Integrate Contract Professionals into Your Organization to Maximize Their Success

By Jamy J. Sullivan, JD, Robert Half



My firm has been increasing the number of legal professionals we engage on a contract basis to help manage rising workloads and take on specialized tasks. Do you have any tips for the best way to integrate these legal professionals into our team? 


Good question. Employers’ use of interim help is rising with three-quarters of senior managers planning to rely more heavily on contract professionals in the coming years. So you’re already on the right track by wanting your core team and your contract professionals to work together smoothly. 

If your contract hires feel like outsiders, they won’t be able to collaborate well with the rest of the team. The more you make them feel part of the organization the better they are likely to perform. In other words, how they are treated can unlock greater commitment to the job at hand. Here’s how to achieve that goal in your legal office.

Customize your onboarding program for contract workers


An effective onboarding process is a critical first step in integrating new employees, whether they’re hired on a permanent or contract basis. Develop a slimmed-down version that initiates contract professionals into your organizational culture. After that, schedule regular check-ins with these interim staff members to find out how they’re feeling about their assignments. Also, ask them for candid feedback on what you could do better when onboarding and integrating your next wave of contract professionals.

Encourage contract talent to share their knowledge

One of the advantages for legal professionals who do contract work is that it exposes them to a range of different law firms and companies. That means your interim staff could potentially have knowledge that’s lacking in your own organization. Not only could their perspective help your permanent staff, but it will also help newcomers feel welcomed and valued.

Go out of your way to be inclusive

A healthy organizational culture is one where all employees feel included. Don’t forget contract staff when sending invitations to internal meetings and conference calls. Similarly, welcome your contract professionals to social events where they can bond with the rest of your team in a relaxed atmosphere.

Work closely with a staffing partner

It sounds like you’ve already engaged a number of contract professionals, but in the future consider working with a talent solutions firm from the outset. If a contract professional is simply wrong for the role, either because they lack the appropriate skills or don’t align with your organizational culture, no amount of integration efforts will make the engagement a success. Communicate clearly to your contract provider the interpersonal and legal skills the position requires.

When managed well, hiring legal professionals on a contract basis can be more than just a short-term fix or a way to stay agile during uncertain times. By helping them understand how their contributions are helping your business overcome hurdles and move forward, you can maximize their value.

Jamy J. Sullivan is executive director of the legal practice at Robert Half, the world’s first and largest specialized talent solutions firm. Robert Half offers contract and permanent placement solutions, and is the parent company of Protiviti®, a global consulting firm. Visit