On-demand · Contractors

How do I screen independent contractors?


September 8th, 2015

Aside from government-issued background checks, what are other reputable screening processes I could use to verify the quality and legitimacy of local contract workers - 1099s? 

Aleksandra Czajka Freelance Senior Software Engineer, Developer, Web Developer, Programmer - Full Stack

September 8th, 2015


There is no independent contractor that I know, as far as development goes, that will submit to a background check. I've never heard this done unless it's for a big company. What I would do is take a look at their LinkedIn. See if other people vouch for them on there or if they have references. Look at their websites and portfolios they have done. Talk to previous clients.


Joseph Foster Fostercode Senior Software Engineer

September 8th, 2015

Hi Natalie,

One thing I do most often is speak with former employers.  If possible, I'll even take one out to lunch that they've had the longest stint with.  This allows you the opportunity to "soften them up" and get the real scoop.

It takes time to interview someone technically and decide whether they are good...an experienced interviewer can do this quite well.  Another approach is to locate a local firm in your area and have them perform the technical portion of the interview.


Dinakar Manchiraju Owner/Sr. .NET Consultant at Code Jumpers LLC

September 8th, 2015


You can also give them a 1-2 day short assignments and see their productivity first hand. Its a small cost to pay to ensure you're getting what's promised. Also It would work best in addition to the due diligence suggested in previous posts.
It also works well for the contractors, shows you're serious about investing in the project.

-Dinakar Manchiraju

Zohar Hirshfeld Sr. Director Business Operations, Product Globalization and Chief of Staff for Central Engineering

September 8th, 2015

Natalie, What I do with contractors is very similar to FTEs. I ask for references, call them up and have a 30min discussion with each reference to deeply understand how good the contractor is. This is not a scalable process, but it does greatly reduce turnover.

Good luck, Zohar