Career Advice

Stand Out as a Quality Contractor

Posted by Samantha
min read
Olia Gozha H2 Q Ua Iqh K64 Unsplash

​When an employer makes the decision to engage a contractor, they are looking for both a skill-set and a list of qualities that need to be met.

With the increase in the use of contractors globally, a greater confidence in managing flexible workforces and businesses having to nimbly navigate increased pressure and complexities; our employer audience is far more adept at sussing out the high calibre contractors versus the contractor of unremarkable ability.

Along with the dynamics of the modern work environment and restructured work models, more and more people are trying their hand at contracting. Either by design or through necessity, the knock-on effect has resulted in a crowded market, increased contractor competition, less workflow stability and greater choice for employers.

What this means for you as a contractor, is that it has become essential to stand out from the clutter for all the right reasons, which ultimately means you will enjoy wider contract choice, increased rates, steady workflows and a broad portfolio of success.

In the past, just having the skills was all you needed to be hired, but in today’s competitive market, contractors need to possess both a deeper understanding of the extras an employer is looking for and the ability to convey their attributes in these areas.

Most desirable contractor qualities

To assist you ‘hit the right note’ with your profiles and at interviews, we developed a list of the eight most desirable contractor qualities’ that employers are looking for. Being able to articulate your track record, expertise and confidence in these areas will give you the inside running at being successful in securing high-value contracts:

This might not always spring to mind as a high-value trait of a good contractor, but the truth is, contractors typically have to collaborate with numerous others to accomplish the job. Being able to demonstrate your ability to connect with people successfully points to your ability to be effective on the job.

Problem Solvers
Almost by default, the job description of a contractor if spoken in layman’s terms, would read ‘problem solver.’ This is what you do every day – and it means you need to be able to highlight your ability as being solutions focused.

Begin with the End in Mind
Employers want contractors who are outcome focused.  Having the ability to break down the individual steps required to obtain the expected outcome is a great asset – and one you should be keen to talk about.

Be prepared to answer questions about how you work within a process that involves multiple steps and be able to talk through the process. The right emphasis here means you will be seen as someone who is a worker and a thinker.

Management and Organisational Skills
Contractors are called on to manage/get involved in a variety of processes so having the ability to multi-task, think on your feet, manage people – requires a project management mentality and excellent organisational skills. These need to be honed and kept current. Ability to Listen
The bigger the project, the more working, moving parts that are going to be involved. The ability to listen and hear what others are saying in addition to hearing the directives from above clearly, is an essential quality. If not asked about this when being interviewed for a contract, it is useful to weave your experience in this arena into the conversation. Expertise here is a powerful benefit.

People tend to look at contractors with a level of expectancy because they feel the contractor is the expert, possessing unique knowledge about the industry. By inference, a contractor is perceived as having a high degree of clout which means they are able to invite and bring stakeholders along on the journey.

Management skills, the ability to persuade and being personable all require that you exude a degree of confidence. Nobody has more insight or better knowledge about the progress and process of a project than you, the contractor. The nature of contracting often results in others looking to you for direction and guidance so a confidential manner speaks volumes throughout the company.

Planning Skills
Time constraints, schedules, budget, inspections, safety protocols… only begin the list of items that you, as a contractor, must be aware of and manage. It is essential you know the right tools to assist you to get the job done – on time and on budget.

In summary; organisations know that the right contractor is worth the effort of finding and hanging on to. Like the wing on the soccer team, your role is to lead, be open to getting your hands dirty, to get the job done the right way and above all, succeed.

For more information on the world of contracting and how the team at Frog can help you or your organisation, please call us on 09 362 0528 or email us here