How to Vet and Hire Contract Employees in 9 Steps

April 05, 2019

According to a study conducted by Intuit software company, by 2020, forty percent of the US workforce will be contractors, which are also known as consultants and freelancers.

Based on the latest survey by the US Department of Labor, which was conducted in 2006, the number of contractors and self-employed individuals was 42.6 million or 30 percent.

The number of contract employees is only going up, as it will grow to 60 million people. With this trend, it’s only natural for employers to start considering hiring more contract employees.

There are also apparent benefits for hiring contractors, which can be summed up in these 5 points.

1. Work on Demand

Due to on-going changing work demands, having contractors allow projects to get done as needed. Once a project is done, the relationship can be quickly terminated.

2. Reduced Overhead

Employers don’t need to provide permanent equipment and tools, which reduce overhead expenses. This would translate to less stress in bringing revenue for covering costs.

3. No Employee Benefits

For most employers, having permanent employees means more paperwork, including taxation, expenses, payroll, and benefits.

4. Fewer Legal Liabilities

Since the individual isn’t an employee, his or her actions are his or hers alone. Thus, the employer isn’t responsible for their wrongdoings or unfavorable acts.

5. Complementing Skill Sets

Having contract employees is a great way to complement skill sets without having a long-term commitment. Once the skill sets are no longer required, the employer has the liberty to let them go.

The thing is, recruiting the best and the most suitable contract employees involves a set of skills that many employers lack. It’s not merely about posting a job vacancy ad online, but most importantly, it’s about filtering out not-so-good applicants and filtering in the right ones for the positions.

Below are 9 steps vetting, hiring, and eventually onboarding independent contractors.

1. Be clear about the job description of the contractor.

You’d need to have the job description clear to ensure the most suitable candidates would apply for the position. And it’s also what you’ll be placing on job vacancy ads.

2. Be clear about the requirements of the contractor.

If you’re hiring programmers, what programming language(s) do they need to have? What’s the seniority level? If you’re hiring a junior programmer, is there a more senior employee on-site who can help to supervise him or her? In short, all the technical and soft skill requirements must be clear in advance.

3. Post a contract job vacancy ad on your company site.

Disseminate the job ad to your existing employees and other networks. Most likely, you’d be hearing from the candidates in a relatively short amount of time.

4. Ask for a portfolio of samples and past works.

Most jobs have specific outcomes or deliverables. Designers, for instance, have design samples. Programmers, for instance, have written codes. Professional contractors usually have samples ready as a part of their work portfolio.

5. Conduct the first phone or video screening interview.

After posting a job vacancy and, most likely you’ll be receiving tons of resumes and cover letters. Vetting them isn’t an easy task and might require more than 20 hours to vet and screen a contractor before you can hire him or her. Be sure to ask open-ended questions allowing each candidate to describe their past experiences and professional work style.

6. Ask for professional references, preferably from past employers.

Call each professional reference to ensure that the candidate is legitimate and truthful. Many professional recruiters can attest that up to 70 to 80 percent applicants either inflate or fake their experiences and references.

7. Provide a challenge or exercise to test the required skills.

An actual hands-on skill challenge or an exercise is necessary to tie together the skills that they claim to have and the actual performance. It’s a critical verification process to select the one with the best output eventually.

8. Don’t assume that high rate means high quality.

Some contractors price themselves quite highly. However, a high rate isn’t always a guarantee of high quality. The coding challenge would likely determine whether a contractor is worth the price they set for themselves.

9. Onboarding process to welcome and train the contractor on the company and the position.

The onboarding process of a new contractor varies from company to company. However, it’s recommended to have an onboarding system in place for contract employees. It would be beneficial for them to understand the business and the expected performance better.

In conclusion, having contractors working in companies is a staying trend. You can expect to see more businesses hiring independent consultants due to the benefits of the company. However, the screening and the vetting process is often quite complicated and requires a dedicated individual.

Another option, however, is by hiring a recruiting solution consultant like Flashii. We’ll screen, vet, and test candidates on your behalf to ensure that they’re who they say they are and can actually perform the required technical skills hands-on.

While it might take weeks or months to hire one candidate, our streamlined and 20+ years of combined experiences in hiring technical contractors to allow us to provide results to employers within days.

Contact us at for more information.

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