Ensure Contractors Are Part Of Your Initiative Equation2008 was not a good year. In fact, the history books are clear. It was a bad, bad year. And not just because the NY Giants defeated the NE Patriots in the Super Bowl or the theatrical release of ‘Rambo’ (it’s fourth installment no less). Nope, it was all about the economy stupid. Sky-high home prices plummeted, the American auto industry, which pleaded for a federal bailout, found itself at the edge of an abyss. Banks stopped lending and share prices plunged throughout the world—the Dow Jones Industrial Average in the U.S. lost 33.8% of its value in 2008—and by the end of the year, a deep recession had enveloped most of the globe. For businesses, the recession led to changes in expansion plans and worker compensation. Cue the layoffs and closed businesses. Despite modest recovery, the jobs created have leaned heavily toward part-time and contractor work, as many of the jobs lost during the recession have not returned. The result? A surprisingly booming freelance economy. In fact, American freelance workers total 53 million, according to a survey commissioned by Freelancers Union and Elance-oDesk. That’s more than one-third of the workforce which means freelancers are now a thriving force that is changing the way businesses hire and operate. So you know we have to ask. Are CEOS and business leaders including this growing workforce in their corporate change initiatives? Are they part of ANY corporate engagement? Because of their inherent value and expertise, this seems a no brainer to us, but just in case you need a reminder, here’s a quick how to:
- Give them the big picture:
No matter what their role or deliverables list, a view of the big picture has to happen. Why? Well, like any employee, knowing how their work impacts the bottom line can only help them do their jobs more effectively. True, you’ll have some freelancers who might not care two hoots, but the really good ones want clarity and purpose.
- Ask and ask some more.
Chances are good that they’ve worked for a variety of companies and environments. Why not leverage that insight and viewpoint? Our experience also tells us that they are infinitely more willing to ‘tell it like it is.’
- Give them positive feedback:
We’re guessing you only hire rock stars, so be open with your appreciation. Listen, it’s a freelancer/contractors’ market. They are in big demand and can pick and choose the clients they want to work with.