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Independent Contractor Hiring Policy Template

This Independent Contractor Hiring Policy template outlines guidelines for engaging, onboarding, and managing contractors. Key topics include criteria for engagement, hiring process, payment policies, termination procedures, and a template contractor agreement.

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Independent Contractor Hiring Policy Template

This Independent Contractor Hiring Policy template outlines guidelines for engaging, onboarding, and managing contractors. Key topics include criteria for engagement, hiring process, payment policies, termination procedures, and a template contractor agreement.

*Disclaimer from Trainual

Please note that this template is not a legal document. And its information is for general knowledge and educational purposes only — not to provide advice on how to structure your organization's processes and/or policies. Meaning, this template should never be taken in place of legal advice. 

To use, you will need to customize this template to meet all your company's requirements. So, please update it with any and all relevant information before rolling it out (like deleting this step)!


Why We Have This Policy

The Independent Contractor Hiring Policy exists to establish clear guidelines and standardized procedures for engaging and managing independent contractors at our company. This policy is crucial for several reasons: it ensures compliance with labor laws and tax regulations, which differ significantly between employees and contractors. Misclassification of an employee as an independent contractor can lead to severe legal and financial repercussions. 

Additionally, this policy aids in maintaining operational efficiency by clarifying the circumstances under which it is appropriate to hire contractors instead of employees, based on the nature of the work and the company's needs. 

By implementing this policy, we safeguard the company against potential liabilities and foster a transparent working relationship with our contractors, ensuring that both parties’ expectations are met. This approach not only protects the company but also ensures fair treatment and clear communication with all external partners involved in our operations.

Key Terms

To ensure clarity and a shared understanding within the company, it is essential to define key terms used in the Independent Contractor Hiring Policy. Below are definitions of terms frequently encountered in the context of contracting and consulting relationships:

  1. Independent Contractor: An independent contractor is a person or entity contracted to perform work for, or provide services to, another entity as a non-employee. Independent contractors are in business for themselves, responsible for the manner and means through which the contracted service is performed.
  2. Freelancer: A freelancer is a type of independent contractor who usually works on a variety of jobs for multiple clients at one time, and typically charges by the hour, day, or project. Freelancers often operate under their own name or business identity, and they do not necessarily commit to a single client long-term.
  3. Consultant: A consultant is a professional who provides expert advice in a particular area such as business, education, law, regulatory compliance, human resources, marketing, finance, engineering, science, security, or any of many other specialized fields. While consultants are also independent contractors, they often focus on offering strategic advice and expertise rather than performing manual or clerical tasks.
  4. Contractor: Generally refers to any individual or company that enters into a contract with another entity to provide services or execute work, which is typically outside the scope of regular employment. Contractors can encompass a wide range of roles and are not restricted to providing only professional services.
  5. Gig Worker: A gig worker is an independent contractor, online platform worker, contract firm worker, on-call worker, or temporary worker who is hired to perform specific short-term, flexible, or freelance jobs.

These definitions help delineate the various types of work arrangements that can exist outside traditional employment, highlighting the specific attributes and business structures associated with each term. Understanding these distinctions is crucial for proper policy application and compliance.

Criteria for Contractor Engagement

Hiring Contractors vs. Employees

When deciding between hiring an independent contractor and an employee, we carefully consider several key conditions to ensure compliance with labor laws and alignment with organizational goals:

  1. Nature of the Work: Independent contractors are typically engaged for specific, short-term projects with a clear end date, whereas employees are hired for ongoing, long-term roles within the company. If the work requires continuous integration into company operations or ongoing maintenance, an employee might be the appropriate choice.
  2. Control Over Work: If the company needs to have direct control over how, when, and where the work is performed, then hiring an employee is appropriate. Independent contractors, on the other hand, operate under their own guidance, retaining control over their work methods and schedules, providing deliverables as specified in their contracts.
  3. Equipment and Resources: Independent contractors usually use their own tools and resources to complete their work. If the role requires company-specific tools, technologies, or resources, it may be more suitable to hire someone as an employee.
  4. Financial Considerations: Engaging an independent contractor can be cost-effective for short-term projects without the need for benefits and traditional payroll expenses associated with employees. However, for roles that are vital to the core functions of the business and require long-term investment, hiring an employee may be more beneficial.
  5. Legal and Tax Obligations: Hiring independent contractors reduces the regulatory burden related to employment taxes, workers' compensation, and unemployment benefits. However, it's critical to comply with IRS guidelines and local labor laws to avoid misclassification.

