In recent years, remote work has become very prevalent, especially in the IT industry. With the rise of remote work, contract work has also become a very enticing option for professionals who value flexibility and freedom.
IT contractors are also an excellent option for companies looking for temporary or project-based professionals to fill gaps in their development teams. They get the job done while companies waste less money and resources maintaining them and thus are extremely cost-efficient.
If you’re looking to hire experts temporarily for your IT projects, it’s never been easier to do so. But how to hire independent contractors? And what does that mean for your company? If you want to know all about hiring independent contractors, you’ve come to the right place!
How to Hire an Independent Contractor: 6 Easy Steps
Hiring an independent contractor can be a complex endeavor, but you can follow a set of steps that will smoothen the process:
- Analyze your needs
- Prepare the paperwork and other legal requirements
- Post the job listing
- Interview and select your candidate
- Onboard your candidate
- Set up payments
Analyze your needs
A very important step to hiring the best candidate possible. Check all the requirements this new hire will need and how this person will integrate with the rest of your staff. Make a list of these requirements and review them with the rest of the team so everyone can give their input and know what to expect.
Prepare the paperwork and other legal requirements
Check in with a lawyer to help you figure out exactly what kind of forms and other sort of legal documents you’ll need for your specific case (in the USA independent contractors will need to file Form W-9, and the company hiring them will have to fill a variant of the 1099-MISC or 1099-NEC). Also make sure you have payment methods available worldwide so you can pay your contractor securely. This step will be more streamlined if you hire a recruiter to take care of the hiring process.
Post the job listing
Write a detailed job description of the type of work you need based on the requirements you assessed in the first step. Be specific and point out that this is for an independent contractor to avoid recruiters not looking for that sort of work. This is another step you can bypass by working with a recruiter who will do this for you.
Interview and select your candidate
Whether you get your candidates’ resumés directly or through a recruiter, now is the time to interview and check which one is the most suitable for your needs. Recruiters will help in this step by providing a rigorous screening that filters candidates that have the necessary requirements and will mesh well with your company’s culture. You can also involve your team in this process to help pick the best candidate.
Onboard your candidate
Now that you’ve chosen your candidate, it’s time to introduce them to their job and the team they’ll be joining. Make sure they understand the team’s working methods and procedures so they can integrate from day one. This is an important step to ensure your candidate is on the same page as everyone else and can start working as soon as possible.
Set up payments
Make sure your independent contractor periodically sends in their invoices and you pay them in a reasonable timeframe. These invoices will then be used for tax record purposes.
Why hire an Independent Contractor?
Independent contractors are hired for many reasons, but in most cases, they are hired:
- First, when you need an expert on a technology that no one in your company is familiar with, and are too busy to learn.
- Second, when you want to free up your own employees for other projects, but need someone with their skill set in the current project they are working on.
- Third, then you’re looking for temporary developers to fill in gaps during seasonal peaks or last-minute projects.
Types and Benefits of Independent Contractors
- Consultants: They have the knowledge to advise and propose methods to improve or kickstart a project. These contractors are most useful in the starting stages of a project when architecture and systems are still being designed. However, they can also enter late in the project to correct mistakes and mismanagement or advise on specific topics that do not impact the whole project.
- Developers: When you need an extra person to develop your codebase or manage the code related to technology the rest of the development team isn’t proficient in a time-sensitive project.
Besides the work they will perform for a company, hiring a contractor brings other advantages for the hiring company:
- Since they usually work remotely, you can source these contractors from anywhere in the world, finding them more easily.
- They do not require the same commitment of onboarding as a full-time employee.
- They do not require expending resources or training, and can start working almost immediately.
- Related to all the points made above, the most important benefit that these contractors bring is that they are extremely cost-efficient.
The last point is easily the most enticing aspect of hiring independent IT contractors. By sourcing from international markets, you can find quality developers at a fraction of the price you’d pay for local talent. Plus, since they are already proficient and care for their working conditions, you don’t have to spend money and resources on their training or onboarding.
