The daily tasks of a contractor are often difficult and complex. Contractors are responsible for many things ranging from managing the construction process to customer relations. They are also expected to search for and hire the right subcontractors specialized for each job.

Hiring subs can be very challenging when you’re also trying to keep your bid prices low. Many managers get into the habit of trusting and hiring people based on short conversations or even a simple handshake; however, keep in mind that even the strongest relationships can be put to the test through business relations and misunderstandings are a common occurrence. A mistake made by many businesses is that they fail to compose business agreements through detailed writing. Keeping organized records and contracts can save you from potential cost-associated and legal troubles in the future.

There is no need to make hiring a long and complicated process! Make it easier on yourself by following these key steps during your recruitment process:

Seek out references and recommendations

Talking to other people is a critical first step. Seek out people who are both familiar with and used to using subcontractors in their line of work–get help from those who have experience! Recommendations from some of your trusted colleagues are bound to set you in the right direction! When searching for subs, try to find out details that may be important in regards to their job: work ethic, performance, quality of service. Surfing the web for recommendations and references can be beneficial as well (Try using websites like LinkedIn or Facebook for recommendations and reviews).

Research their qualifications and performance

Know your stuff! Learn everything you can about the sub’s team and do your best to gain as much information as possible. Ask any potential hires for their portfolios and request to see their credentials so you know the kind of work they will provide. Avoid working with subcontracting companies that have a history riddled with lawsuits and bankruptcies. Ensure your potential subcontractors do not have other projects within the same timeframe because a situation like that could throw a wrench in your plans. Obtain as much knowledge as you can–then implement that information into your decisions to make the smartest and most cost-effective choices.

Maintain a safe environment

Everybody knows that it is better to be safe rather than sorry. The construction industry is practically known for its high rate of workplace accidents, and you do not want to add another number to the statistics. While it may be impossible to eliminate every safety risk, you can drastically minimize the potential for accidents by increasing your safety standards and procedures.  Make sure to ask your subcontractor about his or her safety policies and processes. It is essential that both you and your sub do your bests to create a safe workplace for everybody. If you fail to keep the people on your job site safe, regulators could shut it down–and you both would lose precious time and money.

Check his or her financial stability

Always see to it that you are aware of and understand your potential hire’s financial situation. Request reports on critical information such as annual contract volume and sales–and promise confidentiality. Knowing vital details about the subcontractors you may hire can help you avoid misunderstandings and detect his or her inability to perform any required tasks.

Require insurance

Any contractor or subcontractor should have workers’ and general liability coverage. Always ask for proof of insurance before hiring anybody, since having protection is essential in guaranteeing high-quality performance and payments for labor and supplies.

Review and finalize a contract

Once you determine the subcontractor with whom you wish to work, you need to outline and establish a written contract to protect the interests of all involved parties. Make sure to include the essential parts of the agreement:

  • sub’s work description
  • method of payment (per hour, per person, or a set amount for the job)
  • the party responsible for transportation fees and expenses
  • payment installment schedule
  • contract termination rules
  • restrictions on the sub’s interaction with a client
  • a general statement that the contract outlines your whole agreement

Keep in mind that first-rate subcontractors are always on time and act according to the general contractor’s instructions. The best subs require the least possible amount of guidance and control. If you are looking to hire a subcontractor, follow the tips above and you will undoubtedly find a high-quality worker!