How to Find Good Independent Contractors for Your Business

One of the common complaints I hear from other attorneys is the difficulty of finding good independent contractors to help when their practice gets a little too busy for them to handle on their own.independent contractor, business employee, hiring, human resources, odesk, elance

It’s a problem that isn’t unique to the legal profession. A lot of entrepreneurs struggle with hiring good independent contractors to help as their business picks up.

There are simply times when entrepreneurs and business owners may need to bring on extra help, whether they are a small startup or a large company.

However, it’s not easy to find good, reliable support. Many independent contractors are unreliable, unavailable when you need them, or their work quality is not up to speed.

There are actually many options when it comes to searching for and utilizing independent contractors.

Here are a few of the basic options:

1.  Placement Agencies

One common source for contract staffing is placement agencies. The benefit of these agencies is they have done the work of sorting through and vetting hundreds or thousands of job seekers, with the goal of finding someone who is a better fit for your needs.

The drawback of placement agencies is the additional cost. “Contract recruitment agencies have a set percentage or fee which they recoup and this doesn’t vary that significantly, regardless of the hourly paid to the contractor,” said Mark Gainer, an attorney and owner of Legal Additions LLC, a firm which does permanent and contract legal placements in San Rafael, California.

2.  Other Professionals In Your Industry

One great source for finding extra help is simply by talking to other people in your line of work. You can draft up an email to your equals at other companies and tell them you need extra help. You may find someone whose practice is currently a little slow and would be willing to do the work.

Or other people may be aware of a recent graduate who is looking for extra work.

3.  Online Independent Contractor Resources

Odesk.com, Elance.com, and vWorker.com are three websites which are devoted to connecting up people who need work and companies who need help. These sites have thousands of workers listed, and you can either sort through resumes or post your own job and wait for job seekers to come to you.

The sites have great features like the ability to hold funds in escrow and the ability to monitor your contractor’s progress on your job.

One of the real values of these websites is their rating systems. Anyone who has bought or sold something on eBay knows the importance of positive feedback. Most of the independent contractors will work very hard to please people who hire them because they know that they need positive reviews in order to get future gigs.

4.  Craigslist

Craigslist has a tremendously popular jobs board, and you can post a job announcement for $75. However, there are also two less expensive workarounds.

You can post a temporary position in the “gigs” section for free, and nothing is stopping you from later hiring that person permanently. And if you do hire a temporary worker permanently, you will not have to pay a multi-thousand dollar fee like you would had you gone through an agency.

There is also a section on Craigslist called “Resumes” which allows any job seeker to post their resume or qualifications. If you search in this section for “lawyer,” “attorney,” or “paralegal,” then you can find just lawyers, attorneys or paralegals who are looking for work.

As with any hire, you should verify their qualifications by calling their references before making a hiring decision.

5.  University Job Boards

Check out local university job boards. Most universities have dedicated jobs websites where they will allow you to post an ad to their system for free.

You may also want to contact the local university career offices directly. I contacted my law school’s careers office director, Bryan Hinkle,  and he said he recommends that employers post a job to the law school’s LinkedIn Group, which has approximately 1,800 members.

6.  Post a Notice on Your Website or Blog

You may also draft up a job description, the duration of the assignment, and any other requirements and post it on your website or blog. You can then share this post by emailing the link to others or by posting it to social networks such as Facebook or LinkedIn.

Do you have any better suggestions for finding good independent contractors?  Please leave your ideas in the comments below.

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Photo credit: Microsoft Office online.

 

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