Contract engineers can be a valuable resource for complex or high-pressure projects. These short-term, skilled professionals help keep projects on track, alleviate strain on your existing staff and provide access to skills your current team may lack. However, contract engineers only add value when they feel like they are part of the team. Use these strategies to facilitate a smooth integration.
Set The Tone With Your Current Team
Your existing staff will have feelings about the addition of engineering contractors to the team. They may be curious, they may be skeptical and some may even feel fearful about their own positions. Lack of information can fuel negative feelings, which can lead the team to put up walls and be unwelcoming to the consultant.
As soon as you decide to bring in a contract engineer for a project, communicate that decision. Explain why you are adding a skilled contractor, define that person’s role clearly, and allow employees to ask any questions about how the team will function. Make it clear that you expect everyone to welcome the contractor and make them feel like part of the group.
Onboard The Contract Engineer Like A Full-Time Employee
Onboarding sets the tone for success, but it is easy to gloss over onboarding when an engineer is only with you for a period of months. If you want them to feel like a valued contributor to a project, they should be put through the same orientation and onboarding process as any full-time employee.
It can be tempting to set up the contract engineer in any extra office, whether it is proximate to their team or not. However, if they are physically distant from those they need to work with, it sends the message that they are not truly part of the team and they will never feel integrated. Place them close to the group so that they can collaborate and build trusting relationships.
As you would with any new employee, schedule regular check-ins with the contract engineer to see how things are going, provide coaching and support, and ask how they are meshing with the group. If they say they feel like an outsider, ask what they need from you to facilitate cohesion. It’s also worthwhile to check in with other members of the project team to get their opinions on how things are faring, as well.
Are You Ready To Hire Contract Engineers?
If you are looking for talented contract engineers who can help your organization achieve its goals, contact the experts at PEAK Technical Staffing today. We are a national leader among engineering recruiting firms, and we look forward to helping you with your next project.