As a business owner, you’ve got a lot on your plate. Between managing clients, finances, and all of your responsibilities, before you know it, 10-12 hour days quickly make their way into your everyday life.

If this sounds familiar, and you’re someone who consistently thinks to themself, “I’d like to do that, but I just don’t have the time…,” it’s worth considering expanding your team. Of course, hiring is an important milestone in your business, but if you’re looking to take things slow, starting with a contractor is an excellent way to get started.

Not sure if a contractor is right for your business? There are a handful of pros and cons you’ll want to consider before taking the plunge.

Pro: Lower costs overall

Hiring a contractor typically costs less than hiring a full-time employee, as you don’t have to factor in benefits such as health insurance and retirement. Various sites will also allow you to find contractors at lower hourly rates than salaried employees. Often, if you’re simply looking for a contractor to handle a project or two each month, you can find a skilled candidate working their way up in the career, willing to work for less to gain additional experience.

Pro: Short-term commitments

If you’re nervous about the hiring process and don’t want to start with an actual employee, contractors are great at taking on short-term projects. For example, if you have a client with a launch that ends in the next three months, you can take on a contractor and clearly express this timeframe. This way, you can get a feel for their skills before offering them a more permanent position.

Pro: Specialized talent

Many freelancers are experts in their specific line of work, as they’ve helped various businesses with tasks such as graphic design, software development, or copywriting for years. As a result, many entrepreneurs have no trouble finding a highly skilled contractor, whether on an online platform or through their network. This makes it easy for business owners to add to their team without looking long and hard for the perfect person.

Con: Tougher to retain talent

Most contractors are committed to their work, but it’s essential to keep in mind that your organization isn’t the only one this contractor may be working with. Should a new opportunity come along, it’s easier for contractors to say yes and change their schedules accordingly. They’re more apt to move from job to job rather than staying in one place as most employees do. If your contractor feels unfulfilled or isn’t a good fit, they’ll be quick to move on.

Con: Less supervision

Contractors often make their own schedules and work when it’s most convenient for them – oftentimes outside of a typical 9-5 range. This can make training and supervision difficult, as their timeline may not align with yours. In addition, you’ll need to have a deeper understanding of work-life balance when working with a contractor since many of them adjust their schedule to match their current lifestyle.

Con: Relationship building

If you’re looking to develop a tight-knit team of loyal employees, a contractor might not be your best choice. As mentioned previously, many contractors work for several teams at once, making it difficult for them to fully commit to your organization. In addition, their plates are full of projects and their workload can change quickly, whereas in-house employees typically dedicate themselves to your organization and your organization only.

Getting Started

After looking at the pros and cons of hiring a contractor, if you’re hoping to get started, there are a handful of things you’ll want to prepare beforehand. First, you’ll want to create a list of things you don’t enjoy doing and which tasks would make your life easier if someone were to complete them for you.

Then, you’ll need to look into your state’s requirements for hiring a contractor. There are certain forms you’ll need and tax regulations you’ll want to keep in mind. Make sure you’re clear on the legal expectations before moving into your hiring and onboarding process.

Setting Expectations

Once you’re clear on how to hire a contractor properly, you’ll also want to ensure you onboard them effectively. This way, they’ll understand your expectations from the
beginning. It’s wise to build out a company handbook that covers policies, values, systems, and workflows.

At the very least, you’ll want to outline your SOPs (standard operating procedures), so your contractor will know how to complete each task you hand off to them. Know that hiring a contractor can be a bit of a learning curve for you both (especially if it’s your first time hiring!), so it’s important to be patient and prioritize open communication.

If your head is spinning with the thought of hiring a contractor, I’m here to help. Schedule a call with me today so we can chat more about the procedures that will fully support your success and growth! And if you’re looking to learn more about hiring an employee, take a look at this post.