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Navigating the gig economy

How independent contractors differ from third-party vendors

January 19, 2023


Independent contractors or 1099 workers have become commonplace in most industries. But choosing an independent contractor is not the same as working with a third-party vendor. As a company looking to hire technicians, it’s essential to understand the differences.


Benefits of working with independent contractors

Unlike third-party vendors, independent contractors have a direct relationship with companies. Advantages of choosing independent contractors include the ability to:

  • Maintain control over vetting technicians, hiring technicians, and managing their work.
  • Gain coverage for specific skills or geographic areas.
  • Reduce costs by 15 to 20 percent versus third-party vendors and 30 to 40 percent versus full-time employees.


Why many technicians choose independent contracting

Independent contractors are dedicated professionals who choose to work independently to enjoy greater work-life balance, flexibility, and autonomy.

According to a recent study by Radius Insights of nearly 900 on-demand technicians:

  • 98% of IT field service technicians prefer to work as an independent contractor in some capacity (62% prefer contracting only; 36% prefer a hybrid of contracting and traditional employment)
  • This increase in independent contracting delivers on contractors’ desire for flexibility (36%) and control and autonomy (27%).
  • 67% of respondents choosing independent contracting have a decade or more of field service experience, and nearly half have more than a decade of experience with independent contracting.
  • These are experienced technicians motivated to deliver high quality outcomes on behalf of clients. 76% have either formal IT education or training, and 59% have IT certifications.
  • Independent contracting in field services has staying power. 63% of respondents plan to continue contracting in IT field services for 4 years or more.
  • 96% want to secure more contract IT work.


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