Sometimes, it makes sense to hire a contractor for a certain role, rather than a full-time employee. Contractors are individual people or businesses offering a service you only hire for a specific time frame or project, but you may also hear contractors referred to as suppliers (because they supply a service).
Hiring a contractor can be more cost-effective than hiring an employee, it gives you staffing flexibility, and the chance to work with specialists. It also enables you to hire the right people for different jobs.
However, before you can enjoy the benefits of hiring a contractor, you need to choose the right business or individual for the job, and with so many contractors to choose from, it can be difficult to know where to start. So here are five tips for hiring the best contractor for your business.
Start by Searching for Prequalified Contractors
Hiring contractors is always going to come with a certain level of risk. If you’ve never worked with the individual or business before, you won’t have seen them in action meaning it can be difficult to tell the quality of their work, and whether or not they carry out tasks safely and effectively.
Hiring prequalified contractors can eliminate a lot of the risk of working with an unknown entity and can give you peace of mind. Prequalified contractors have worked with an accreditation scheme to prove their compliance in areas such as health and safety and risk management.
You can search for prequalified contractors by joining an accreditation scheme as a client. Often, you can join for free and search jobs boards for contractors who meet your project requirements.
Choose a Contractor Who Specializes in Your Project Type
While some contractors will claim to be a “jack of all trades”, it’s a good idea to find a contractor who specializes in your project type. Contractors with similar past projects under their belt could provide useful insight into your project plan or spark inspiration with examples of their previous work. Specialist contractors are also more likely to know the regulations your project will need to adhere to.
Create a Detailed Contract before Starting Work
Without a detailed contract and project plan in place, even the best contractor can misunderstand vital project details such as your desired outcomes and deadlines. So to prevent any confusion, you should draw up a contract before your contractor starts work.
You should also consider having contract terms drafted before you hire a contractor. These terms should include the length of time the contractor will be working, the price you’re willing to pay for the contractor’s services, the materials that are going to be used, deadlines, milestones and the start date. A clear-cut contract makes it easier to find a contractor who can meet your expectations.
Check out Reviews, References and Samples
One of the best ways to get to know what a contractor is like to work with is by checking out reviews, references, and previous work samples. You can usually find reviews online and if they haven’t already supplied references for you to check, you’re within your rights to ask for these. Reviews and references can shed light on whether a contractor’s previous clients were happy with their work or if there are any re-occurring complaints about their work.
Work samples are also important when deciding whether or not a contractor is right for your business. Contractors will often have portfolios on their websites, or they could provide samples on request. Samples give you the chance to see the contractor’s style and quality of work, and which projects they have experience with.
Consider Long-Standing Local Contractors
Choosing a local contractor can have a range of benefits. They’re close-by if any emergencies occur, they likely have local connections if your project requires another specialist, and if they have been operating for a long time, they’ll be well-known by the local community that can vouch for the quality of their service.
If contractors have a long-standing positive reputation, they are usually trustworthy and reliable. Those who don’t impress customers and clients in the local area usually don’t last too long as bad reviews spread quickly through local communities.