Be good to your contractors please

Oct 22nd, 2015
Be good to your contractors please

Fortune 500 companies, unicorn startups, small private businesses and even consumers are all enjoying the benefits of temp staffing and the on-demand economy. The simple reason for this is the easy availability of desperate workers willing to work as independent contractors and temp workers. The courts and IRS haven’t fully understood what to do with this. For now temp workers may see contract jobs as a good backup to not having a job, but by mistreating or taking advantage of your contractors you will be making it urgent for courts, the IRS and the public to act against these contingent work arrangements and spoil it for everyone. So please don't.

These contractors may not be as smart as a full-timer, may not have gone to a great school, may lack blue chip company experience and may not have professional networks or connections to help them find jobs, but they work hard and they try  harder because they have far more to lose.

Maybe your company just does not hire people with their skills, experience, or age for full-time roles. If so, your company is getting away with discrimination and misclassification of workers. It is getting away with paying no benefits, no stock options, no training, no HR headaches, no commitments and the ability to fire any of these poor workers with just a phone-call to the staffing agency with no repercursions, bad PR or costs. The contractors have no recourse, no HR, no company support- even if they were not in the wrong. It is crushing to be on the receiving side of this and they don't deserve this. 

It may seem that anyone can find a job these days, but don’t believe the media hype. Ask the millions of underemployed, unemployed, new graduates, 40+ year olds and those suffering in silence that have given up. While jobs for the high skilled programmers and delivery drivers may be booming, real jobs that pay benefits, have long term job security and career growth are now gone – replaced by automation, offshore factories and offshore delivery centers. The few jobs that remain for contractors have low pay, no job security and hundreds of applicants for each job. 

So, please have realistic expectations about your contractor's skills, let them charge a fair rate, give them time to ramp up, make them feel good about their work, let them learn, give them some predictability about how long you expect to keep them, tolerate their small mistakes, give them early feedback if they are not performing, show them some respect, treat them well- just as you would a new employee. It doesn’t cost much, you’ll feel better and it’s the right thing to do.


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