Contingent Staffing: Can an independent contractor or a consultant manage company employees

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From Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) —

“Allowing independent contractors or consultants to manage company employees is not for frugal or risk-adverse employers and is generally not a recommended practice.

Independent contractors or consultants are often hired for their specialized expertise. The intention is that the relationship will be short-term and focused on providing services that existing organizational employees are unable to provide.

Furthermore, independent contractors and consultants are usually engaged using consulting agreements or contracts, which outline the services they will provide, the manner and means for providing these services, and the expected results. Consultants and independent contractors are bound by the terms of their consulting agreement or contract, not by the organization’s personnel policies, employee handbook or employment-at-will doctrine.

Managing employees, on the other hand, typically involves overseeing and enforcing the organization’s personnel policies and procedures. Educating and coaching employees on how to adhere to the company’s personnel policies and procedures, culture and values through orientation and other types of training is usually a management responsibility.  [emphasis added]

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2 thoughts on “Contingent Staffing: Can an independent contractor or a consultant manage company employees

  1. Mr. Gibson,

    I would like to find out – Can an independent contractor or a consultant manage another temporary worker or contractor?

    1. Thanks for your question. It is possible for an independent contractor or consultant to manage another temporary worker or contractor but it depends on the circumstances. For example, suppose you hire an independent contractor to do the landscaping for your house and you hire a gardener for your garden. The landscaper might direct and manage the gardener on a temporary basis. It is harder for a business to bring in a consultant to manage its temporary workers because the activity of managing workers is part of the business’s regular course of business. Many states will look at how much the independent contractor’s work is part of the regular course of business of the company.

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