Contract Employees? Prepare Your Tech Team

Thanks to advances in staffing and the evolving character of the nation’s workforce, it is now common for tech teams to be comprised of full-time, contract, and/or temporary employees. Employers are finding this mix helps them to calibrate their workforce for both efficiency and productivity while sidestepping the challenges of being under- or overstaffed. But in order to get the balance just right, it’s important that recruiters and team leaders take a proactive approach to integrating the two types of employees. Here are some strategies to help both sides work better together.

Scrutinize Your Corporate Culture

The biggest obstacle to integrating full-time and contractors is often the culture that already exists within the company. If you don’t have a history of working with contractors, or they have historically been treated as second- or third-tier staff, you will always struggle to bring them into the fold. Take some time to examine the company culture, and look for characteristics that clash with your work environment and could create challenges or present opportunities.

Make Introductions

It’s not enough to simply point contractors to their desks, or send out a memo informing full-time employees that new faces are about to show up. Make a concerted effort to introduce both parties on both a personal and professional level. The more comfortable and familiar they feel with each other, the better they will work together.

Review Your Workflows

The workflows you have in place could prove to be an obstacle for your evolving tech team. For instance, if you rely on several specialized forms, jargon-heavy language unique to your organization/industry, or complex reporting tools, new contractors will take longer to get up to speed, and full-timers will feel frustrated and distracted assuming they become the “go-to” contacts to transfer knowledge. Consider establishing a one or two day on-boarding process that works for both contractors and new full-time employees to streamline new team members with the least amount of disruption to daily operations.

Define Roles

You don’t want employees stepping on each other’s toes, or important considerations to go overlooked because no one has responsibility for them. Make sure your contractors know exactly what is expected of them and how their performance will be measured. Then spend some time with your permanent employees and outline how their duties will change once the contractors arrive. Uncertainty can delay project goals for longer than you have time to wait.

Be Fair

Make sure both sides understand how much you value the effort they are making. Contractors work hard to make a contribution even though their time may be limited; give them the opportunity to meet or exceed expectations and the organization may find the perfect talent for the next open position.

Full-time employees used to doing things one way, may have to suddenly adapt to something different. It’s hard on both sides, so be sure to show your appreciation and don’t privilege one side over the other.

Before you introduce contractors to your tech team, you have to find the right contractors. Draw from a pool of top talent that is eager and able to make a contribution by working with the experienced IT recruiting team at CultureFit.