These considerations guide us in making informed decisions about workforce management, ensuring each role is filled in the most efficient and legally compliant manner.

Hiring Process for Contractors

Guidelines for Contractor Hiring

Initiating the hiring of an independent contractor is a structured process designed to ensure compliance and alignment with company needs. Here is a step-by-step guide to efficiently manage this process:

  1. Identify the Need:some text
    • Departments must identify and clearly define the need for an independent contractor, specifying the scope of work, duration, and objectives of the contract.
  2. Approval from Department Head:some text
    • The request for hiring a contractor must be approved by the respective department head. This includes a review of the job description and the budgetary implications.
  3. Draft a Contractor Job Description:some text
    • Create a detailed job description that includes the tasks to be performed, required skills, project duration, and deliverables.
  4. Submit for HR and Legal Review:some text
    • The job description and the need for a contractor are submitted to HR and the legal department for review to ensure compliance with labor laws and company policies.
  5. Obtain Budget Approval:some text
    • Secure approval from the finance department to ensure the contractor’s fees are within the allocated budget for departmental expenditures.
  6. Sourcing Candidates:some text
    • Utilize preferred vendor lists, contractor databases, or external agencies to source qualified candidates. In some cases, direct sourcing through professional networks may be appropriate.
  7. Interview and Selection:some text
    • Conduct interviews with potential candidates to assess their suitability. Selection should be based on their professional capabilities and fit with the project requirements.
  8. Contract Negotiation:some text
    • Negotiate terms of the contract including payment schedule, confidentiality agreements, and specific terms related to the project. Legal must review all contracts before signing to ensure all terms are compliant and protect the company’s interests.
  9. Final Approvals:some text
    • Obtain final approval from all relevant stakeholders, including department heads, HR, and legal, before the official contract is issued.

Following these steps will ensure that the process of hiring an independent contractor at our company is thorough, compliant, and aligned with our strategic goals, thereby optimizing the contribution of each contractor to the company.

Contractor Onboarding

Onboarding new contractors efficiently and comprehensively is crucial for ensuring they can start their projects effectively while understanding and complying with our policies. Here are the detailed steps for the onboarding procedures:

Procedures for Onboarding New Contractors

  1. Contractor Onboarding Checklist:some text
    • Develop a checklist specific to contractor onboarding that includes all necessary steps and documentation, such as signed contracts, tax forms, and confidentiality agreements.
  2. Administrative Setup:some text
    • Register the contractor in the company’s contractor management system for record-keeping and tracking.
    • Set up payroll and invoicing systems tailored to the contractor's payment terms and schedule.
  3. Provision of Necessary Tools and Information:some text
    • Provide access to necessary technical tools and software that are essential for completing the assigned tasks. This might include company-provided hardware, access to internal networks, software licenses, and communication tools.
    • Ensure IT support is available to assist with the setup and troubleshooting of these tools.
  4. Orientation and Training:some text
    • Conduct an orientation session to familiarize the contractor with the company's operational structure, key contacts, and communication protocols.
    • Provide training on specific tools and systems they will be using.
  5. Policy Education:some text
    • Educate the contractor about critical company policies, especially those related to confidentiality, data security, and intellectual property rights. Ensure they understand what is expected of them in terms of protecting sensitive company information.
    • Have the contractor sign non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) or confidentiality agreements as required.
  6. Access to Workspaces:some text
    • If necessary, provide access badges or entry permissions for contractors who need to work on-site. Ensure they are familiar with physical security protocols.
  7. Communication Plans:some text
    • Introduce the contractor to their project team and key stakeholders. Establish clear channels of communication and regular check-in schedules to ensure alignment and address any issues promptly.
  8. Compliance Verification:some text
    • Confirm that all legal and compliance-related paperwork is completed and on file before the contractor commences work. This includes verifying eligibility to work, if applicable.
  9. Feedback Mechanism:some text
    • Set up a mechanism for contractors to provide feedback on the onboarding process and to report any difficulties they encounter with accessing tools or information.

