How to improve your chances of securing a laboring contract

AuthorJeffery Southworth
Posting date: 26 October 2020
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, independent contractors made up an impressive 6.9% of the American workforce in 2018. Employers will often look to hire contractors who can add value and apply their skills and experience to a specific project or team. It also allows for flexibility for both parties - the company is able to hire someone to fill a position for a specific project without committing to a fulltime position and the laborer has the ability to pick and choose what projects they do, where they work and how much they’re taking on. Labor contractors are also sought after by clients because of the significant money and time savings to themselves compared to hiring a permanent worker. Laborers can start quickly without having to go through an often-lengthy onboarding and interview process and fulfil a specific requirement then and there. 

Finding contract work

Finding contract work isn’t like finding a permanent job. Being hired as a permanent member of staff can take a long time, but contract roles are often offered on the spot, or even based solely on the recommendation of a recruitment agency. From the perspective of the employer, the risks of hiring the wrong contractor are relatively low, so you can use this to your advantage when looking for contracting work. By being flexible and persistent, you should find that you’re in a position to pick and choose your contracts.

Write a contractor resume

Forget about writing a generic run of the mill resume – you need to hit all of the key points for your contracting position. This means emphasising your skills, experience and the contract requirements. Ideally, you will tailor your resume for each individual contract job which will allow you to apply for and take on a multitude of different roles to suit your skillset. Remember to make it short and include a profile, a list of skills and a list of achievements. This is your chance to really showcase your skills and show a clear understanding of your clients’ needs and expectations. 

Be transparent

Because the onboarding, hiring and decision-making process is often a quick one it’s very important to be transparent. Be clear in your availability, your rate, your ability to take on the role as well as making it evident that you understand the client’s requirements and ideal outcomes as well as your own. 

Fix your rate

How much is your time worth? Figuring out your rate will help you filter contractor vacancies so that you can target the contracting roles you really want and can get. Remember that you need to pay your own pension and benefits and you have little job security  so factor that into your contractor rate. Do not be afraid to ask for what you’re worth. 

Marketing yourself

As an independent contractor, you need to dedicate time to building relationships and marketing your services to ensure you have a steady flow of business. Tactics to consider include keeping an up to date resume on LinkedIn and making it clear when you’re looking for new opportunities, attending networking events hosted by your recruiter and offering fee discounts to repeat clients. Most importantly you need to make sure to maintain the relationships you make while working on projects -your best scenario is having the same clients requesting you to take on contracts with them again and again.

Negotiating a successful staffing agreement requires building a relationship. The building blocks are mutual respect, transparency, a clear understanding of the client's needs, risks, concerns and what success looks like to the client. At TRS Craft, we specialize in matching contract labor talent to some of the best opportunities in the country. Take a look at some of our contract laborer roles  or get in touch with your local office and take the next step in your career.