Best Practice for Securing Freelance and Contractor Accounts

Ben Greiner -

When it comes to onboarding a new employee, we often get asked how to best handle temporary workers (freelancers and contractors). How can a company provide access to business resources and do so securely and efficiently? From a technology standpoint, temporary workers come with a few challenges, and the biggest challenge is related to change.

One of the best ways to reduce technology issues is to limit and manage change. Anytime a new user (full-time, part-time or temporary) is introduced there is going to be some amount of change. New users require setup, training and time to acclimate to a new environment. In our experience, we see almost no difference between high turnover of full-time employees and high turnover of temporary workers. Both are disruptive to an organization, and these disruptions consume valuable time and cost money. Additionally, from a technology standpoint, the policies and procedures required for full- or part-time employees are best applied to temporary employees. There are a few options for providing technology to employees:

  1. Company-Owned: Provide them with company-owned devices (a computer and maybe a smartphone or tablet).
  2. Personal-Owned: Ask them to use their personal-owned devices. Often referred to as Bring Your Own Device (BYOD). You may offer a company-owned device, but they will prefer to use their own device. Will you allow this or not?
  3. Combination: Provide them with a company owned device and allow them to use personal devices.

It's helpful if you have a policy in place to address how your organization will handle each situation. Most work-for-hire jobs involve providing access to company or client information, and it's the organization's responsibility to protect this information. Do not assume that temporary workers understand this as clearly as you do. Some areas where you'll want to develop a clear policy:

  • Software licensing (including fonts). Do you provide a temporary license or do they bring their own?
  • Access to company data. How do you enable and disable secure access to the appropriate business data?
  • Onboarding and Termination process. Simply because the hire is temporary does not mean the onboarding and termination process can be ignored.

SUMMARY

  • Create a written policy outlining the responsibilities of your organization and your employees.
  • Required all employees to sign an agreement acknowledging that they have read and understand the policy.
  • Use software to validate compliance and to help make it easier for everyone involved.

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