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OncoreJuly 21, 20234 min read

9 best practices to optimise successful contractor relationships

Enterprises are increasingly relying on contractors to meet their specific project requirements, address skill gaps, and scale their operations efficiently. However, managing contractor relationships can be challenging, and require a well thought out and defined approach to ensure success. 

Here we look at arming organisations with essential best practices for optimising contractor relationships and fostering long-term partnerships.

1.  Clear Communication and Expectations:

  • Establishing transparent communication channels and setting clear expectations from the beginning is paramount. Ensure that contractors understand and agree the project scope, objectives, timelines, and deliverables. Regularly update them on any changes and encourage open dialogue to address concerns or challenges promptly. Effective communication and collaboration fosters trust and alignment between both parties.

2.  Comprehensive Contract Agreements:

  • Crafting comprehensive and legally binding contracts is essential for safeguarding both the enterprise and the contractor's interests. Contracts should outline the project details, scope of work, payment terms, confidentiality agreements, intellectual property rights, termination clauses, and any other relevant terms and conditions. Engage experts to ensure accuracy and fairness in the contract language.  To read more about costly mistakes to avoid when completing contracts read more here.

3.  Rigorous Contractor Selection Process:

  • Conduct a thorough evaluation of potential contractors before finalising any partnerships. Assess their expertise, track record, references, and cultural fit with your enterprise. A robust selection process ensures that you collaborate with skilled professionals who align with your organisation's values.

4.  Performance Metrics and KPIs:

  • Establish clear performance metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) that align with the project's goals. Regularly assess contractor performance against these metrics to gauge progress and identify areas for improvement. Use data-driven insights to make informed decisions and optimise contractor contributions.  It's a great idea for hiring managers to include contractors in project boards and track individual output against wider team goals. Access to these projects allows contractors to know and understand their role in the bigger picture and makes delivering and tracking work much more simplified.

5.  Give constructive and regular feedback:

  • Keep the dialogue flowing. Highlight achievements, any challenges, and discuss future expectations. Provide constructive feedback and recognise outstanding contributions. These lines of communication strengthen the relationship between the enterprise and contractors and help in course-correcting, if necessary. In Oncore’s State of Contracting survey 2023 a massive 93% of the 600+ respondents said that “honest and constructive feedback” was important to them - your contingent workforce are keen to do a good job of what they have been bought in to do, perform well and build on their all important reputation.

6.  Compliance with Labour Laws and Regulations:

  • Ensure that all contractor engagements comply with relevant labour laws and regulations. This includes proper classification of contractors, adherence to taxation requirements, and compliance with worker protection laws. Non-compliance can lead to legal risks and financial penalties for your company.  If you would like to understand more about ensuring your company remains risk free and compliant then get in touch with the expert team at Oncore.

7.  Training and Development Opportunities:

  • Investing in the training and development of contractors can yield long-term benefits and retention.  The technology sector, in particular, is consistently confronted with the ongoing challenge of rapid change and continuous advancement within its various domains. Sectors like data science and microarchitecture are experiencing significant staff shortages, but the rapidity of innovation means that even after completing a degree, or after years of experience in their industry, professionals find that the relevant field has already advanced further than their knowledge. 

    Offer your contractors opportunities for upskilling and professional growth, which not only enhances their capabilities and expertise, but also aligns their skillsets with your company and the industries evolving needs - whilst keeping them feeling valued, stretched and motivated.  A win all round.  Read more about the importance to contractors of continuing their education

8.  Technology-Driven Collaboration:

  • Leverage collaboration tools and project management software to streamline communication and track progress. These platforms facilitate real-time updates, seamless document sharing, and efficient workflow management to keep you and your contingent workforce proactive and on track. 

9.  Focus on Building Relationships:

  • Treat contractors as valued partners rather than temporary resources. Building strong relationships fosters loyalty and encourages contractors to invest their best efforts into the enterprise's projects. The  State of Contracting survey 23 highlighted that an overwhelming 98% of respondents expressed the significance of 'Open communication and collaboration' from their employers. The respondents emphasised that maintaining transparent lines of communication enables their employers to share project details, set expectations, and communicate any changes that may occur. This practice nurtures trust, encourages collaboration, and cultivates a much more robust working relationship.

Investing time in building strong contractor relationships is time invested in success!

By prioritising the above 9 principles, enterprises can forge successful collaborations with their contractors and achieve their key strategic objectives.  A proactive and ethical approach to contractor relationship management sets the foundation for sustainable growth and organisational success.


If you would like to hear more about how Oncore can help take the hassle, risk and compliance challenges out of your contractor management, leaving you to be able to focus on enjoying the obvious perks of a skilled and flexible contingent workforce then please do get in touch with our experts today.  

Or if you would like to hear more opinions and insights from our 600+ contractors in Oncore’s State of Contracting survey 2023 then find them here