Notes Managing Contract Workers

At the Bootstrapper’s Breakfast last Friday in San Francisco, we had a good discussion on managing contract workers.  Below is a summary.

Advantages of hiring contract workers

  • Allows you to remain flexible in an uncertain economy
  • Can hire contractors with specific skill sets according to your current need.

How to manage contract workers

  • Establish Expectations at the onset
    • Have clear guidelines on contract duration, nature of the work and timeframe.
    • Communicate if expectations are not met
    • Be available to the contractor to answer work related queries.
    • Train the contractors on your company’s philosophy and goals.
  • To attain quality work
    • Hire a relationship manager who is responsible for handling the graphic designers.
    • Work with a firm who hires and manages contract designers for you. You may have to pay a little more, but a good firm can minimize your pain. At the same time, there are firms that can rip your pocket.
    • Test out a small pilot project with freelance graphic designers before putting them onto larger projects.
    • Make communication with them as specific and detailed as possible.
    • Show contractors how their work is being used to motivate them.

Challenges to be aware of

  • Contractor may work well in the beginning but may slack off during the middle or towards the end of a project limited by time. Make sure you have intermediate milestones to help mitigate.
  • Your treatment of contractors should not affect your full-time employees’ morale.


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