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OncoreJune 22, 20234 min read

How to Retain Contractors and Build Lasting Relationships

In the fast-paced, increasingly contingent job market of 2023, recruiters with a much needed and sought after contract book face unique challenges in retaining talented contractors. While finding skilled professionals is undoubtedly crucial, establishing and nurturing long-term working relationships with contractors can provide immense value. Here we explore the significance of retaining contractors and discuss practical tips for recruiters to cultivate lasting partnerships.

Recognising the benefits of retaining contractors:

Retaining contractors goes beyond short-term convenience; it yields numerous advantages for recruiters. The benefits of a strong recruiter-contractor relationship are as follows:


Building long-term relationships with contractors allows recruiters to work with professionals who are familiar with each others working style, preferences, and expectations. This leads to smoother collaboration, project continuity, loyalty and minimised disruptions.

Reduced recruitment costs

By retaining contractors, recruiters can save time and resources spent on repetitive sourcing, screening, and onboarding processes. Long-term relationships eliminate the need for extensive background checks and repetitive training, resulting in reduced recruitment costs.

Reputation and referrals

Contractors who have positive experiences working with their recruiter are more likely to refer other skilled professionals to the recruiter’s network. Word-of-mouth referrals can be invaluable in attracting high-quality talent. By maintaining good relationships, recruiters can expand their contractor book and enhance their reputation within the industry.


Creating an engaging close work relationship

Clear communication

In Oncore’s State of Contracting survey, a massive 98% of our 600+ respondents cited ‘Open communication and collaboration’ as important to them across the board.  Maintaining open and transparent lines of communication allows recruiters to effectively convey project details, expectations, and any changes that may arise. This fosters trust, collaboration, and a stronger working relationship.

Efficient and timely staffing

Strong relationships with contractors enable recruiters to better understand their skills, preferences, and availability. This knowledge allows them to match contractors with suitable assignments more efficiently. Contractors who have a positive rapport with the recruiter are likely to communicate their availability and preferences openly, enabling faster and more accurate placements.

Adaptability and flexibility

In today’s dynamic work environment, contractors often seek flexibility in their assignments. Recruiters who have strong relationships with contractors can better understand their evolving career goals and preferences. This knowledge allows recruiters to provide suitable opportunities and support the contractors in achieving their professional objectives.

Provide ongoing support

Offer continuous support to your contractors throughout their assignments. This could include regular check-ins, role reviews and guidance on career development. Be responsive to their needs and provide assistance when they encounter challenges.


Building trust and respect

Trust and respect are crucial elements of a successful recruiter-contractor relationship. Recruiters can cultivate trust and respect by:

Honesty and transparency

Being honest and transparent in all interactions with contractors builds trust and establishes a foundation of reliability. Clear communication about project requirements, timelines, and potential challenges enhances the relationship and fosters mutual understanding.

Fair compensation and benefits

Ensuring contractors receive fair compensation and benefits that align with industry standards demonstrates a recruiter’s commitment to their value. Negotiating competitive compensation builds trust, enhances job satisfaction, and fosters a sense of respect.

Collaboration and inclusion

Involving contractors, where possible, in decision-making processes when appropriate and valuing their input and expertise fosters a sense of inclusion and respect. Contractors feel valued as partners rather than mere resources, strengthening the relationship and their commitment.

Seek feedback

Regularly seek feedback from your contractors on their experiences working with you. This feedback will help you identify areas for improvement and make necessary adjustments to strengthen your relationship.

Stay updated on industry trends

As a recruiter, it’s essential to stay informed about industry trends, new technologies, and emerging opportunities. This knowledge will enable you to provide valuable insights and guidance to your contractors, positioning you as a trusted resource.

Competitive advantage

Building good relationships with contractors can provide recruiters with a competitive edge in the market. Contractors are more likely to prioritize working with recruiters they trust and respect. By demonstrating a commitment to fostering positive relationships, recruiters can differentiate themselves from competitors and attract top talent.


Providing regular feedback and growth opportunities:

Regular feedback and growth opportunities are essential for contractors’ professional development and job satisfaction:

Constructive feedback

Offering constructive feedback helps contractors improve their performance and develop their skills. In the State of Contracting Survey 2023 93% of respondents said that recruiters “Giving me honest and constructive feedback” was important to them.  Working with your clients to be able to provide specific examples and actionable suggestions for growth demonstrates a recruiter’s commitment to their contractors success and development.

Challenging projects

Ensuring you are finding contractors opportunities to work on challenging and fulfilling projects that could enhance their skill set, boosts their confidence, and increase their sense of value and engagement. This promotes their long-term commitment and loyalty – and highlights that you are confident in their value and ability.

Recognising and appreciating contributions

Regularly acknowledging and appreciating the contractors’ achievements whilst in their placed roles, exceptional performance, and value they have bought to their projects fosters a sense of recognition and motivation.


Nurturing these long-term partnerships with your contractors is definitely a worthwhile investment that leads to continuity, easy access to expertise, reduced recruitment costs, and a stronger contractor pool for future placements.

If you would like to read more thoughts, insights and statistics on this or on all things Contracting then head over to Oncore’s State of Contracting survey 2023.  Or if you would like to talk directly to Oncore about how we can support you with your Contractor book then please do get in touch.