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Enhancing Retention and Employee Engagement for Contractors: The Importance of the Agency

Updated: Sep 21, 2023

Contractors play a vital role in many organizations, providing specialized skills and flexibility to meet project demands, and supporting the inevitable ebbs and flows of business. However, ensuring the retention and engagement of contractors can be a challenge for companies. This article explores the significant role that a contractor firm, or agency, plays in improving retention and employee engagement for contractors. We will delve into key factors such as benefits, culture, authentic relationships, the importance of a firm that listens, and other important considerations for contractors that will ultimately lead to more engaged employees for your organization.

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The Role of Benefits in Retention and Engagement:

Contractors, just like full time employees, seek stability and security in their work. Offering attractive benefits is a crucial aspect of retaining and engaging contractors. By providing access to benefits such as healthcare, retirement plans, and professional development opportunities, a contractor firm demonstrates its commitment to the well-being and growth of contractors. These benefits not only enhance job satisfaction but also foster a sense of loyalty, resulting in higher retention rates for the agency and their end clients.

Authentic Relationships:

Creating a sense of belonging and inclusion is essential for contractors to feel valued within an organization. A good agency can facilitate this by fostering authentic relationships between contractors and the company's internal teams. By encouraging regular communication, team building activities, and networking events, contractors can develop meaningful connections, gain a deeper understanding of the organization's culture, and feel like an integral part of the team. These relationships contribute to higher levels of engagement and foster a strong commitment to the organization's success.

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The Significance of a Firm that Listens:

One of the key drivers of engagement is an organization's willingness to listen and respond to the needs and concerns of its contractors. The contractor’s agency plays a pivotal role in acting as a bridge between contractors and the client organization. By actively seeking feedback, addressing concerns promptly, and advocating for contractors' interests, the firm demonstrates its commitment to creating a supportive and fulfilling work environment. This open and responsive approach fosters trust, boosts engagement, and ultimately enhances retention rates.

Timely and Consistent Communication:

There is no shortage of online reviews and complaints from job seekers who feel that they’ve been burned by their agency – either through not receiving clear feedback, or by being ghosted and hearing nothing back at all. Clear and effective communication is vital for fostering engagement and retention among contractors. A contractor firm plays a crucial role in facilitating timely and consistent communication between contractors and the client organization. Regular updates, project feedback, and transparent information regarding expectations and deliverables are essential for contractors to feel connected and informed. Consistent communication helps in building trust and rapport between the contractor firm, contractors, and the client organization. It ensures that contractors feel valued and supported, creating a positive work environment that enhances retention rates and employee engagement.

Reputation and Track Record:

Contractors often assess the reputation and track record of a firm before committing to a partnership. They look for firms that have a solid history of successful projects, positive client testimonials, and a strong presence in their industry. A firm with a good reputation instills confidence in contractors about the quality of projects, professionalism, and long-term stability.

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Competitive Compensation:

Contractors seek firms that offer competitive compensation packages. This includes not only the financial aspect but also factors such as fair payment terms, transparent billing processes, and timely payments. A firm that values contractors' expertise and compensates them fairly for their work is more likely to attract and retain top talent. Agencies that advocate for fair market pay, especially for individuals who have historically been underpaid, will inherently have more engaged and loyal relationships with their contractors than firms who are only looking to make the highest margin possible off their contractors.

Career Development Opportunities:

Contractors often consider the potential for professional growth and skill enhancement when choosing a firm to work with. They look for firms that provide opportunities for training, mentoring, and expanding their knowledge base. Contractors benefit from these resources, which help them enhance their skills, stay updated with industry trends, and broaden their professional networks. A contractor firm that invests in the development of its contractors demonstrates a commitment to their long-term success and can be an attractive option for contractors seeking to advance their careers.

Collaboration and Knowledge Sharing:

The best agency environments thrive on collaboration and teamwork. Contractors have the opportunity to meet one another and work alongside professionals from diverse backgrounds and disciplines. Such a collaborative atmosphere encourages the exchange of ideas, knowledge sharing, and the chance to learn from others' expertise. Being part of a community that values collaboration promotes personal and professional growth, enhances skill development, and broadens contractors' horizons.

