Placing personnel at a client company to perform IT services can be a great solution for everyone involved. Your people get work, you get income, and your client gets the service it needs without the expense of hiring a full-time employee. But before your contractors report for their first day on the job, be sure to protect both yourself and your client with a signed staffing and placement contract.

This type of independent contractor employment agreement governs the relationship between your IT consulting services firm or staffing agency and your client. To reduce your company's risk, it is a must to use this type of professional contract for temporary staffing services whenever your company provides a client with personnel to perform technology-related services on an independent contractor basis.

An IT staffing contract protects you against the various liabilities associated with placing temporary independent contractors on a client’s job and job site. The idea is to clearly establish the rights and responsibilities of each party over the term of the staffing agreement, reducing the possibility of any misunderstandings that could arise from a lack of communication.

Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How

A key function of an IT staffing contract is to clearly establish the relationship of your personnel as independent contractors with the client.

A staffing contract for technical services typically prevents the client from soliciting or hiring away your employees, and limits the amount of a time that a client can seek remedies for alleged deficiencies in your work. It can also limit the dollar amount of liability that your IT company would have to the client if anything goes wrong.

Other important elements of the client relationship are also usually spelled out in a staffing contract, including the agreement’s term, a procedure for either party to terminate the agreement, and who owns intellectual property.

These types of IT agreements typically include a detailed statement of work, which clearly defines the scope of the services you and your temporary staffers will perform on an ongoing basis. It might include key tasks and milestones, as well as who will pay for expenses incurred during the engagement. The statement of work also identifies the locations where the services will be performed, as well as the client representatives for whom your personnel will perform their work.

And of course, a technical staffing contract generally includes price and payment terms to help ensure that your company gets paid as agreed upon. This is especially important when you’ve got employees or subcontractors working for the client while on your payroll.

Get the “Legalese” Right

If it sounds like your staffing and placement contract needs to contain a lot of legal jargon, don’t worry. You could hire your own lawyer to draw up a staffing agreement from scratch, but you can save money by using an existing form or template contract as a starting point.

A template staffing contract simplifies the process, guiding you through development of your statement of work and other contract components. This comprehensive, question-and-answer approach helps to ensure that you’ve covered all your bases when it comes to placing your personnel at a client site. Many staffing contract templates provide examples and sample contract wording, eliminating some of the guesswork for you. To ensure you're protected, you can always have a lawyer give the final "OK" to your completed template or form contract.

If the personnel you place are subcontractors or independent contractors, you’ll probably need separate agreements to cover your relationships with them as well. And, depending on which other services you provide, you may also need separate IT contracts addressing other project aspects, such as:

• Consulting services

• Employment

• Network installation and maintenance

Many IT consulting firms and IT staffing agencies choose to buy a contract template package that includes forms for these and other commonly required legal documents. Such packages allow unlimited, on-demand use of the contracts at an affordable cost.

Clear Expectations Mean Happy Customers

A dependable temporary staffing contract, signed by both parties, protects you against financial and material losses. At the same time, your contract will establish clear expectations at the outset of your staffing services engagement, reducing the possibility of surprises and increasing the probability of a satisfied customer.

Author's Bio: 

Jim Cochran is the founder of ContractEdge, an online provider of contract template software. His experience in the insurance industry allows him to know the benefits of having a well written IT staffing contract. ContractEdge also offers a variety of technical consulting contracts, tailored to the specific industry.