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Nicole Cox to Fast Company: Best Practices For Hiring Management-Level Freelancers

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Decision Toolbox Chief Recruitment Officer Nicole Cox shared insights with Fast Company readers on best practices for hiring management-level freelancers.

Excerpts from the article:

When you need to shore up talent on your team but don’t want the expense of a full-time employee, an independent contractor can be an effective solution

BE CLEAR ABOUT EXPECTATIONS

The first step in hiring a contractor in a supervisory or other high-level role is to be crystal clear about what you both expect in the relationship. “You should have a clear scope and mission for the role. How will you measure success? Is this a short-term role, or is it a trial for a full-time position? These are important questions that need to be answered,” says Nicole Cox, chief recruitment officer at Decision Toolbox, a recruitment solutions company. Define the role, including the metrics by which you’ll measure progress and achievement of objectives.

DON’T SKIP THE ONBOARDING PROCESS

Contract employees need to have a clear understanding of your company culture, policies, and practices to make their transition easier, so it’s a good idea for them to go through similar training and orientation as traditional employees. This is especially true if they’re supervising teams or leading important projects, to ensure that your employees are not put off by a lack of cultural continuity, Cox says. Make sure your contractor knows the stakeholders and the method and frequency of communication expected, as well as important policies regarding managing employees, handling challenges or crises, interacting on social media, and other areas.

USE A NONDISCLOSURE AGREEMENT

Cox says that having nondisclosure agreements (NDAs) is important, especially if the contractor will have access to proprietary information or trade secrets. Your legal counsel should review the documents to be sure that they don’t overstep what you can require, which may vary by state. An overly broad agreement may not hold up in court, if that becomes necessary.

KEEP COMMUNICATING

Your contractor needs a management and reporting structure and should be required to check in regularly to ensure that milestones and goals are being met, Houston says. Because the person is not a full-time employee, it’s even more important to be sure this happens on a regular basis. It’s also important to capture information, systems, and other developments made by the contractor, so they don’t just walk out the door when the engagement ends, Cox says.

For more tips, check out the full article here.

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