Contractor Onboarding: Don't Get Stuck Paying a 'Hassle Tax'

Contractor Onboarding: Don't Get Stuck Paying a 'Hassle Tax'

Consultants and contractors are highly valued because of their specific expertise and skills, but sometimes companies will hire them with little regard to onboarding and integration. Instead of approaching the hiring of a talented outsider from a collaborative standpoint, employers will adopt the mindset of "you're the contractor—you figure it out."

Perhaps companies believe they're already throwing a lot of money at a problem by hiring a contractor in the first place, so why waste additional resources on training, onboarding, and other strategies for success?

Avoid the 'Hassle Tax'

If you develop a reputation for being difficult to work with, or for not setting outside talent up for success, expect to pay a "hassle tax" in the form of higher hourly rates.

Imagine you are planning to have a new house built and want to work with the contractor who led the construction of your current home. During the previous build, however, you changed your mind constantly and caused all sorts of delays that prevented the contractor from accepting other work.

The contractor might very well agree to work with you again, but be prepared to pay more this time around, as the contractor will raise his or her rate to accommodate the risk factor that the project will be difficult to execute.

That's a hassle tax.

How to Set Up a Contractor for Success

This isn't to say that you shouldn't demand high quality, on-time work from outside talent you bring in to help execute a project. Setting up a contractor for success means setting clearly defined, reasonable, achievable goals and objectives, and doing your very best to make them part of your team. It's in your best interest, as well as theirs, to know exactly what is expected in terms of the project timeline, scope, and deliverables.

From a contractor's perspective, there's nothing worse than not knowing what's expected of you. Lack of knowledge, direction, or resources can lead to unsatisfactory work, or to work that takes much longer than necessary to complete to the satisfaction of everyone involved. In turn, you might expect to pay a hassle tax the next time around.

Help Contractors Help You

What some companies don't realize is that contractors—just like permanent employees—appreciate, value, and seek collaborative work environments that set them up for success. They like to do business with companies that provide access to resources and personnel they need to do the job for which they were hired, to the best of their abilities and with minimal delays, distractions, and other headaches.

Managed-service providers (MSPs) understand the nuances of contractor onboarding and can help reduce the time and resources needed to perform this critical task. There might be more upfront cost if an MSP is involved, but if the contractor is billing you by the hour, the project as a whole will take him or her fewer hours to complete. It'll end up being cheaper and you will get a better outcome.

Don't create an environment in which it's difficult, if not impossible, for the contractor to succeed, because you will end up paying for it.