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Sense of Community and Belonging:

Contractors that become part of a close-knit community where they can build authentic relationships with colleagues and establish a professional support system are more likely to share honest feedback, feel a sense of loyalty to their employer(s), and stay for the duration of their project. An agency culture that fosters inclusivity, respect, and camaraderie, will create a sense of belonging that enhances contractors' engagement and overall job satisfaction. The feeling of being part of a community also provides emotional support and boosts morale, particularly in times of challenging projects or deadlines.

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Value Alignment:

Value alignment plays a significant role in the decision-making process of contractors when selecting an agency to work with. Contractors seek agencies that share their values and align with their professional goals and principles. When values are aligned, contractors feel a sense of resonance and connection, knowing that the agency's mission, vision, and ethical standards align with their own. This alignment fosters a stronger sense of purpose and engagement in their work. It also establishes a foundation of trust and mutual understanding between the contractor and the agency, enabling effective collaboration and a harmonious working relationship. Contractors value agencies that prioritize integrity, respect, transparency, and ethical business practices. When the agency's values align with their own, contractors are more likely to feel a sense of belonging and commitment, resulting in increased job satisfaction, improved performance, and long-term loyalty to the agency.

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Recognition and Celebrating Success:

A great agency will emphasize celebrating success and recognizing outstanding achievements of their contractors. Contractors appreciate being acknowledged for their contributions, whether through formal recognition programs, team celebrations, or performance-based incentives. Recognizing contractors' accomplishments not only boosts morale but also reinforces a commitment to delivering exceptional work.

Retaining and engaging contractors is crucial for organizations looking to leverage their expertise and maintain continuity in project delivery. Because Level is not a traditional staffing agency, but a diversity and inclusion focused organization dedicated to creating inclusive workplaces for every person, we understand the unique needs of our contractors and the importance of creating an environment that supports their growth and satisfaction. By providing comprehensive benefits, fostering authentic relationships, and acting as a trusted advocate, Level ensures that contractors receive the resources they need to excel in their roles.

A non-comprehensive list of benefits that Level offers our contractors:

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  • Fair market pay based on location, skillset, and experience level.

  • 50% employer paid benefits (medical, dental, vision, short- and long-term disability).

  • Options for PTO.

  • A 401k matching program after 1 year of employment.

  • Student loan repayment support after 3 months of employment.

  • $1500 toward continuing education per year.

  • A generous referral program that pays our consultants up of $1500 for successfully placed referrals.

  • A thank you card + a $50 gift card from Level whenever we receive positive feedback from a client on one of our consultants.

  • Quarterly in person events for contractors to meet, mingle, and make meaningful connections with one another.

  • An annual conference with opportunities for professional development and networking

  • The support and resources to convert to a full-time position if and when the end client requests.

  • A dedicated Consultant Engagement Manager to address concerns for our consultants while they are on contract.

  • Authentic relationships with people who care – Level consultants have a minimum of 5 direct contacts at Level including their Recruiter, Account Manager, Benefits Coordinator, Administrator, and Consultant Engagement Manager.

  • Clear, consistent, and proactive communication.

  • Timely responses to questions and concerns.

  • A supportive and positive work culture that values the diversity of experience and expertise of our consultants.

  • An emphasis on finding the right fit for everyone - our contractors, our clients, and ourselves.

  • A mission to do well by doing good, which motivates us every day to put more good into the world and ensure that our contractors have all their needs met.

If you find yourself struggling to retain or engage your contractors, Level has research-backed and proven solutions for creating a positive environment with the necessary support to allow all employees to be their best selves at work. With Level's support, you can unlock the full potential of your contractor workforce, drive productivity, and achieve successful project outcomes.

Investing in the retention and engagement of contractors not only yields immediate benefits but also establishes a positive employer brand that attracts top talent in the future. By partnering with Level, you can build a workforce that thrives, delivering exceptional results and contributing to your organization's long-term success.

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