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The following article lays out the prerequisites for a Contract Manager to consider prior to engaging with an independent contractor. 

Please keep in mind that this article is not exhaustive; the POps team is happy to answer questions and provide support to teams for any information not covered by this article. Please reach out to us with any questions by opening a new ticket - ticket responses are added to the FAQs section below on a regular basis. 

Prerequisites for Hiring an Independent Contractor

Budgetary Provisions 

The budget manager of the requesting business unit must ensure that funds for the services or activities have been approved and are available in the appropriate budget(s)/account(s); this is essential before the engagement process can begin.

In drafting a budget for the hire of an independent contractor, remember to consider any fixed costs that may be incurred on top of the contractor’s pay. This might include, for example, software licenses for programs such as Salesforce, Zoom, and Asana.

POps does not certify budget availability. The budget manager is accountable for ensuring budget availability. FOF is available to help you understand and confirm your budget and YTD balance.

Status Assessment

You also need to determine whether "Independent Contractor" is the right classification for the individual you wish to hire. By definition, the person in this role would not have the same experience or breadth/depth of engagement as an employee would. 

Begin by reviewing the Glossary of Worker Classifications to confirm the following: 

  1. Will your team best be served by an employee or a contractor? What is the desired business relationship between B Lab and the individual?
  2. When you publicize the opportunity, will candidates understand the difference? Candidates will need to understand that the position offered is not an opportunity for employment.
  3. What level of routine engagement do you envision, and will this be clear to interested candidates?

If you would you answer "yes" to one or more of the following questions, an employer-employee relationship is most likely more appropriate. 

  • Will they do the same work-and have the same experience-as an employee?
  • Do you expect them to send/receive emails on behalf of B Lab from a address?
  • Do you want to set their schedule and monitor when they work?
  • Do you want to provide feedback on performance, suggest changes to their process, or monitor how they work?
  • Do you want to provide them with any tools, equipment, or supplies?
  • Do you expect to pay for their travel or offer expense reimbursement?
  • At any time, will you require/encourage/invite them to participate in anything not directly related to the deliverables listed in their scope of work, such as team meetings or offsites, lunch & learns, or org-wide initiatives?
  • Will you be offering paid time off or discussing/offering employee benefits?

Independent contractors serve B Lab in an independent, individual capacity and have a separate tax ID; they do not serve as representatives of B Lab, Inc. 

You may want to review the following resources (US applicable):

P&C is available to advise you on role design and to help you determine what type of role would best suit your needs.

Scope of Work

If you do determine a contractor is needed, you should consider drafting the following guidelines, ready to share with prospective contractors and other team members:

  • A schedule of deliverables: what will the contractor be working on?
  • A timeline: consider a schedule of check-ins and/or progress reports - how will you monitor when the contractor works?
  • Performance tools: consider how you will suggest changes to the deliverables and/or timeline - how will you monitor the quality of the contractor's work?

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