July 11th, 2024

How to retain top contract administrator talent

How to retain top contract administrator talent- testing an update

Contract administration is the backbone of the government contracting industry, ensuring not only the compliance and execution of contracts but also fostering prime contractor subcontractor relationships essential for fulfilling government needs effectively and efficiently. Because of this, it’s important to focus on ways to retain top-performing contract admins and equip them with the necessary tools and support.   

To better understand their concerns and industry shortcomings, we surveyed contract administrators at prime federal contractors to collect insights on everything from time management and operational challenges to perceptions of industry trends and the use of software for subcontractors. 

Let’s look at these challenges and the practical solutions to improve employee satisfaction and retention. 

Understanding key challenges 

The daily challenges and stressors contract administrators face directly impact employee morale and engagement and, subsequently, their longevity in the government contracting industry. Below are the core challenges of daily operations identified among surveyed contract administrators.

Workload and time management 

Administrators are constantly managing time-consuming tasks and tight deadlines, spending over 37 hours per week on compliance-related activities alone. Currently, there is a significant discrepancy between how contractors would like to spend their time and how they actually are. 

The most considerable difference lies with contract and agreement management, which contractors want to reduce by 7 hours weekly. 

It’s also important to note that 56% of respondents named “time management and workload” as their most significant stressor.

Document Management and accessibility

Administrators need to securely manage, store, and retrieve substantial amounts of contract-related documentation, an increasing challenge given the rise in remote work. 62% of respondents listed “keeping up with documentation” as their most significant stressor, with one person commenting, “There are constant changes and updates to contract documents that can be time-consuming and require quick responses.” 

Compliance complexity

Ever-changing federal regulations create an additional burden and make it more difficult for administrators to avoid non-compliance. One surveyed administrator noted, “Continuous changes to regulations and through the various agencies can be challenging to keep current on.” 

Subcontractor management and oversight

When working with diverse networks of subcontractors, administrators need systems in place to ensure quality performance, adherence to contract terms, and compliance with

Regulations. Half of our surveyed contractors named “efficiency and time-saving” as the aspect of subcontractor management they would most like to improve.

Improving retention through technology

Technology plays a crucial role in enhancing working conditions in the government contracting industry, but existing solutions fail to meet the evolving demands of the sector. 

When asked to rank the most critical factors in their retention, respondents ranked “Investing in better software tools” higher than “improved work-life balance” and “competitive salary and benefits.”

The need for better contractor management software is evident, with the potential to help administrators reduce time spent on subcontractor management and other time-consuming tasks, reduce human errors, and improve efficiency. 

 

Specific features contract administrators want from contractor management technology:

Contract administrators told us they most enjoy their work when they can use problem-solving skills to solve complex challenges. Thus, companies should opt for more comprehensive subcontractor software that makes it easier for contract administrators to do their jobs and more likely to stick around. 

The bottom line 

“I believe it's time to get with the times and technology. I'm pleased that our company is open to new technology and isn't afraid to try new things.” -- Contract Specialist with 10+ years of experience.

We’ve heard directly from contract admins about their greatest challenges and ways in which the industry can effectively move forward. Their responses point clearly to a need for better technology that offers solutions to compliance, contract management, and automated workflows. By reducing hours spent solely on subcontractor management by 50%, companies can reduce costs by over $7,000 annually. 

Find out more about how GovPort can help you create a more satisfied, productive, and retainable workforce.