Hiring employees for your business can be an exhausting process. With different roles to fill and various tasks to complete, sometimes it’s easier to hire an independent contractor or subcontractor for the job.

An independent contractor is an individual who is self-employed or hired by an organization to work in another organization (yours). A subcontractor works for the contractor and is paid for the work performed according to your specifications.

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Before you start your search for a contractor or subcontractor, you’ll want to be prepared for what to do once you’ve found the right candidate.

Draft an agreement

A written contract should clearly detail the job that is to be done, and include terms and conditions. A contract sets clear expectations from the start about the duration of the project, the tasks to be completed, the manner in which they are to be performed, the schedule of deadlines, and the method of payment (including billing rates). It’s also important to understand what the contractor or subcontractor wants – that is, why is he/she is interested in doing the job? Ask them what they hope to learn from working on this project; then make sure to deliver on that so that you both gain from the exchange. Once you’ve set up a clear agreement, revisit it periodically throughout the lifespan of the project to make sure things are going according to plan and make changes, if necessary.

Communicate throughout the process

Communication is key when managing employees who don’t (usually) work onsite. As priorities and deadlines shift throughout the lifespan of the assignment, it’s important to communicate expectations so that you can maximize productivity and ensure that the contractor or subcontractor meets deadlines. Decide on the communication methods you’d like to use to answer any follow-up questions he/she may have and how you will go about addressing failures. Also, hold out for the possibility of communicating additional compensation if your contractor/subcontractor achieves more than expected.

Build a relationship

Although contractors and subcontractors are temporary employees, they also yearn for the same task identity and job fulfilment that employees within the organization desire. So avoid heavily relying on email to communicate with your contractors and subcontractors. People like people, so meet in-person whenever possible to communicate feedback. This will help to establish rapport and build a relationship that can last long after the project has been completed. Many contractors also bring a network of contacts, and can add value by consulting for you after the original assignment. Communicating throughout the process will allow the contractor or subcontractor to feel more satisfied by his/her job and in turn, come back to you the next time you need him/her.

By keeping these management tips in mind, you can ensure a good working relationship with the next independent contractor or subcontractor that you hire.