5 Common Mistakes When Working with Independent Contractors

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Some people don’t feel comfortable working corporate jobs. In most cases, salary is not the main reason. A study revealed that 39% of workers decided to quit their jobs because working too many hours or being dreaded by the 8-to-5 work schedule.

While 57% of them decided to quit because of feeling disrespected, and 63% of others said no opportunities for advancement. People who decide to resign tend to look for other similar jobs or pave their own path as independent contractors.

Independent contractors are the opposite of corporate employees. Their working hours are not fixed and more flexible. While at the same time, they can be their own boss. However, sometimes a company needs to hire an independent contractor to help them execute a certain project.

Not all jobs are suitable for independent contractors, so companies shouldn’t hire them anytime they want. Take notes that independent contractors are perfect for:

  • Short-term projects
  • Projects that require expertise
  • Fulfilling positions when employees are temporarily absent

When a company decides to hire an independent contractor, they need to carefully assign them to do the task. Check out these common mistakes when working with independent contractors to avoid miscommunication..

#1. Setting a fixed schedule

As mentioned before, a fixed working hour takes part as one of the main reasons some workers decide to leave their job. Independent contractors prefer flexible working hours, that’s why they look for and accept short-term jobs or projects.

Just because they decide their own working hour, doesn’t mean they’re going to be reckless with their assignment. Independent workers are people who are competent in their fields, as long as you serve them right, the expected result will be served back to you. To avoid any miscommunications, you can make agreements and set goals in the early stage of hiring.

#2. Requiring to work in the office

Independent contractors love to be set free. Requiring them to work in the office is like putting them in a cage. They may feel being treated as a normal corporate employee, which is a mistake that needs to be avoided when working with independent contractors.

They have their own way of doing and finishing their assignments. In most cases, they may prefer working from home due to family reasons or working anywhere else to seek peace of mind and inspiration.

#3. Treating them as employees 

It is an undeniable fact that an employee needs to fulfill some requirements provided by the company. However, a company shouldn’t do that when it comes to hiring an independent contractor.

Don’t require an independent contractor to do some points listed below:

  • Submit application (make an independent contractor agreement instead)
  • Take mandatory orientation or training programs
  • Participate in or attend company events
  • Participate employee award
  • Make weekly report

By avoiding those points above, you treat your independent contractors just the way they should be treated.

#4. Not paying on time or paying wages incorrectly

What would be the most suitable method to pay independent contractors? Well, don’t pay them like employees. As previously stated, independent contractors work for projects over a specific period. That’s why paying them per project would be the best option.

Giving wages hourly or monthly can jeopardize their identity as independent contractors. It is no different from treating them like employees and may be contradictory to the Employment Development Department (EDD) or the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Make sure to talk about the wages in the early stages of partnerships.

#5. Crossing boundaries                  

Independent contractors have their own schedules to do their work, but that doesn’t mean you can come up to them whenever you want. Especially, assigning tasks last minute or planning a sudden meeting without an agreement beforehand. If it happens once in a while they may accept that, but too often will give them frustration and burnout.

Independent contractors are often busy and have a lot going on. You never know what they have upon their sleeves. They may run a business, serve other clients, or work while taking care of their kids. Therefore maintaining good communication is a must.

You always have better options to approach independent workers. You can directly contact them the next day during their working hour or wait for your next scheduled call. Another way is sending an email when you think you need their response quickly.


Working with independent contractors can be a good option for a company. They are known as competent people in their field and they aren’t hard to approach. Hiring independent contractors don’t need long, formal, and complicated requirements. Both parties just need to sign an agreement before executing a project.

The last thing to note before hiring independent workers is to know how they work to get their job done. Every one of them may work differently to finish their jobs and solve problems. You can always ask for their opinion as long as it’s within their expertise. Also, don’t forget to pay attention to the construction safety, which you can learn on the following infographic:

Explainer Videos for The Construction Industry and Safety Education [Infographic]
Courtesy of: Breadnbeyond

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