Contractors to the Rescue

Last Updated Aug 27, 2010 7:00 PM EDT

In an economy full of problems, let's assume you have a high-class one: Namely, your business is suddenly in demand. Maybe you just landed a great account, a project you really want, a few new clients. You could staff up to do the work, but too much of your business — from the health of your lenders to the stability of your clients — is up in the air for your company to risk additional head count. So you decide to do what so many businesses do today: Bring on part-timers. Not just temps, but professionals — people with specific expertise and experience who become a critical part of your team for a set time frame.

It can be a terrific solution: In this economy the workforce is full of highly experienced independent contractors willing to work on the cheap. But putting your trust in a person or a team who isn't your own is full of obvious risks. This guide will help you find your way, with expert information on everything from how to structure compensation to how to say good-bye.