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Part-Time Employees Vs. Contractors: An Examination

A question for employers: Are all employees created equal? Or, more aptly, should they all be treated the same? No one doubts that full-time employees, part-time employees, contractors and seasonal employees all deserve certain basic rights, considerations and courtesies, of course. But does it actually make sense for employers to approach each of these different types of roles in a similar fashion? If the objective is a well-connected, well-oiled workforce, then the answer is yes.

Consider one example: When a company hires part-time employees, they may work 20 hours every week for a full year. In the case of a contractor, they could work full time for six months and then not work for the next six months. At the end of the year, both employees have worked the same number of hours, and theoretically they have contributed the same amount of work to the company.

Why, then, are part-time employees often considered “internal,” while the contractor is considered part of the company’s external talent pool?

It’s a fundamental question framed by urgent immediate context: In the midst of the current labor shortage, more companies are looking to freelancers and contractors to supplement their workforce. But these organizations may not currently be equipped or have processes in place to properly manage this mix of traditional employees and independent contractors. Where should they begin to align?

Communication is key. In the workplace, this goes for communication about projects and work tasks, as well as human resources and employee information. Contractors often serve roles that are similar or identical to those of other employees, so failing to deliver them the same (potentially business-critical) information could actually be detrimental to the company. And in this labor market, with more businesses adopting hybrid work schedules, it’s even more important that all staff is working from the same playbook in order to complete deliverables.

Managers and employers should view all of the various worker classifications (traditional W2, part-time W2, contractors, freelancers and consultants) as essential components of a single combined workforce. This will result in improved efficiency, higher productivity, clearer communication and, not to be overlooked, a more unified workplace staffed with more satisfied employees.

Those are all worthy goals, and there are tools available to employers to help achieve them. PeopleCaddie makes it easy to get in touch with former contractors, hire and onboard whenever needed. Let’s say a software contractor has just finished a project, but it’s necessary to bring them back for modifications, enhancements or product support. A freelancer is more likely to return to an organization when they were treated well during their first stint supporting the company. When an employer treats their contingent workforce the same as the company’s other employees, they’re more likely to develop solid relationships and ensure that they cultivate a pool of reliable resources.

And what organization wouldn’t want to bring in an employee who is already familiar with their co-workers and company processes, and who has already been integrated into the company culture? That employee will undoubtedly have an easier time being brought up to speed, and they figure to make for a better immediate fit than a candidate who is completely new to the organization.

Think of contractors the same as you do full-time staff and offer them the same communication. By integrating the two talent pools and demonstrating that they receive equal consideration from management, you’re more likely to build a productive, united workforce.

Considering adding contractors to your workforce? See how PeopleCaddie can help.

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