How do you treat your short-term/contract workers? (And why you should treat them well.)

by Erin McCune on March 20, 2007

in Consulting, Management

Scott Berkun – the well regarded project management thoughtleader – observes that managers may be missing out by not treating contract/short-term workers well. He isn't advocating that short-timers deserve special or better treatment than full time employees, but he does suggest that there are three important reasons to treat contractors well:

  1. Contracts are scouting missions.
    [excerpt:] Any contractor you hire should be
    thought of as a potential full time employee – possibly not even for
    the skill they’re contracting for. Treat them like idiots in a box, and
    you’ll get idiots in a box. But give them a chance to outperform your
    expectations and your next star recruit might already be in your
    office.

  2. Contract hires create your network. 
    [excerpt:] While you’re
    climbing the corporate ladder, every contractor has a long sequence of
    future companies and bosses ahead of them. What stories of you will
    they tell? If you ping them in 6 months about job openings on your
    team, will they recommend you to their peers in their new company?
    Contractors are true worker bees. They fly from place to place
    spreading reputations – will they be your ambassador or detractor?

  3. They bring new ideas. 
    [excerpt:] Forget what job you hired them for – they bring experience your team might not have, and exposure to ideas new to you.

Read the whole post here.

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