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Leave no stone unturned - The risk of leaving your  contractors untouched

Posted by
Cameron Rau, Team Lead, Customer Success
November 13, 2021

There is no shortage of data that supports what many staffing leaders already suspect….

It can seem impossible to retain contractors.

Fewer than half of staffing firms measure contractor happiness, but this cornerstone metric is one of the most critical. Happy contractors stay in their roles longer, strengthen client relationships, and help grow your business.

45% of contractors who leave at the end of an engagement will not reapply, and 22% will not refer.

The cost to replace a contractor who moves on is anywhere between $10,000 to $20,000. And that is just the financial investment. Client goodwill, decreased referrals and a hit to the productivity of your recruiting team also add up.

Contractor happiness leads to increased revenue.

Happy contractors mean more successful staffing firms. Or conversely, unhappy contractors can mean struggles for staffing firms.

But what makes contractors happy?

One of the most important (and one of the easiest) ways to make and keep your contractors happy is (drumroll, please):


That’s right, one of our most basic human functions is still in many ways the most important. Contractors want and need you to communicate with them. Regular communication makes them feel valued and important, lets them know that you’re still considering them for assignments with your clients, empowers them with important information to make their assignments less stressful, and so much more.

With today’s technological innovations, we can communicate via text, FaceTime/Skype, email or traditional phone calls in a nanosecond, which makes it extra frustrating for contractors when they don’t hear from recruiters.

Candidates expect you to communicate with them regularly, and using their preferred channels.

Many staffing firms use tried and true communication methods with candidates, like phone calls and emails. Once someone lands a job and becomes a contractor with your firm, the emails and phone calls tend to slow down (or disappear).

And think of this -- how much time did you spend on the phone yesterday? Checking personal email? (Yes, we are all slaves to our email at the office!).

Okay, so we’ve established that more, better communication is critical to make and keep your contractors happy.


Now what?

Once a contractor has accepted a position with your firm and will be working with one of your clients, it’s important to check in and touch base regularly. Let them know they’re important, give them information they need, and stay top of mind so they don’t consider your competitors for their next assignment.

I talk with staffing leaders every day as a CSM Team Lead, helping you craft messages using Sense (among many other things!). Based on my experience working with you one-on-one, here is a sample of check-ins you may want to build into your contractor care strategy:

Verify/ensure compliance.

For LI firms, confirm that contractors have completed certification paperwork, and/or send links to forms or attachments as necessary. Send links to safety training videos or other resources.

See what’s needed.

Check in with your contractors periodically to see how they like their assignments, how things are going with on-site management and to generally see how things are going.

Discuss future plans.

Checking in before a contract ends can have a massive impact. When relevant, determine whether contractors will be extended (almost 30% of contracts are extended). Most importantly, see if contractors are already looking for their next gigs (and what they are hoping to find). Conducting this check-in regularly can make a massive dent in your attrition rate and can keep contractors from looking at your competition.

These all make what?

I touched upon this at the beginning of the post, but contractor happiness and retaining contractors isn’t a new idea for you. You know that it’s important, and now you know what you can do to keep them happy and working for you!

But to actually take action on these suggestions is another thing altogether. Here at Sense, we empower staffing firms to develop and deploy strategic contractor care programs. As a result, they have seen their NPS scores, redeployment rates and ultimately their revenue, soar.

To learn more about Sense and how it can help with your contractor care strategy, schedule a demo with our team of staffing industry experts. We’ll walk you through our platform, and will show you exactly how Sense can make life easier for your recruiters.  

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