that relies heavily on outside contractors. I came to realize early on
that finding great 1099 contractors was a significantly different matter
from recruiting employees. There are many challenges facing this task
that may not come up in daily employee searches.
Here's just a few that I encounter:
-How do you find trustworthy and reliable contractors with the specific
skill sets you need?
-When you're working within a budget for your program, how do you
negotiate a fair contract, which attracts good candidates, but also keeps
you in your budget?
-How do you balance the equation in the previous question (what is the
weight of the budget vs. the quality of the contractor).
-What can you offer aside from the contract fee, i.e. why would they want
to choose to work with you with their limited time?
-How do you ensure quality control?
All these were issues I was first faced with more than 3 years ago, as I
started a program using outsourced marketing and training professionals to
support our company's growth. What I've found is that with a little
creative ingenuity, and real human understanding, these issues aren't
nearly as scary or difficult to solve as you'd think.
Here's some very simple suggestions for anyone looking for 1099 contractors:
1. FIRST contact your friends and business associates (internal and
external), and let them know the skill set and requirements you're looking
for. This is a great way to make a first pass at finding good, reliable
2. Identify the skill sets you need, write them down, and think about what
kind of work that person is doing now. (could that skill set include a
high school teacher, an architect, a electrical engineer, an admissions
counselor?) Many great 1099 contractors aren't working as 1099's
currently. Market your needs to part timers or semi-retired professionals
in the fields you've identified. You'll be AMAZED at the gems you can
find that have been looking for an opportunity to work independently, but
were afraid to take that first step.
3. Promote what makes your business or job special. Contractors are
people, after all, and people like to feel good about what they do.
Remember, while you can't provide "traditional" benefits to contractors,
your business may provide a wealth of other non-traditional benefits that
will draw the right people to your business. Are you an industry leader?
Do you do good for the community? Are you in a cutting edge field? Are
there perks that are available? Don't get down about not being able to
offer benes. 1099 contractors understand it, so don't dwell. Instead,
take the unique approach of selling those non-traditional benefits.
4. Maintain quality control by maintaining communication with your
contractors. Stay in touch, and remember that you are the client. If you
aren't satisfied with the quality of the work presented, don't be shy. Be
confident and professional. Communicate your expectations, and give
contractors the opportunity to upgrade their work.