Due to COVID-19 we are all living in a time of unease, uncertainty, and unknowns. Now, with lockdown in place, it’s hard to imagine when things can go back to normality.
Thankfully, last week the Chancellor set out a series of packages to support businesses through the disruption, including a Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and deferring VAT and Income Tax payments. The Off Payroll delay is a particularly welcome relief, presenting opportunities for businesses to continue BAU and beyond
We know that businesses are currently under an immense amount of strain. With employees unable to work on-site due to COVID-19 and the surrounding issues such as childcare etc. it is important that businesses have a contingency plan to ensure that all critical resource gaps are filled quickly and effectively, so that projects are still delivered. This is a critical time and a time that your business may need to look at using flexible resources such as contractors.
Here are nine reasons to tap into the contractor talent pool:
1) Agile hiring and onboarding
Using flexible resources is a great solution to lean upon, as interviews are skills-based and can easily be done quickly and remotely. The on-boarding process is very quick as no full inductions are needed, and most contractors are very used to integrating quickly.
2) Self-sufficient and productive
Contractors by nature are self-sufficient. They are outcome and objective-focused and geared toward working remotely. This is something that can take a while for employees who are used to working within a more structured environment to acclimatise to.
3) Working with a trusted contractor partner
For a smooth and convenient process teaming up with a respected contractor recruitment agency (which has at its fingertips a database spilling over with experienced talent) makes utilising contactors in this tough time easy. Your dedicated consultant will work with you closely to get a clear understanding of your business, how it operates and what you’re looking for. That person remains your point of contact for the duration and – going on our experience – becomes as much a part of your hiring team as your in-house recruiters.
4) The risk is mitigated for you, by us
This is an important point: compliance. The ramifications of getting the hiring process wrong are huge and costly. And there are too many potential areas of risk, so it’s not surprising that this alone can dissuade businesses who urgently need skills.
We understand the varying elements of hiring contractors are numerous and onerous: understanding IR35 (or lack thereof) and tax regulations to keep HMRC happy, producing contractor terms, fair and equal recruiting processes, ensuring Right to Work requirements are satisfied, knowing what sort of insurance is needed and checking that all parties in the process are similarly compliant for GDPR. It truly is a minefield.
So, by working with us (your trusted partner agency) we will undertake those elements, including the vetting and scrutinising of third parties in the supply chain, for whom they are liable, providing clear advice and guidance where necessary.
5) Get access to niche-skilled talent quickly
As the nature of contracting is typically short term and specialised, it means there are pools of contractors who are ready and able to work once their current assignment ends. So, despite what the news and industry press will have you believe, those skills are available, just on a short-term basis.
Some of the most talented people, with the skills and knowledge that your business is crying out for, are actively searching for their next contract and you could engage them with our help.
6) Talent delivered to you, fast
Once all the initial introductory processes are complete, you could have contractors on site significantly quicker than you would a permanent hire (which, research claims, can take around 28 days).
There are often cases at ARM where clients call with a requirement and, following a telephone interview, the contractor starts the next day. Our consultants produce the contracts, then handle the referencing, onboarding, any limited company documentation and all aspects of compliance, so you can get your project work delivered even faster.
7) We’ve got the payroll covered
Contractors are typically paid on a weekly basis, completing and submitting timesheets, for pay in arrears. Many clients operate their own timesheet system which integrates with the agency’s payment system, meaning that other than authorisation, you can be confident that the contractor will be paid without additional intervention. Companies that don’t have a timesheet system can use ARM’s eTimesheet platform, ETZ. Any queries or changes can be made directly between the contractor and our team, so you don’t need to worry.
8) We’ll manage contractors on your behalf
Contractors temporarily swell the headcount and it can appear that an already overburdened manager suddenly has a few more people to look after. However, these skilled individuals are contracted within our agency, which means we manage them for you..
In our case, for example, our Contract Support Team calls to check how contractors are getting on and escalating any issues to the appropriate consultant. The entire management piece is taken care of by us, so your managers won’t need to assume any additional responsibilities past introducing them to the team, etc.
9) Contractors aren’t as costly as you might think
A common barrier against taking on contractors is cost; understandable given the seemingly high daily rates that are advertised. Yet consider the extras that are generously paid out for permanent staff: National Insurance, pension contributions, pay for holiday, sickness and parental leave, plus any other benefits the company might offer. Then there are the internal costs incurred due to various equipment, HR and admin, training, induction, rewards and bonuses.
We can help you to harness the power of contractors to continue delivering projects in this unstable business landscape.