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The Importance of Making Contractors Part of the Team

David Silpe, Sr. Business Development Manager– Rochester, NY

In Intuit’s 2020 Report, it challenges readers to, “imagine a world where contingent work is as common as traditional employment,” and predicts that the number of contingent employees will exceed 40 percent of the workforce by 2020. For those in the IT world, the shift from full-time to contract work is quickly becoming not only a reality, but the norm.

Why the Sudden Shift?

The growth of contingent work is correlated to the rapid increase in the Gig Economy. Today, all age groups and professions want to take control of their careers and the Gig Economy has provided a way for many people searching for jobs in tech to have the type of career path they desire.

Additionally, organizations are finding the search for the talent they need to fill their open positions on a permanent basis is becoming increasingly frustrating with the limited, available technology talent. Contract employment is being viewed as a faster way to find the talent needed for jobs in tech, bring them onboard, as well to bring in the level that is needed right away. While unemployment is heading to numbers that many consider normal, the unemployment rate for jobs in tech, according to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, still hovers around three percent. The ability to find the right people an organization needs is an increasing difficult problem.

Why It’s Important.

According to Steve King, a partner at Emergent Research, contractors prefer to work for employers that treat them like part of the team. Organizations should try to avoid all the subtle status differentiators that make contractors feel like outsiders. Invite them to important meetings, bring them into water-cooler conversations, and add them to the team email list.

Making contract workers feel like part of the team is an ongoing problem for organizations. The reason it’s an issue at all is because contract workers are part of an organization’s workforce and organizations generally want to get the absolute best out of their team. Leaders want all employees to be excited about what they are working on, so they deliver the best results.

Organizations tend to accidently create environments where the consultants for their job in tech don’t feel part of the overall company, thus they don’t deliver their best work. When organizations don’t include contract workers in meetings or socials, resentment can build because the employee begins to feel like a segmented group in the company.

How to Avoid the Pitfalls

Organizations should try their best to view the contract employees for their job in tech as an integral part of the organization’s workforce and strive to treat them the same as traditional staff. A focus on inclusion and communication is the easiest way to ensure contact employees feel as if they are a part of the team.

Include them, keep them in the know, and recognize them. All three of these tips seem minimal but are overlooked, even though they make a huge impact on the team. Here are a few ways to accomplish this:

  • Remember to involve contractors in meetings and social activities. Nothing makes someone feel more like an outsider than being excluded from team activities.
  • Utilize the traditional days off calendar and the company holiday schedule so it encompasses the entire team.
  • Ensure inclusion in companywide monthly birthday announcements and celebrations.
  • Give consultants little things to make them feel a part of the company just like any new employee. For example, give the consultant a nameplate on their first day.
  • Provide invitations to in-house training sessions for jobs in tech. For example, if the organization gives employees access to Linda.com, make sure the consultants can utilize this tool as well.

The #1 thing a company can do is remember that humans love recognition above all. By singing the praises of an employee’s hard work and accomplishments, an organization breeds loyalty and increases the effort and productivity of the employee. Everyone does their best work when they feel appreciation, and luckily appreciation is the easiest thing to offer!