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How to Attract and Retain the Best Independent Contractors

Third-party contractors have become a crucial part of a modern field service management companies' success. As they have become more crucial, the act of attracting and retaining independent contractors has become increasingly difficult. After all, your business is only as good as the contractors it has. With the workforce aging at a rapid rate, competition to attract and retain new talent is fierce. So what can you do to stand out from the crowd?

There are 57.3 million freelancers in the U.S., working anywhere from 11 to 30 hours per week. The freelance economy is growing three times faster than the overall U.S. workforce.

 

The gig economy has forced companies to rethink how they structure and manage their workforce. Independent workers demand autonomy and flexibility. The way they see value is different as well. They want to focus on the results, rather than the way they produce those results. The benefit is, hiring contractors on an as-needed basis is an effective way to supplement the work full-time employees can perform, especially when you are facing overwhelming customer demand.

As more organizations become aware of the benefits of contract workers, the competition for top independent talent is growing. Here are some tips on how to attract and retain the best independent contractors.

5 Tips for Retaining Talent

1. Establish an Efficient On-boarding Process

On-boarding a new employee in any industry is often a pain point for companies and employees alike. If a contractor has several other offers on their plate, they can leave your company for another at the drop of a hat. Ensuring that you have created an efficient and positive experience while getting projects up and running is very important in contractor satisfaction. 

It can be hard to balance both factory service and a third-party workforce. An intelligent workforce management system can assist in seamlessly managing a blended workforce, so that everyone feels comfortable with their position within the company.

With so much communication involved in the gig economy, independent contractors value responsiveness. They want to be in constant contact, ensuring they are on the same page and be receiving updates on jobs, paperwork and payment options.  

By establishing a smooth on-boarding process, contractors are more likely to feel appreciated and utilized, resulting in a positive relationship between employer and contractor.

2. Create a Positive Work Environment

You spend a majority of your week on the job. No one wants to wake up for the day absolutely dreading the work ahead. However, in the workforce management industry, clients can be in charge of whether or not a contractor is happy.

Having a positive relationship with customers not only leads to more jobs being created for you, but also a better work environment. When a client trusts you, they are more likely to be thankful for the work an independent contractor is doing as well as trust them. Having a mobile consumer portal  can help ease customer concerns, allowing for two-way communications and more visibility. 

Happy clients result in positive reinforcement for the contractor. Feeling valued at work creates a sense of purpose and trust in the company. Make sure you are doing everything you can to not only keep your clients happy, but your workforce as well.

3. Embrace Technology

The “graying” of the U.S workforce is having an effect on all industries, especially field service. Compare that with the lack of people between the ages of 18-35 becoming field technicians and you have a huge gap in employable contractors.

Demand is high, so you must cater to what recruits demand. And what they demand is technology. 

New technologies such as field service management software, predictive analytics, artificial intelligence and IoT can help technicians save time resolving service issues. Not to mention, this could lead to an improvement of your first-time fix rate, which holds a multitude of benefits.

The more jobs that are done, the more valued a contractor may feel, resulting in a sense of accomplishment. 

4. Include Employees in the Decision Making Process

Field employees are experts at what is going on in the field because they are actually in the field. They have valuable insights that top officials may not have. Feeling like their voices are heard can boost company morale and promote retention.

Asking independent contractors about their perspectives and opinions makes them feel validated, and you could actually learn what pain points both clients and employees are feeling. If a contractor is passionate about a certain issue, they will feel a sense of responsibility that it is fixed. If the problem continues to go on unnoticed, they may feel a need to find a new work environment where they feel their concerns are heard.

On the flip side, if a company takes what its contractors have to stay to heart and implement those changes, they will feel as if their input has implemented a beneficial change and that upper management respects their opinions. 

Retaining talent goes beyond compensation packages, it is about respect and patience. 

5. Develop a Strong Work Culture

A strong work culture is more important than ever before. Studies have shown that people would rather work in an improved culture than be paid top salary, and that can be helpful when working within a budget.

There are many ways to improve culture, such as defining a corporate ladder so people know how to move up the ranks. As mentioned in the previous paragraph, hearing out employee’s concerns and suggestions can also develop a sense of teamwork.

Everyone loves recognition. Take the time to reward hard work and excellence. Whether that be with company merchandise, a bonus, or an email to the company expressing appreciation for the hard work. 

The talent that you have is a direct reflection of the sort of company that you run. Care for your employees and contract workers like you do your customers.

To learn more about how to successfully balance a blended workforce, check out our Intelligent Workforce Management Service

If you’re a contractor looking for an exciting career opportunity, take a look at our open positions here at ServicePower.

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