Hiring independent contractors (or freelancers) is similar to hiring an actual employee in terms of timeframe and process. That’s not a good thing: US companies take an average of 25 working days to fill a vacant position.

Here are four reasons you should streamline your independent contractor hiring process:

1) Moving slowly makes you seem uninterested.

Independent contractors have specific skills that are in high demand. They frequently line up their next gig before their current job ends. They don’t get paid time off and every hour spent waiting for an offer is unbillable. If you drag your feet during the hiring process, they will look elsewhere.

HR thought leader Dr. John Sullivan says, “Your top candidates will receive alternate offers and will be forced to decide on whether to accept a current offer that will soon expire or wait for a possible future offer from your firm.”

2) You might end up paying more.

Let’s say you send a late offer to a candidate that you MUST have to complete the next big project. He can already be entertaining other offers.

Now you’re forced into a bidding war with competing offers, and the only way your offer will stand out is if it’s bigger and better (i.e., more money).

3) You hurt your relationship with the contractor.

Having consistent clients is the end goal for many contractors. A long hiring process can damage your relationship with a contractor, since you’ll gain a reputation as the client who is slow to act.

In the mind of the contractor, your organization will be the flaky friend who can never make up his mind whether or not to meet up for lunch. Pretty soon, those invitations to meet up will stop coming.

4) Slow hiring is costing your organization money.

A vacant position is a black hole of productivity. Specific tasks aren’t getting done, and this impedes any number of projects. “A pharmaceutical firm found that having vacant positions in its R&D function had a direct measurable impact on the time it takes to develop new products for the market,” says Sullivan.

It literally pays to be able to hire faster.

Streamline Your Contractor Hiring Process

Many actions like reentering a candidate’s information into a database or forgetting to review a resume can hinder the hiring process. Fortunately, the hiring process can be streamlined using electronic documents and process automation:

  • Capture candidate documents and automatically save them to the repository
  • Automatically generate email reminders to maintain review deadlines

Get your copy of the The Ultimate Guide to HR Automation and learn how automating your hiring process can help your organization fill vacant positions faster.

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