What are some best practices for managing the growing contingent worker (1099) workforce within companies?

If your company is considering using 1099 workers, there are a few best practices you should consider when managing this new workforce.

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Forbes magazine reported that more than a third of U.S. workers are freelancers now; that means for every 3 people you know, one of them is likely a contingent or contract worker. If your company is considering using 1099 workers, there are a few best practices you should consider when managing this new workforce.

Use a Similar Hiring Process

To determine whether your contract workers are qualified for the work you want them to perform, you should go through a process similar to one for a full-time employee. Focus your interview questions on specific skills and abilities needed for each individual project. If you decide to hire them, Zenefits’ Contractors product makes onboarding contractors just as easy as it is with employees.

Execute a Service Agreement or Contract

Key things to include in your agreements or contracts are:

  • Timeline
  • Milestones
  • Invoicing and payments
  • Clear and concise roles
  • Deliverables.

Learn the rules

When you supervise freelance or contract workers, you can specify what needs to be done, but you can’t dictate the specific hours that your contractors work. You need a more hands-off supervisory approach.
It’s a good idea to schedule regular check-ins with your contract employees to gauge progress toward goals, but trying to explicitly direct your freelancer’s actions isn’t treating him or her as an independent worker. Think of it as managing for results rather than specific activities.

Open Lines of Communication

Be available to your contract workers and freelancers in case questions arise that need your attention for completion of the project. Don’t rely too heavily on technology to communicate; just like with your full-time employees, freelancers like to have personal connections with their clients.
You may want to stay in contact with a contract worker after completion of the project, in case they might be a good fit for future projects. It’s much easier to work with a known freelancer than to try to find new ones.

Conclusion

Contract workers are as easy to manage as your other employees, as long as you understand the difference between a W-2 employee and a contract worker. Set clear and achievable goals, keep open lines of communication, and enjoy having an employee who works independently.

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