By following these steps, we can ensure that new contractors are well-equipped, informed, and integrated into their roles with a clear understanding of their responsibilities and the company's expectations. This structured onboarding process not only facilitates a smooth start for contractors but also safeguards the company's interests and promotes a productive working relationship.

Performance Management

Supervising and evaluating the work of contractors is a critical process to ensure the quality and timeliness of their contributions align with our organizational standards and project goals. Here are the guidelines we follow:

  1. Clear Expectations: At the start of the engagement, clearly outline deliverables, deadlines, and quality standards. Ensure that contractors understand their responsibilities and the criteria against which their work will be evaluated.
  2. Regular Check-Ins: Schedule regular meetings (weekly or bi-weekly) with contractors to discuss progress, provide feedback, and address any issues. These check-ins facilitate open communication and allow for timely adjustments to work plans.
  3. Performance Reviews: Conduct formal evaluations at key milestones or at the end of the contract period. Assess the contractor’s performance based on predefined metrics such as adherence to deadlines, quality of work, and overall contribution to the project.
  4. Feedback Mechanism: Provide constructive feedback during and at the end of the contract period. Encourage contractors to share their insights on the project and the supervision process.
  5. Documentation: Keep detailed records of evaluations, meetings, and communications. Documentation supports accountability and can be referenced for future engagements.

By adhering to these guidelines, we ensure effective supervision and evaluation of contractors, enhancing project outcomes and fostering professional relationships.

Contractor Payment Policies

We maintain standard practices for determining pay rates, invoicing, and payment timelines to ensure fairness and transparency in our dealings with independent contractors. Here's how we manage these financial aspects:

Pay Rates

  1. Market Research: We regularly conduct market research to benchmark pay rates based on industry standards, the complexity of the job, and the contractor's expertise and experience level.
  2. Negotiation: Pay rates are negotiated at the beginning of the contract agreement to ensure clarity and mutual satisfaction. Rates are documented in the contract, specifying whether payment is fixed per project, hourly, or based on deliverables.

Invoicing and Payment Timelines

  1. Invoicing Procedure: Contractors are required to submit invoices according to the terms specified in their contracts, usually monthly or upon completion of milestones.
  2. Payment Timeline: Payments are processed within a predefined period, typically 30 days from the invoice date, ensuring timely compensation for services rendered.

Expense Reimbursements and Compensable Costs

  1. Pre-Approval: All expenses must be pre-approved by the relevant department head. Contractors need to provide detailed forecasts of any likely expenses that might occur during the contract period.
  2. Expense Submission: Contractors should submit all expenses with necessary receipts or documentation through the designated expense management system.
  3. Reimbursement Process: Once verified, reimbursements are processed and paid out with the next scheduled invoice payment. Clear guidelines are provided regarding what expenses are reimbursable and the documentation required.

Termination of Contract

Terminating a contractor’s services with our company is handled with professionalism and respect, adhering to the guidelines established to ensure fairness and clarity. Here are the steps involved:

  1. Notice Period: As per the contractual agreement, contractors are typically required to be given a notice period, which is usually defined at the outset of the contract. The standard notice period can vary, but it is often between two weeks to one month, depending on the project's duration and nature.
  2. Notification: Termination should be communicated in writing, specifying the effective date and the reasons for termination, if applicable. This helps maintain transparency and documentation for both parties.
  3. Completion of Pending Work: During the notice period, contractors are expected to complete any pending work unless instructed otherwise. This may include handing over documents, transferring knowledge, or finalizing segments of the project.
  4. Final Payment: After the termination, a final invoice should be submitted by the contractor for any work completed during the notice period. [Company Name] is responsible for processing this final payment within the agreed timeframe, typically within 30 days of receipt, to fulfill financial obligations.
  5. Exit Interview: Although not mandatory, conducting an exit interview can provide insights into improving processes and relationships with future contractors.

