Working with independent contractors is tricky enough with all the regulations about what is an IC and what is not. Utilizing ICs, I am well aware of the limitations, and still I enjoy doing so because I know it is helping someone build their business. I am their client.
There are many pitfalls to hiring IC’s too. My biggest pet peeve is the inability of some to be honest about what it is they want from this business, what they want for their business.
For example, when someone comes on as IC and says things like “I am available all day every day” and then they are only on to work maybe one day a week. Or the ever familiar “I can handle difficult audio” and they can however they turn away every variation of audio except clear one-on-one interviews because it may take a bit more research or time. They just don’t understand this limits their ability to grow.
There are moments when I am so busy that I can send out e-mails asking if anyone is available and there is no communication at all in response. But send out one e-mail saying a higher rate project is available and everyone comes out of the woodwork. As an IC, it doesn’t matter when you are available or what you can handle – it’s my job to monitor my workload and the ICs I use and who has proven what t me as far as abilities. But honesty does matter to me and when an IC is not forthcoming about availability, to me, it calls to question every aspect of their professional ethics.
When I discuss this business with newbies to CLK Transcription, I am very specific as to what the work assignments will be, what is expected, and how as an IC, I cannot guarantee workloads or how much money they make – that is up to them – their abilities and their availability, yet I find that some just don’t get it. They don’t get that the most important part of a person’s professional reputation is honesty. Honesty about abilities, capabilities, and every other aspect of their working relationship with their clients.
Don’t get me wrong. I have an awesome team. I have a team that is in constant communication with me and knows their own abilities. Whether they are on-call only or daily warriors for CLK. But I also have those who I deal with, still peripheral teammates, who never communicate, never respond to e-mails, never available on any kind of regular basis – but when I say “more money is available for these project files” they jump on and wonder why I can’t assign them that project. Here is why I can’t:
If I have teammates that put their best forward whether every day or once a week, communicate with me, and do their best consistently, how fair would it be for me to overlook them to assign a larger project file to someone else who never communicates and is never available during those periods where I have limited coverage and request additional assistance for my projects. Ultimately, everyone gets work, but it is good business sense to keep those people busy who help me stay busy.
It is just common business sense that one takes care of those who take care of them. Those that communicate and those that step up all the time, not just when more money is involved.
Some ICs do not last with CLK. Although they are not available, can’t turn around a ten minute audio in three hours, and do not communicate, they complain that there is no money or no work. (This is especially interesting when I look at my schedule and see that we average over 200 files every two weeks, and over 500 hours of audio a month on average).
Some leave to go to “better” assignments. I wish them well.
I know that for every two that may leave, if they stay in the business, one always comes back. They realize other companies have expectations as to weekly line counts or just time they should be sitting at their computer waiting for work. They realize that with CLK, they have flexibility because they are an IC, not an employee, and although other companies say they are ICs and responsible for their own taxes, they must be there ready for work, whether the work is there or not. Some find that their family obligations are more involved than they thought it would be and a 9-5 IC job does not work for them. Or they find they weren’t ready to move on because although CLK works with those with limited skills by utilizing a two-proofer review and offering training through an earn-while-you-learn internship, other companies do not. They find that although I use newbies, fresh out of school, other companies want two or more years experience.
Some leave to be able to do just medical transcription, and CLK is a Transcription Company, not a Medical Transcription Company, and if they can’t handle the regular straight transcription of everyday conversations, medical is not going to be easier.
Those warriors who have been with CLK for years are transcriptionists, able to transcribe anything and everything that comes through our offices. They have great research skills, great professionalism, great communication, and are able to work with others to get the project done right. And we all know when one of us drops the ball, we all feel it, so we work as a team to make sure balls don’t get dropped often and when they are, we make darn sure our clients are satisfied with the “fix” offered. We know we are not perfect 100 percent of the time, but boy do we want to be.
I guess I am on this rant because I love what I do. I enjoy working with others who want to grow in this business and I love to know we are doing our part in making our own money, handling our personal business and taking care of our families at the same time, and we can be the best we can be assisting our clients in what they do as well, all the while being honest with ourselves and our clients about our professional abilities. We are Professional Transcriptionists
To my team I say THANK YOU for your hard work and dedication to making each and every one of our clients feel as if they are our only clients. Without you, the IC transcriptionists, CLK could not be the highly recommended transcription company it is, averaging 5 new referrals a week. Six years ago today CLK became incorporated and we look forward to growing and enabling even more ICs to grow into their own as well.
Happy Anniversary CLK Transcription.