Hiring A Contractor? How To Check If They’re Reliable

If you need to hire a contractor, whether on a personal level (such as a cleaner or builder) or for your business, then it’s important to take some steps to ensure that they are both reliable and legit. The last thing you want is to take on a contractor only to find that they don’t turn up when they say they will or that it’s hard to pin them down for dates to get the work done. Or – even worse – the contractor turns out not to be legit, and they do a shoddy job or disappear with your money.

There are easy measures you can take to protect against these eventualities, however. Keep reading to find out some quick ways to satisfy yourself that the contractor you’re considering hiring can provide you with the high-quality, reliable service that you’re looking for – with no nasty surprises.

Background Checker

One of the most simple means to find out if the person you’re thinking about hiring is legit and exactly who they say they are is through the use of a background checker. This type of tool will, typically, allow you to confirm personal details such as the name, address, contact details, and any aliases that may have been used by the individual. A background checker like PeopleLooker can also let you know if the person has any criminal records, including for sex offenses and traffic violations, and even provide you with social media information.

A background checker can provide you with the vital information you need to put your mind at rest that the potential contractor is legitimate, credible, and has provided you with honest information about themselves. And for specific tasks, such as those that involve driving, for example, knowing that the person has a clean license is crucial. It’s important to note, however, that any background check tool you use for employment purposes must be FCRA compliant, so ensure this is the case before going ahead with your search.

Word of Mouth Recommendations and References

One of the best ways to be sure that the contractor will provide you with good, reliable service is by finding out if they have plenty of positive reviews and, especially, word-of-mouth recommendations. This kind of recommendation is gold dust for a contractor and one of the most important ways that they will pick up business, so if you’re able to get some information on their service from a previous client, this is worth doing.

If you want to hire someone to do work for you as an individual – maybe you want to contract a repair technician to fix a leaky roof – you could ask if they would be willing to provide you with a couple of references or testimonials from past customers. And if you are able to speak to these former clients – even better.

Check plenty of online review sites, too, to get an overview of the type of experience and service you can expect to receive.

Get Scam Savvy

An important thing you can do to protect yourself from hiring an unscrupulous contractor is to stay aware of the scams currently circulating. A key red flag is high-pressure sales tactics: if a potential contractor seems legit, but is piling on the pressure for you to sign up for their services immediately, without allowing you time to consider the contract and your options, then you should proceed with caution.

It’s also worth remembering that if something seems too good to be true, it usually is, so trust your instincts, and if you’re not getting a good vibe from the person you’re considering hiring, or something just seems off, then pay attention to these feelings and consider looking elsewhere.

Shop Around

Arming yourself with as much information as possible is another key means to guard against illegitimate contractors. If, for example, you’re interested in taking on a contractor to provide some temporary administrative services for your small business, then take some time to research your options. Finding out plenty of details about the price ranges that you could expect to pay for this sort of service and the tasks that tend to be included as standard will give you a clear idea of what you can expect to get for your budget.

Shopping around for a contractor will also better enable you to compare their reviews and allow you to gauge the market. 

And Before You Sign Anything….

Finally, before signing a contract, take the time you need to read it through properly – including all the boring small print. This will protect you from inadvertently signing something that contains clauses that are unfavorable to you: such as the ability for the contractor to refuse to refund you or problematic stipulations around working hours that could cause delays in getting the work completed in the timeframe you want.

Any legitimate contractor will be happy for you to have sufficient time to take the contract away and read it in full before signing – so if they’re resistant to this idea, then this gives you all the information you need, and you can continue your search for your perfect hire.