3 Key Benefits Of “Training” Independent Contractors in 2024

June 11th, 2019
Corporate Training

If you are working as a human resources manager, you probably might have quite a bit of experience hiring independent contractors. Seldom, it just makes sense to outsource a job to someone else – especially when you have little expertise in particular business areas, such as Information Technology.

You may be inveigled to simply hire a contractor and let them do their work – without making them go through the corporate training, eLearning, and other professional training programs that new hires usually have to pass off. After all, it's not like you need to invest in the future of education for an employee who won't work for you for the rest of their career, right? You Are Wrong. The knowledge of corporate policies is important for everyone, even contractors. Don't believe us? Here are three key benefits of training your independent contractors.

When it comes to hiring independent contractors, you are responsible to make sure that they are classified correctly – which means you are not supposed to treat them like you would your treat full-time employees. If you treat a contractor just like you would do to a full-time employee, you will be at the risk of violating IRS rules about the misclassification of employees.

This comes under the legal “gray area”. While you are free to provide contractors with training and other orientation material, but reading them corporate handbooks or taking other online training courses is unnecessary. The materials must be optional – because you are technically a “client” and not the employer of the contractor.

Nevertheless, you should be supplying your contractors with the materials that they require for the completion of their jobs – and this could include training courses and other learning materials. The choice of whether or not they use these materials is simply up to them.

Why should we provide training to independent contractors?

  • Though you cannot force your contractor to go through or use your training materials, you can still benefit yourself by providing them as orientation materials, and suggesting that contractors use them to be familiar with the company's rules and policies.
  • You could Avoid Legal Issues And Liability:– an example for this would be if you work at a hospital or another healthcare company, and you bring in a third-party contractor to do some of your IT work. Logically, the contractor is supposed to be familiar with HIPAA and other provisions related to the protection of healthcare information. But you can protect yourself further legally by providing them with orientation materials related to corporate policies for HIPAA and the governance of Protected Health Information (PHI). In case, if the contractor ends up violating the law or regulation, you will have the evidence that they had all the information regarding the company's policy – which can reduce your legal liability. Check the list of professional course
  • You Could encourage Better Employee Engagement With Contractors– While a contractor takes there time to understand your corporate policies – for instance, policies regarding the use of social media at work, your corporate culture, and the attitude that is expected from them when working with others – this could help your employees to engage with them. This is especially important when your team of full-time employees engaged in working with one or more contractors. It's common for contractors and employees to have disagreements – especially when their areas of expertise overlap. Contractors who are familiar with your company and its culture can help create a more positive, team-oriented working environment.
  • New Contractors Have Hands-Off Orientation Options –Again, you cannot force your contractor to go through or use your training materials. This could be viewed as “enforcing control” on an independent contractor. However, you are expected to have many contractors come and go, due to the temporary nature of their employment and period or job-based contract they follow. Because of this, supplying them with optional orientation or training materials is a great idea. Should they choose to do so, they can quickly get a top-level overview and education about your company, which will improve their on-the-job performance, and allow them to become an effective worker quickly. As a rule, just remember that you can provide contractors with all of the training materials that you want, as long as you clarify that they are just a reference and orientation resources – and that they are not compelled to read them.

Provide Your Contractors with the Tools that They Need To Succeed

It might appear like a tricky business to “train” contractors, but it's worth taking the time to gather orientation information for new third-party contractors. Following the online training provided to them will allow them to become a more competent contractor, should they choose to view the materials.

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