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Published March 23, 2021 in Insights

7 tips that will help you manage contracted jobs successfully

  Did you know that there are 17 million temporary employees working for American companies? Taking on a 3-month contracted job can be the right move for your company if you’re in need of getting a job done, but aren’t looking to commit to a full-time employee. Flexibility, low costs, time efficiency are all benefits of a short-term contracted job. At the same time, it may affect employee morale, training costs, and lead to some unreliable partnerships. 

To make sure that you are making the best out of your 3-month contracted jobs, check out our 7 tips for successful management. 

Do Your Homework

You may be in need of an outsider to hire temporarily and it seems like the clock is ticking. The project is approaching and you may not have the proper resources within your company to complete the project successfully. Employers say that the flexibility of contracted workers is often the best solution for staffing. We understand the reasons. To save yourself time, effort, and money in the long run, try not to rush into any decisions. 

Experts say that selecting the right worker/s can even have an impact on return on investment (ROI). Hiring the wrong person can lead to:

  • Waste of time spent recruiting

  • Increase workload of coworkers because of incompetence

  • The opportunity cost of not hiring a good potential employee

  • Lower profit margins due to low productivity

Make sure that you have all the relevant information before you decide to bring someone on board. That person will become part of the team, even if for a short period of time, as should reflect the values of the company and company culture. If you can, start the recruitment process early so that you give yourself time to find a suitable candidate. 

Communication Goes a Long Way

As with most things in life, communication is key. Make sure that you communicate your expectations and objectives clearly to the hiree before the work actually starts. Your temporary hiree may come with certain expectations as well. For instance, a lot of temporary hires take the job in hopes of landing a full-time position. Communicating about the hire’s future at the company early on may be helpful in adjusting expectations.

You have to consider that they don’t know anyone at the company, and maybe unsure of job site rules, dynamics, and overall culture. Although most things are learned on the job, 3 months is a short period of time to truly absorb all this information. Make sure that they at least have a basic understanding of how things work, and that they can feel free to reach out when they feel lost. 

“69 percent of employees are more likely to stay with a company for three years if they experienced great onboarding.” Society for Human Resources Management

In a great post discussing setting expectations in a new contract relationship, setting a primary contact is vital to a successful contracted job. This brings me to my next point.

See Related: The Qualities of a Great Leader: How to be a good boss

Assign a Person of Reference (POR)

It’s a great idea to assign a person of reference to your temporary hire. Chances are, they will have plenty of questions and may not know who to address them to. Or maybe they don’t feel like bugging coworkers with constant questions. Having a person of reference will allow them to get quick answers to simple questions without having to go through a chain of people. This is also good for you because they will be less likely to make mistakes.

Many companies have the practice of assigning a tutor to a new hire. Consider choosing an employee who is working their way towards a position of leadership. Employee onboarding experts say that you should create a culture where employees guide new employees every time someone new is brought to the team if you want to raise productivity. 

Don’t Vanish

Sometimes temporary hires are really excited to join a team. They start out with high hopes and lots of energy, but gradually it starts fading away. Management engagement with new employees is vital in keeping this enthusiasm. Ineffective management drives employees away and creates a lazy work environment. New hires may start thinking that they can slack off on the job and no one will notice. After all, I’m only here for 3 months, right?

Well, you want to avoid that type of behavior by dedicating some time of your day/week to short-term employees. Never underestimate the impact that a temporary employee will have on the existing workforce. If your full-time employees see that you’re cutting the new hire too much slack, they may feel demoralized. You may want to avoid doing so because a good employee is worth a lot. In fact, research shows that replacing a good employee can cost up to $65,510. 

Cost #1: Sourcing a Hire

Cost 2: Interviewing a Hire

Cost 3: Onboarding a New Hire

Cost #4: Lost Productivity

Total costs of hiring

*The Hidden Costs of Replacing an Employee that Total Over $65,500 - Jason Evanish

Positive Reinforcement

It’s the oldest trick in the book. Everyone enjoys something to look forward to, and something to work towards. Don’t let your temporary hire think that they’re not important to your company just because they are on a short contract. Leaving a good impression on temporary workers is just as important.

If you think that there may arise any opportunities for future cooperation, let them know. You might need an employee for another 3-month contract, or you may even need a permanent employee down the line. Letting them know will motivate them to view your company not only as a current but also future opportunity. This will, in turn, make it easier for them to integrate and be more productive.

See Related: Exploring 3 Strategies that Boost Work Performance

Put a Number on It

Your permanent employees have likely been working at your company for a while now, and you have a grasp of their level of commitment, productivity, and hours put in. The situation is not the same with your temporary hire. If you want to decide whether it’s worth it to hire on a 3-month contract again, you need to do a cost/benefit analysis. And although you can try to swim in a pile of paperwork and do it yourself, we recommend using an app that can do all that in no time.

With Atto, you can avoid paperwork and focus on important managerial decisions. From time-tracking, vacation management to timesheet reports, it’s all available at the tip of your finger. You don’t have to be standing over your employee’s shoulders to know what they’re up to. Atto lets you know how much time your temporary hire is putting in, how many breaks they’re taking, what they’ve been working on, and for how long. 

All these actionable insights can help you make a decision about whether your business can benefit from hiring more temporary hires in the future. It also helps that they are already arranged into structured reports before they fall into your hands. 

See Related: Profitability And Time Tracking For Small Businesses

Pay a Fair Wage

There are many benefits to hiring temporary workers. American firms have earned $69.5 billion from short-term contracted jobs. Costly employer responsibilities like health insurance, 401k contributions, paid time off, don’t fall on your shoulders when hiring for a three-month period. When deciding on a wage to pay your temporary hire, make sure you take these factors into account. 

Working on a temporary contract comes at a cost for the employee as well. They enjoy fewer benefits than your permanent employees, less time off, maneuver around job instability, and often feel like they are not part of the company family.  and they will do a better job if they’re being compensated fairly.

Contracted workers in the construction industry are concerned with fluctuating material prices, so if you’re contracting a job for a whole project, make sure that you are paying a fair price for this risk that the worker carries.

See Related: The Logic Behind Calculating Billable Hours

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