We’ve all been there – starting a new job always means lots of uncertainty, heightened levels of stress and a general sense of discomfort. Clients and employers have come a long way to ensuring the onboarding of both permanent employees and contractors is pleasant. In doing so, they strive to mitigate the stress that starting a new job tends to have on the vast majority of people.
Back in the day, it was common to have someone point to an empty desk, hand you a bottle of Windex and say “Off you go, figure it out!” Luckily, companies have since recognized the importance of a robust onboarding program including socialization, training, wide spread introductions and announcements – all of which go a long way to fostering a feeling of inclusion.
As an IT contractor, independent professionals are accustomed to starting new positions on a fairly regular basis so tend to roll with the punches more so than most. A good agency understands the importance of you having all of the tools and information you need to start an assignment successfully, and will do everything that they can to assist with that process. But the contractor has a role to play in that as well. In speaking with our back-office onboarding team, we asked what some of the common misconceptions or missteps were. They confirmed that if you focus on just these four areas in the days leading up to your contract start date, it will ensure a much smoother onboarding process for all.
Have all requested paperwork completed. More importantly, complete all required fields, on time, and submitted as requested.
Ensure that all business paperwork is accurate. Everything you provide needs to be clear and correct. For example, confirm that your HST # is valid and that your chequing account is under business name rather than personal.
Know where to go for information. Your agency cannot (and should not) act as an accountant, a lawyer, or a business assistant. Be sure you have your own business considerations covered
Realize that staffing agencies can have different processes. Just because the recruitment agency you worked with last did things one way, it doesn't mean it was the "right" way. You may have to adapt to a new (and potentially better!) way of doing things.
When you start a new contract it's your job to get acquainted as quickly as possible and to hit the ground running. Ensuring that all of your i's are dotted and t's are crossed from an administrative perspective will go a long way in allowing you to focus on what is important -- doing a stellar job for your new client.