How to write an Independent Contractor Job Description
Writing a job description to hire contractors is not very different from publishing a normal job posting, so those are usually a good place to start.
Just like any other job position, make sure you understand and list out:
- Job requirements
- Needed Skills
- Job Responsibilities
Make sure you stress that this is an Independent contractor position, and you can also post some helpful keywords that will help possible employees find your job listing, such as remote work.
Also, when looking to hire an independent contractor, keep in mind what happens after they finish their contracted work. Plan out your company’s needs and look ahead:
- Do you want to hire this person as a full-time employee eventually?
- Can they remain remote in that case, or do they have to work on-site?
These two questions can help you filter out candidates based on your future needs.
Where to find Independent Contractors
There are two main types of services where you can look for IT contractors for hire:
- Online job boards: the most basic way of getting applicants. This is a fairly time-consuming experience since you’ll have to screen these applicants and their wide variety of expertise and qualifications.
- Recruitment Agencies: Recruitment IT staffing agencies, such as DistantJob, have a wide collection of resumés with experts in various technologies. They have expert staff to link the needs of the company hiring their services to the people that can fill those needs. You can go deeper with our article on why to use an IT Recruitment Agency.
Make sure you recruit a service that is catered towards technology, as those will usually give you better and more varied options to hire an independent contractor.
Ready to hire tech independent contractors?
Independent contractors can be a handy way of temporarily filling in the blanks in a project or team with expert people that can get the job done. They are a flexible and cost-effective solution that can help companies in their time of need or provide a boost to their development.
Still not sure how to hire an IT contractor? DistantJob is here to help! We have access to a wide array of experts in world-leading technologies and can help you find the people you need for your projects that fit your company culture.
Frequently Asked Questions
Put simply, an independent IT contractor is an expert hired temporarily to work on a company, either for a set time or to help on a specific project. Usually, these experts work remotely (being able to choose where they work), have flexible schedules, and use their own workstations to perform their job.
They will charge either a flat fee or an hourly rate, depending on the type of work they’ll perform, that their hiring company will have to pay either at certain milestones in the project or at specific time intervals respectively.
These experts, although working for a company, are autonomous and thus free to work for other companies or businesses, and receive compensation from that work.
Yes! An independent contractor is considered a 1099 employee, so you get all the tax benefits from hiring them.
That will depend on the country you are based in (always check with a local lawyer!). In the USA, your independent contractor will have to file Form W-9, and the company will have to fill a variant of the 1099-MISC or 1099-NEC for every independent contractor under their wing.
Also, you’ll need the invoices from your 1099 employee, so make sure they file them regularly.
First, you have to tick all the criteria necessary to be classified as an independent contractor:
Do you have your own schedule?
Do you use your own tools and workstation?
Do you have control over the jobs you can accept?
Are you free to use your work methods (outside of interfacing with your employer)?
If you answered yes to all those questions, you could be classified as an independent contractor! Make sure that you have profiles in the most frequented job-boards or be registered in reputable recruitment agencies.
If you are not tied to a specific company in a full-time job, then yes! Just make sure to fill all the paperwork necessary and keep up with the latest job regulations and laws and you should be good to go.
Depending on the country (again, always check with a local lawyer!), you’ll have different paperwork to deal with. In the USA, the company will have to fill a variant of the 1099-MISC or 1099-NEC for every independent contractor working for them.
Yes. In that case, the hired independent contractor becomes a subcontractor, who will then provide services to the independent contractor and usually be compensated with a portion of the winnings from the independent contractor’s contract with the original company that hired him.
Yes. For all intents and purposes, an independent contractor is considered a person’s own business, and a business can have employees.
There are two main ways of paying an independent contractor: hourly or per-project. From there, and after all the paperwork outlining the contractor’s work has been established, it’s a matter of collecting your independent contractor’s invoices in the established periods and paying them with a previously agreed-upon payment method.