So you’ve hired a contractor and you are unsure of if they are any good… if you can relate to any of the below signs then it’s probably time to make a change.

In this article we have highlighted the most common signs that you may have hired a contractor that might not be right for your business or project. These are based on what our clients talk about when they engage with us to help them find a suitable replacement.

Hiring a bad contractor can cause problems for you, your business, the project and ultimately costs you money. Mistakes can be costly, so it is important that you get it right and choose a contractor that is reliable, skilled and will fit your team.

If you can relate to any of the below 10 signs, then it is more than likely time to find a suitable replacement…

1. They don’t quite fit in

Do you find yourself questioning the way they speak to you, your team or your clients? Do they always seem to rub people up the wrong way or act in a way that makes people feel annoyed, unhappy or frustrated?

You have to consider how this person is impacting the team dynamics. If they are damaging it then you may need to consider removing them from the team for the sake of team morale.

2. Not responsive… via phone or email

Do you often feel frustrated with the lack of communication with them? Be it a phone call or email, does the length of time it takes for them to respond impact the speed in which you can get things done. It’s ok if it’s every so often, they have a job to do and they maybe focussed on a critical phase or in a meeting. However, if you find it is a frequent issue then maybe they aren’t working at the pace in which you need them to, or a team player, which ultimately impacts your team and the project.

3. Often late

Sometimes we’re all a bit late for a teams call, or a team meeting due to other commitments or something that comes up that needs immediate attention, but if they are frequently late with no real reason for being so, then this can grate and become frustrating.

4. They are happy to take calls from recruiters whilst working

We have experienced this on numerous occasions where a contractor has been in a contract and we regularly see their CV crop up on job boards and receive applications for jobs we are recruiting for. When we speak to the contractor about the role we realise that they haven’t long been in their current contract, but continue to keep their eye on the jobs market. This is hard to pick up unless you have access to job boards, but if you experience this then it’s not a great look and shows their lack of commitment.

5. They regularly want to discuss rates

More times than not, contractors move into contracting to maximise their earnings, it’s no secret. But if you are finding yourself having numerous conversations about their day rate then this can be frustrating, as it makes it feel as of they are only focussed on their pay rather than getting their job done and the project finished on time. It’s ok for someone to ask for a pay rise, but the key sign of an overly money hungry contractor is the timing of their questions and if they have a proven output that justifies them asking.

6. Overly opinionated

It’s ok for someone to question ideas and processes, it’s actually healthy as it will help make you think “is this right or not” or “could we make a process more efficient and effective”. However, if you are finding they are regularly challenging you in a way that’s not constructive, but more argumentative it can get very tedious. Plus if they are doing it with you, they are more than likely doing it with the rest of the team.

7. They are an expert… about everything!

Do you find that they know everything about everything? They may do, but probably don’t! Being open to new ideas and new ways of doing things is OK and not knowing everything is also ok. So often when someone knows everything about everything, they are either hugely irritating or not be completely honest with themselves, meaning they are not open to learning and developing their skillset.

8. You have to check their work… every time!

Do you find that the lack of quality is not where you want or need it to be, and you are having to double check what they are doing every time? This is not great as it means they are wasting your time, possibly your team’s time and potentially costing you money, as you may need to redo or correct mistakes due to poor quality.

9. The person you interviewed isn’t the one that’s now doing the job!

Sometimes someone just isn’t as good as they say they are and what you saw in the interview isn’t what you get on site or in the job. It happens, but it’s important that you act quickly to ensure you find someone who is up to the job.

It would also be important to review your interview process to help prevent the same issue happening again. It would also be important to make sure you have done a proper reference check next time, because if they aren’t a great contractor it is more than likely that another manager has had a similar experience with them. Working with a recruiter is a great way to reduce the risk, as we will do all the relevant checks and ensure we are presenting you with solid options.

10. Your gut tells you they’re not right

Ultimately you just need to trust your gut. The contractor in question is more than likely ticking a number of these boxes, so you just have to bite the bullet and find a replacement. Trust your instinct for the sake of your team and the project.


If any of the above resonate with you, or a number of them do then it might be time to find a suitable replacement. Hiring contractors is a great way to bring in experience and skills into your business quickly, but it’s important that they are committed to the contract, your business and the project. We have worked with a huge number of incredible contractors since 2006 that have added nothing but value to our clients and we have a large network of great contractors looking for their next contract.

Made your mind up? Is it time to look for a replacement?

Don’t panic, we’re here and we have the expertise, resources and network to help you find a suitable replacement. Get in touch with us and let’s get to work on finding you a great contractor who will add value and drive your project forward.

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