Independent Contractor Management: Tips and Tools

EasyStaff has quite a bit of expertise in contractor management, especially when it comes to teams spread across the word, working on projects remotely. Read this article to learn about contractor management software and how EasyStaff can help your business become more organized.

Today companies are more than ever open to contractors. An independent contractor is a professional who provides a company with services for a contained period of time. Unlike an employee, who is bound by a contract to their employer, contractors can commit to multiple projects. Managing such contractors may be difficult for companies for a number of reasons. One reason is that tasks performed need to be tracked. Also, money needs to be sent, and overseeing if enough money is sent and if it is possible to send money at all is difficult in itself. But what may make matters a lot worse is that contractors may be overseas.
NB. Normally, the term ‘contractor' is used in relation to building projects and construction. However, the term ‘independent contractor' refers to freelancing professionals.
There are several advantages to delegating work to contractors.
  1. Cost-efficiency. Sometimes buying a professional’s time to complete a one-off task is easier than developing a whole team in the organization. It is not only about money and time though; it’s also about the expertise that an experienced contractor can put to use when they are assigned a task.
  2. Money-efficiency. Going beyond purely ‘cots per hour' terms, a contractor is a lot less costly as an employee. Payroll taxes, vacation, retirement and insurance benefits simply don’t come into play with contractors.
  3. Short-term commitment. While regular employees expect a long-term commitment from their employer, contractors are aware that a partnership is in place for a certain period of time. So there are no hard feelings once a project is over.
  4. Quick task completion. Well, it is clear that some projects may take a while. But however long a project is, contractors normally are fully equipped to start working right away. Companies don’t lose time on training teams how to perform.

Tips to a More Effective Contractor Management

A contractor management system ensures that contractor-led projects are in order. Thankfully, there are some common rules of thumb to keep contractor management mess-free and effective even before you commit to a SaaS.

  1. Prepare your HR team for contractor management. On the one hand, this concerns tax management which in turn is related to how and who you classify as contractors. At times, it is best to rely on a contractor management system for payroll and sign a service agreement with any worker you turn to irregularly for specific tasks.
  2. Check the market for prices. As mentioned, contractors do cost less in the long run than regular employees. However, there is a range of prices for any task out there, and before you agree, it is worthwhile to see if the offered price is within the market.
  3. Make sure your contractor is able to provide closing documents. If your company strives to be fully compliant, then making sure that every payment you make to them is followed by closing documents. Closing documents provide an explanation to why a legal entity spends money.
  4. Consider the optimal payment method. If a contractor is in the same country where you are, then payment may not seem too difficult. However, if a contractor is overseas, especially in the CIA regions, then sending money is quite a challenge. Equipping your HR and finance teams with the right tools is a prerequisite for successful contractor management.
  5. Clearly establish parties' responsibilities and obligations. If you don’t want to see a contract or a project stuck, then it is an absolute requirement to write who does what in a project. Think of questions like, what information do you need to provide your contractor with to finish the project? What people do you need to be in this project to guide your contractor? On the contrary, think of what the contractor is going to do for you and if they understand that you expect them to do it.
  6. Sign an NDA for protection. While you may trust your contractor completely and entirely, they are a project worker and may well move on to your competitor, once your contract ends. To ensure that your information is protected in the project, consider signing a non-disclosure agreement where there are clear time frames within which the competitor is not allowed to share any internal information regarding the project with a third party.
  7. Build a collection of contractor agreements. Clearly, you need to be flexible with each contractor, and a contract with them needs to reflect the specifics of that particular business relationship. Yet creating agreements per scratch is not too productive. So keeping a collection of templates is always a solution. It really speeds up the process of onboarding, and actual work begins a lot faster.

Contractor Management Automation Tools

But are there any ways to automate contractor management? Yes, there are!

Overall, any service that allows a business to automate the process of onboarding and management for independent contractors is called contractor management software, or CMS. It is a centralized cloud-based tool that not only matches contractors with their projects in a dashboard, but also enables cross-border payments worldwide. The scope of functions that is required for your business normally would dictate the type of CMS you may use or if it is needed at all.
NB. In addition to a SaaS, which a CMS is, there are also contractor management companies. They are separate businesses that help their clients manage outsource teams globally.
If you are a small startup that relies on freelancers every now and then for small tasks, then a regular freelance platform will do. Think Fiverr, Upwork and the likes. Some platforms offer closing documents to both clients and contractors, and some don’t. Either way, it is relatively easy to pay a freelancer out of your own pocket, without adding this spending into the overall financial statement of your business.

If you are a larger company who relies on independent contractors for larger pieces of work, then a service agreement is a must-have. However, opting for a tool for contractor management may not be necessary yet. A service agreement with your contractor is a fully legal way to show where you stand in relation to them and what the parties’ rights and obligations are. Unlike with freelance platforms, where payments are not too massive, here you need to check if the contractor has an appropriate legal status to provide you with closing documents after they receive a payment.

Lastly, if your company relies heavily on contractors, and the amount of service agreements to sign and manage is overwhelming, then a contractor management system is necessary. Thankfully, today there is quite a selection. From Deel and Remote, which manage even remote employees, to smaller freelance & contractor-specific global solutions, like EasyStaff.

EasyStaff: a CMS Catering Worldwide, With No Exception

EasyStaff is a global freelance management platform that helps run independent contractor transactions. Its functionality serves for any amount of outsourced tasks and prices.

What is so special about EasyStaff is that the platform acts like a B2B contractor for your company. The role provides two major benefits.

One is that on paper it is EasyStaff which fulfills your tasks. Therefore, closing documents are available instantly, and there is no need to wait for the contractor to send it to you. Additionally, there is no risk in your contractor not having a legal standing to provide you with documents. It’s EasyStaff that manages risks.

Another benefit is that, since EasyStaff is a B2B partner based in Lithuania, there is no VAT to pay. This is additional savings right there!

The workflow is very simple. Once you register an account on the platform, you get access to task management. To keep track of tasks at hand, you create a task, assign it to a contractor, and add its cost. After the task is completed, you send money to your contractor. Money is withdrawn from your personal account where you need to add it with a bank card transfer.

If you are ready to transform your contractor management and turn it into a powerful scalable leverage, join EasyStaff today and take advantage of a free personal demo.

Pay remote teams and freelancers worldwide in any currency