Following these guidelines ensures that the termination process is handled smoothly and respectfully, protecting the interests of both the company and the contractor.

Template: Independent Contractor Agreement

This template was created by recruiting software and hiring platform Workable.


This Independent Contractor Agreement (“Agreement”) made this ____________, 20__ is by and between:

Contractor: ________________ with a mailing address of ________________________ (“Contractor”), and

Client: ________________ with a mailing address of ________________________ (“Client”).

The Client shall pay, and the Client shall provide the following services: ________________________________________________________.

The services shall begin on ____________, 20__ and end: (check one)
☐ – When the services are complete.
☐ – On the date of ____________, 20__.
☐ – Other. ________________________________.

Either the Client or the Contractor:
☐ – Cannot terminate this Agreement unless either party breaks its terms.
☐ – Can terminate this Agreement, without cause, by giving the other Party ____ days’ notice and providing their obligations up until termination.

In exchange for the services provided by the Contractor, the Client agrees to pay the following: (check one)
☐ – $________ / Hour.
☐ – $________ for the services.
☐ – Commission in the amount of: ________________.
☐ – Other: ________________________________.

In addition to the Contractor’s compensation, the Client agrees to pay the Contractor for the following: (check all that apply)
☐ – Materials. The Contractor’s materials used for providing the services.
☐ – Travel Expenses. The Contractor’s travel expenses to and from the location of where the services are being provided in addition to any other needs the services require.
☐ – Insurance. Any insurance required by the Contractor that is needed specifically for the services provided.
☐ – Other: ________________________________.

The Contractor shall indemnify and hold the Client harmless from any loss or liability from performing the Services under this Agreement.

The Contractor is required to have liability insurance and workers’ compensation insurance in accordance with industry standards and state law. The Client has the right to review such insurance policies prior to the commencement of the services.

The Contractor may engage in other business activities provided, however, that Contractor shall not during the term of this Agreement solicit the Client’s employees, clients, accounts, or other related business endeavors of the Client.

Neither the Client nor the Contractor may assign this Agreement without the express written consent of the other party.

Nothing in this Agreement shall indicate the Contractor is a partner, agent, or employee of the Client. The Client employs the Contractor as an independent contractor, and the Contractor hereby accepts.

It is agreed between the parties that there are no other agreements or understandings between them relating to the subject matter of this Agreement. This Agreement supersedes all prior agreements, oral or written, between the parties and is intended as a complete and exclusive statement of the agreement between the parties. No change or modification of this Agreement shall be valid unless the same be in writing and signed by the parties.

All notices or required or permitted to be given hereunder shall be in writing and may be delivered personally or by Certified Mail – Return Receipt Requested, postage prepaid, addressed those mentioned in Section I.

This Agreement shall be construed in accordance with and governed by the laws under the state of ________________.

Contractor’s Signature: _____________________________ Date: __________
Print Name: _____________________________

Client’s Signature: _____________________________ Date: __________
Print Name: _____________________________

Please note that this eforms template is a general structure and should be customized to fit the specific needs and legal requirements of your situation. Always consult with a legal professional when drafting legal agreements.

Disclaimer: This policy template is meant to provide general guidelines and should be used as a reference. It may not take into account all relevant local, state or federal laws and is not a legal document. Neither the author nor Workable will assume any legal liability that may arise from the use of this policy.


Have Questions?

In conclusion, our Independent Contractor Hiring Policy is designed to streamline the process of engaging and managing independent contractors while ensuring compliance with legal standards and aligning with our operational needs. This policy provides clear guidelines on every aspect of contractor engagement, from initial hiring through to the completion of services, including detailed procedures for payment and termination. Adherence to this policy ensures that relationships with contractors are managed professionally and ethically, supporting our organizational goals and maintaining our reputation. 

Should you have questions or require further clarification on this policy, please contact the Human Resources department.

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