How to Hire an Independent Contractor

There may be a point in the growth of your company where you need an expanded workforce to get the job done, but you may not be able to take on the payroll responsibilities for hiring full-time employees. In this case, it may be best to hire an independent contractor to fill in the gaps, help you meet the day-to-day demands of your business and move your company forward.

Independent contractors can be brought on to fill just about any role within your company. They’re independent of your company, neither a full-time employee eligible for benefits nor part of another organization that would bill you for your time. Contractors are individuals who are entirely independent and work on a contract basis.

Here are some tips to help you find great contractor candidates and make the right hire for your business.

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Independent contractors searching for jobs in Indeed*

38,517

Job seekers that clicked on independent contractor jobs

219

Total number of employers with active jobs

520

Independent contractor jobs that received clicks

What is the cost of hiring?

  • Common salary in US: $17.61 hourly
  • Typical salaries range from $7.25$51.15 hourly
  • Find more information on Indeed Salary

*Indeed data (US) – April 2021

As of April 2021, independent contractor jobs in the US are moderately competitive compared to other job markets, with an average of 74 job seekers per independent contractor job.

Why hire an independent contractor?

Independent contractors can provide a versatile skill set to your company, but they can also change your current company dynamic. A great independent contractor can help your business:

• Increase your available workforce while minimally increasing your exposure
• Excel during seasonal demand or on short-term projects
• Open up the time and resources of full-time employees to focus on higher priority projects

What are the types of independent contractors?

Independent contractors can either be general contractors with knowledge in multiple fields or specialize in a specific area, such as: 

  • HVAC: HVAC contractors are responsible for installing, repairing and maintaining equipment and systems related to heating, cooling and ventilation.
  • Masonry and stonework: These contractors focus on building homes and furniture, such as fire pits, out of stone. 
  • Roofing: Roofing contractors help home and business owners construct, fix and replace roofing systems. 
  • Landscaping:  Landscapers have experience creating and maintaining healthy, attractive lawns for both residential and commercial properties. 
  • CarpentryCarpenters work with wood products. They’re available to help clients build homes and furniture, such as cabinets, tables and bureaus. 
  • Ironwork: Ironworkers construct items made with iron and metal, such as fences, gates and metal supports. They also work to renovate older structures and make them more stable. 
  • Plumbing: Plumbers work with water-related equipment in clients’ homes and businesses, including piping, water heaters and sinks. 

Where to find independent contractors

To find the right independent contractor for your business, consider trying out a few different recruiting strategies:

  • Hang flyers in the community and at your place of work: Hanging help wanted signs can increase awareness of the position in the community and attract quality candidates. 
  • Network: Building relationships with contractors may open avenues of communication with other independent contractors who are looking for employment. 
  • Search for independent contractors online: Many independent contractors advertise themselves online. Finding these advertisements may lead to quality candidates who are available for one-time and ongoing jobs. 
  • Hire from within: Some of your current employees may already have the required certifications for independent contracting and may be quality candidates for the position. 
  • Post your job online: Try posting your independent contractor job on Indeed to find and attract quality independent contractor candidates.

What are the types of independent contractors?

Independent contractors can either be general contractors with knowledge in multiple fields or specialize in a specific area, such as: 

  • HVAC: HVAC contractors are responsible for installing, repairing and maintaining equipment and systems related to heating, cooling and ventilation.
  • Masonry and stonework: These contractors focus on building homes and furniture, such as fire pits, out of stone. 
  • Roofing: Roofing contractors help home and business owners construct, fix and replace roofing systems. 
  • Landscaping:  Landscapers have experience creating and maintaining healthy, attractive lawns for both residential and commercial properties. 
  • CarpentryCarpenters work with wood products. They’re available to help clients build homes and furniture, such as cabinets, tables and bureaus. 
  • Ironwork: Ironworkers construct items made with iron and metal, such as fences, gates and metal supports. They also work to renovate older structures and make them more stable. 
  • Plumbing: Plumbers work with water-related equipment in clients’ homes and businesses, including piping, water heaters and sinks. 

Writing an independent contractor job description

The job description for an independent contractor will be entirely dependent on the work needing completion. Researching job descriptions for full-time employees in the same role can be an excellent starting point. Be sure to include an enticing summary of the role and list out the duties, responsibilities and skills for the position. Be sure to highlight that the role is designed for an independent contractor.

When writing your independent contractor job description, consider including some or all of the following keywords to improve the visibility of your job posting. These are the most popular search terms leading to clicks on independent contractor jobs, according to Indeed data:

  • Independent contractor
  • Independent contractor driver
  • Remote work from home
  • Delivery independent contractor
  • Contractor
  • Delivery driver
  • Cargo van
  • Courier
  • Driver
  • Weekly pay

Interviewing independent contractor candidates

Strong candidates for independent contractor positions will be confident answering questions regarding:

• Their ability to work independently and complete the required need
• Work with a professional rapport and adhere to any confidentiality agreements

Need help coming up with interview questions? See our list of independent contractor interview questions for examples (with sample answers).

FAQs about how to hire an independent contractor

Can an independent contractor work for one company?

Independent contractors typically offer their services to the community, not just a single company. 

Do independent contractors set their own hours?

Independent contractors usually set their own hours. They’re typically paid by the project, not by the hour. 

What are some common mistakes made by employers who hire independent contractors?

Common mistakes made by employers who hire independent contractors include setting a strict schedule for the contractor to follow, enforcing the use of specific equipment or software and incorrectly paying and documenting their wages. 

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