The world is remarkably different place from what it was just a few weeks ago. Professional services and large enterprises have been forced to embrace working from home in an entirely new way, including inducting contractors quickly and efficiently from home.

While the hiring landscape has been impacted, the market remains active and companies continue to hire independent professionals and contractors throughout the COVID-19 crisis.

The induction period is a critical part of a contractor’s experience with a company. Doing this from home means organisations will have to think outside the box to ensure new team members feel engaged and motivated.

We’ve put together a checklist to ensure independent contractors have a positive experience with your company while working from home:

Preparing the tools and equipment for productivity at home

While the usual process in the office is to prepare a new starter’s desk with working IT equipment and new stationery, that’s less straightforward while working remotely. Have you prepared the IT equipment and considered what they will need in addition to a laptop, or checked that they have a functional working space and access to WiFi in their home? It’s worth remembering that contractors might not have simple things like pens and a notepad at home, and it will go a long way in making them feel welcome by providing access to these items.

Make sure the onboarding processes are in place

Having streamlined onboarding processes that allow straightforward management of your contingent workforce is imperative in the current climate. It can be complex to navigate the various engagement contracts with compliance obligations. Alongside organising superannuation, payroll and insurance, it can be costly and time consuming. Outsourcing your contractor management requirements can give you the peace of mind that your contingent workforce is engaged in a legally compliant way, while ensuring a smooth onboarding experience for contractors.

One-to-one meetings with contractors

There is a lot to learn when starting a new project, and the best way to pick up knowledge is to soak it up from other experienced team members. Dedicated time with a manager will help the contractor learn the ins and the outs of both the company and its commercial offering and hit the ground running. Online communication and project management tools are critical at this stage. Making sure the new contractors are comfortable with how to use tools such, as Slack, will help them settle in quickly. Having a “buddy” who checks in and walks a new contractor through the team’s way of working is recommended.

Set clear expectations

It’s likely that your new contractor will be eager to impress and prove their value when they start. However, they may not be aware of internal conversations amongst management, or company goals and plans that have been altered due to social distancing measures. The current situation is new to everyone and expectations for the project may have changed in the short-term. Making that clear to any new team members and discussing this openly with them will help them to succeed during their time with the company.

Virtual happy hour

Teams all over the world are learning how to connect remotely, and not just about work. It’s important to keep your contingent workforce and teams socially engaged from afar and even more crucial with new contractors. Starting a new project home can be a disorienting experience. Set up a regular team catch up (and encourage everyone to bring a drink of their own choice!), where you discuss life outside of work.