or in hotels, the life of a UX contractor can be lonely. Whilst many love that they get to see the world, try their hand at lots of different projects and meet lots of new people. The flipside of that coin is that nowhere really feels like ‘home’. Over the years, we’ve met lots of contractors who have told us they wish more companies would do more to make them feel welcome.
Inspired by this, we’ve put together our top tips for making a good impression on your contractor – however long they’re set to stay with you!
Length of contract: just a few days
If you’ve booked a freelancer for a very short-term project, you’ll want them to jump on the project straight away. However, it’s good practice to walk them around their workspace and introduce them to everyone they’ll be having contact with. Plus, the people they’ll be sitting next to. Let them know about the breaks they’re able to take, where they can get a drink, and any health and safety or housekeeping to bear in mind. At the end of their time with you, sit them down for a five-minute chat to share feedback. Or if you’re happy to use them again, a plan of action for moving forward
Length of contract: one week – one month
In addition to the above, it is worth investing time catching up with your UX contractor on a weekly basis. There are two reasons for this; first, it will help them feel valued while giving them a regular opportunity to tell you if they’re happy. Second; if they’re as busy as the contractors we know, there’s a good chance they’ll have lots of leads for other projects bubbling away. If your projects often run over, it can be useful to keep track of potential availability beyond the initial contract period discussed.
Length of contract: two – six months
Contractors are just as likely to get involved in what they’re working on as your full-time employees are. We would therefore suggest including them in all catch-up meetings and project appraisals. This can be a great opportunity for you to tap into their wealth of experience and industry insights.
It’s also important to check in with them about their plans for the future. Asking how they’re finding the practicalities of the job and whether they’re getting on with the people they’re sitting with would really be valued. Once you’re confident in your contractor abilities, you may also want to offer them any benefits available to permanent employees. Such as the chance to work from home so they can save time and money.
Length of contract: six months+
If you’ve booked a designer, researcher or developer for more than six months, why not treat them like a full-time employee?. Yes there’ll be differences in the benefits, allowances and time-off that they can receive. If they’re going to be with you for a long time, we’d advise getting them immersed in company culture as much as possible. Lunches out, trips to the pub, secret Santa… If your contractor is getting on well with other members of the team, there’s no need to treat them differently. After all, if you make your contractor feel at home, there will be a higher chance of them returning in the future. Or them recommending your business to their contractor friends. What’s more, they will have had time to get to grips with your brand and products. This means that the next time you invite them in there will be less to learn.
Of course, the above aren’t hard-and-fast rules, they’re just suggestions from us to you.