For Schools: The Benefits of Working with a Direct Contractor (as Opposed to a Large Staffing Agency)

Apr 17, 2024

I am so very excited to write this blog because it's the topic I am MOST passionate about--The Case for the Direct Contractor!   

In the world of school staffing, bigger isn't always better.  There's a compelling case to be made for supporting and championing small businesses (e.g. direct contractors) in our communities and our schools.

Disclaimer: I'm going to discuss direct contractors in this BUT it is just as applicable when working with small SLP/OT/PT run businesses, like your local therapy clinic!

Whether you're a school district professional that has used contractors in the past OR a direct contractor turning to this blog for support with managing the objection "we prefer to work with large staffing agencies",  I'm so very glad you're here and taking time to read this.  

Let's get to it.  What are the benefits of working with a direct SLP/OT/PT school contractor/small business as opposed to a large staffing agency? 

No "Middleman":   Ultimately, removing intermediaries can support schools and contractors with efficiency in communication, transparency between both parties, control for both parties when it comes to contractual revisions,  increased flexibility in revisions and schedule, and increased collaboration as there are more direct loops of communication between stakeholders and the company.  

Schools Know Who They're Getting (and when they can start):  Due to the 1099 nature of school contracts, schools need reassurance when they contract that the provider they get will be competent and serve students in the capacity the school is needing. When schools are in the contracting process with a direct contractor, they get to know the contractor well and can ensure they're the right fit for the district needs.

Less Risk of Mid-Year Turnover: Unfortunately, large staffing agencies are often plagued with providers leaving mid-year. This is profoundly stressful for the school and can leave students without services for weeks.  With direct contractors and/or small businesses, the focus is often on long-term sustainability with that contract which decreases risk of service lapse mid-year. 

Therapist Owned and Operated:  School services are very unique and nobody knows these services like therapists and educators themselves.  The reality is that many large staffing agencies are investor-backed, which increases a focus on profit margin.  In addition, therapist-owned businesses have a level of independence with decision making that you simply don't get when working with investor-backed staffing agencies.

Community Impact: Direct contractors have a tie to the local community that can be hard to find elsewhere.  All stakeholders can rest easily knowing their students are served by a local provider.  Using someone from the community can also help foster that sense of community pride school districts work hard to achieve.

Customer Focus: With fewer layers of management and less contractual obligations, direct contracting results in a closer connection between business owner and customers than you receive with larger agencies. Direct contractors often prioritize personalized services in order to foster relationships with their schools and truly become an extension of their team. 

Although I'm speaking to school contract services in this blog, I did want to say that by choosing to support small businesses in any aspect of our lives as consumers, we can make a meaningful difference in our local communities and contribute to a more diverse, resilient, and vibrant economy for all.

Finally, when a school makes a decision to support a small contracting business, they're not just ensuring their compliance needs are met – they're investing in the dreams and aspirations of passionate therapist entrepreneurs. 

Shop small. Shop therapist-owned. 

  ❤️ Elise