A Work Health Safety Guide to Contractor Relationship Management

Best Practice Guide

Contractors now integral to the global economy

Nowadays, most companies, irrespective of size, employ third-party contractors to perform a number of essential business tasks. Estimates of the U.S. contractor labor force alone are anywhere between 10 and 20 million workers. And that number keeps growing; with forecasts showing that within the decade, the contractor labor force will potentially constitute half of the U.S. workforce.

The movement towards contractor labor isn’t just an American phenomenon either. The labor hire market in Australia is surging as well. Recently, the country experienced an over 30 percent increase in independent contractors. Contractors now number more than a million workers, or just over 11 percent of the total Australian workforce.

Across the globe, businesses are increasingly relying on third-party workers to maintain critical production facilities and assets. From the host-business’s perspective, the benefits of this contractor-led model couldn’t be clearer: lower internal labor costs, increased flexibility, and less need for direct management oversight.

Too often though, companies think they can simply add contractors to their payrolls and easily achieve strategic business objectives. Nothing could be further from the truth. Developing a cooperative, productive, maximally profitable relationship with a contractor takes time and effort.

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