunities and opportunities for independent professionals. Without these distinctions or a clear freelancer value proposition, the engagement experience can be both confusing and unwelcoming.
Next: 7 Ways to Onboard Contractors Easier and Faster
2. Give Them Information They Need to Succeed
Once the engagement process has begun, make it as easy as possible for independent talent to understand how to work with your organization. Program processes and technologies should be intuitive and easy to use. For example, a client-branded welcome site can be useful to educate independents on what they can expect during vetting and engagement, provide access to initial self-assessment surveys, and offer information about roles and responsibilities.
Throughout the project, encourage managers to communicate clearly and often. Set up a routine for regular check-ins and status reports. Encourage discussion round deliverables and deadlines. The more open the lines of communication are, the more smoothly the project will run.
Next: 6 Ways Companies Can Build Strong Contractor Relationships
3. Offer Multiple Engagement Options
Independent professionals each have different levels of self-employability as well as individual needs and requirements. Often, a worker may not quite qualify to work as an independent contractor even though that is how they prefer to work. These workers may be frustrated if they are forced into a payrolling program, or, if they are engaged as an independent contractor, it can put the company at risk for misclassification.
Instead, work with a vendor that can supply flexible engagement options, so your organization can offer a solution that not only ensures compliant engagements, but also attracts top talent. Providing options that take the diverse requirements of independent workers into account creates a more positive engagement experience and makes it both easier and more likely for independents to re-engage with your organization.
Next: Access top independent talent
4. Build a Strong Client-Contractor Relationship
Communication is the foundation of any great client-contractor relationship, so it’s no surprise that it is the No. 1 driver of satisfaction among independent professionals. Creating a clear project scope during engagement, providing timely feedback, and simply being responsive are all useful strategies to maintain good communication.
Prioritizing communication can also help to resolve pain points and frustrations before they become bigger issues. At the beginning of an engagement, talk to the independent professional you’ve engaged to set goals, review expectations, and establish a communication plan. During the project, periodically check in to ensure deliverables are aligning to the project scope.
Next: 6 Ways Companies Can Build Strong Contractor Relationships
5. Create a Work Environment They Want to Return To
Create a work environment that welcomes and respects independents. Ensure that managers value a job well done, respect independent contractor’s schedules, and treat them as an equal member of their team.
When independents are satisfied with their client relationship, they will be more likely to return for future work. Re-engagement can save your business time and money, so it is worthwhile to put measures in place for creating a positive working relationship. Simple steps like making sure payment terms are aligned with market standards, keeping independent contractors informed about what’s going on at the company, and ensuring managers respect their right to work as outlined in their contract will go far in building a respectful relationship.
Next: How to Maintain Relationships with Top Independent Talent
6. Keep Independents Engaged with a Talent Community
A talent community helps managers understand and connect with independent contractors on an individual level. Independents can opt-in to this candidate database where they can gain information about your company such as upcoming and open requisitions, a platform to ask questions or share opinions, or a forum to collaborate with others in the group. Talent communities can be structured in a variety of ways depending on a company’s particular needs
A talent community is a helpful place to communicate with independent contractors before and after projects. Independents can rely on it as a place to go for helpful information, and enterprises can use it as a valuable nurturing platform.
Companies can incorporate features such as custom newsletters, targeted educational content, networking structures, or custom events to help bolster their reptation among top independent talent.
Next: Build Engaged Talent Communities to Succeed in the Future of Work
Forward-thinking companies that wish to remain competitive in today’s talent marketplace need to prioritize the needs of independent professionals. When independents are satisfied with their client relationship, they will be more likely to return for future work. Re-engagement saves time and money, so it is worthwhile to put measures in place to attract the highly-skilled talent your organization needs and put in the effort to craft positive, long-lasting relationships.
What to learn more? Here’s how you can engage the future of work through the leading independent workforce platform.
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