Imagine that a contractor is doing some work in your house. Halfway through the job he comes to you and says, “Sorry, I’m going to have to quit this job on Friday because I got a different job that pays me an extra $1 an hour” … or maybe he says, “The market is really heating up and so, even though we agreed on $20 an hour for this job I’m going to need $25 to stay and finish it”. I’m guessing that you would be less than impressed, and it is certainly not how you would expect your contractor to act.
Now let’s look at the independent IT contractor. The majority of IT contractors are professionals who would never operate in the manner described above. However the few that do have those business ethics are the ones that get the attention and give all contractors a bad name, bringing our whole industry into disrepute.
What can we do about it? It’s a tough one, because it’s hard to establish industry “black-lists” although most agencies have their own list of people they will not work with again. We can have policies around not employing contractors who have broken a contract, but it’s not always easy to find that information. Eagle has decided to approach this “ethical” issue from the positive perspective, by identifying and rewarding the good contractors with a special status.
We believe that the Eagle Certified Professional Contractor program is the first of its type, certainly in Canada. A press release yesterday announced the program that certifies IT contractors willing to sign a Code of Conduct, and the live by that code. They also need to be excellent technically, and have good references.
It’s a small step … but let’s hope that through education, we can convince ALL IT contractors that the right thing is to finish their commitments.