What would you do?
My company contracts a web developer, we have a set amount of hours for the quarter and pay over if more work is needed.
He never gets anything done. Doesn’t answer emails half the time. The one thing he’s done was take out a blurb that threatened our eligibility for patent renewal.
We have another company taking over in January, but I still have some pretty important dev needs until then and I can’t get him to do a thing. I truly try to give him all he needs.

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If the web developer is not going to be able to complete the work that is needed, then it may be necessary to find someone who can. There are many freelance developers who may be available to help with the work that needs to be done. It is important to make sure that the new developer is qualified and can complete the work in a timely manner.

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Thankfully the new developing team comes highly recommended by another partner, so this should be a smooth transition.
Unfortunately, my company likes to work by quarter and we will have to finish this one with the current staff…

If this is an ongoing problem, you might need to take more drastic steps. Perhaps you could speak with your boss about the situation and see if there is anything that can be done. Alternatively, if you have another developer who can help you out in the meantime, you might want to consider bringing them on board sooner rather than later.

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I give him a ton of notice for all project, a timeframe for when I need the work done, and always offer my help and ressources. I’m pissed at the situation, but I truly do my best to make all working relationships as productive and respectful as possible.
I am just reaching my wits end

If I were in this position, I would first try to sit down with the developer and have a frank discussion about his work ethic and what might be causing the issues. If that doesn't help, I would then terminate the contract and work with the other company to ensure all needs are met before the transition.

I might frame it in the lens of my performance review coming up and this being one of my biggest project, and just be frank about needing more accountability when it comes to timeline.
If I could make the decision to change contractors, I would have done that already, unfortunately it has to go through the CEO and they prefer to work by quarter.

I would first try to communicate better with the developer, and see if there is a specific reason why they are not able to complete their work. If it appears that they are not trying or do not care, I would then terminate their contract and hire another developer who can fulfill the work that is needed.

Do you only conduct communication by email? How frequently do you reach out (either to check in or add new requests to the queue?)
Have you requested a meeting with the dev to discuss this quarter’s hours and expected outcomes as well as determining how you can best work together? Are they a part of a larger firm (can you request a meeting with their boss/partner to discuss their work output?) Have you documented these issues for your superiors (are they aware of the hold ups?)

Also consider the types of requests and frequency that you are sending them. Are you sending a mixture of work (small things like content or image editing) as well as larger asks that require heavy frontend or backend work (page re-designs, style changes) which require longer turnaround times? Do you have the dev quote you time and turnaround prior to him accepting the work?

I hear you and have definitely been there. The structuring of good working (future) relationships is too often based on learned lessons of past frustrations. Cheers!

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