Let’s talk about best practices for protecting your business and getting the most out of your contractors. While these tips are specific to hiring contractors, honestly they’re good practice when hiring employees as well.
Set clear expectations around the role. This is the most important thing for any working relationship. Make sure everyone is crystal clear about what the expectations are, what the milestones are, any deliverables, etc. The more clear you can be about what you are doing, what the goals are, how you are measuring success, etc., the higher your ROI will be. Both the contractor and the employer will also be happier in the relationship and BONUS, it will be less stressful if everyone is on the same page.
Have a legal contractor agreement. This is something you should not be putting together unless you are an attorney. If you are not an attorney, get an attorney to put it together for you. Contractor agreements should include all the things that go into a business working relationship: an NDA, a confidentiality agreement, pay agreement, pay frequency, non-disparagement clause, etc. Having a legal contractor agreement is about protecting your business in case things go wrong. But not because you expect things to go wrong! You don’t put together this agreement because you expect things to fall apart, it’s just to protect your business if they do. Word to the wise, if you have an inkling things might fall apart, don’t enter into that relationship to begin with…
The reality is that anyone can make a bad hire. I made one recently and having this agreement is quite literally saving our bacon right now. I learned some really interesting lessons about red flags disguised as “on-boarding” yellow flags…clarity and communication, I tell you what, those two are king! So, does it suck when you have to let someone go? Do you wonder what the heck you were thinking? Yes and yes, but I love that I’ve learned these lessons because now I have even more tools in my toolbelt to make the work that I do with my business even more impactful because I can make sure that my clients don’t go through what I went through.
Sign up for G Suite and give your contractor a company email. This is a big one. People who have not heeded my advice come back to me and say, “Dang, that was really good advice and I should have done it.” You might be asking yourself why this is a BIG ONE and here’s the bottom line SECURITY AND CONTROL.
You should give each contractor a company email address and here’s why.
- Any assets they create on your behalf in Google don’t need to be transferred to you. If they make things in their own account, they have to transfer ownership to you, and good ole’ Google doesn’t allow you to transfer cross domain. Strike 1. The good news is with a company account you own it all (and can control access and security without batting an eye). This makes this nice and easy when your contractor term is up or if your contractor decides to leave for any reason.
- It gives you supreme control over access. You want to make sure you know exactly what you’ve given them access to and at a click of a button you can revoke access to everything if you need to. Are you sensing a trend?
- It makes things more professional (and easier because they can use their Google account to login across the web)
These may seem like no brainers, but I have seen it too many times not to mention them. These are my top three top tips for how to protect your business when hiring contractors. Following these tips will set you and them up for success, all the while making it super easy to manage when the contract ends.