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4 Ways Contract Workers Can Help Your Start-up Thrive

contract workers

One of the key considerations for a budding entrepreneur must be the people he or she wants to bring on the journey with them. Global trends in employee engagement practices could provide just the solution to suit a start-up environment.

 

At present it is estimated that 20-30% of the American workforce is comprised of temporary and contract workers.  Some analysts predict that this figure will rise as high as 50% in coming years. While European norms may not exactly reflect the situation in the US it is reasonable to say that these trends tend to follow similar paths either side of the Atlantic. Ireland’s reliance on US Foreign Direct Investment means that US trends tend to be replicated more acutely here.

 

In the context of a start-up looking for talent there are a number of reasons why they may benefit from choosing a Temporary or Contract employee, namely:

 

1. Reduced overheads

If engaging a person on a full time basis there are associated employment costs of carrying this headcount on an on-going basis e.g. employers PRSI. As finances may be tight in the early stages of a fledgling venture the burden of these recurring costs may be problematical.

 

2. Flexible engagement model

Many hiring requirements nowadays are project based i.e. there is a need for example to develop a specific piece of code,  produce a particular piece of marketing collateral etc. Instead of the burden of carrying the full-time cost for these resources the start up could engage people on a project and time-specific basis and discontinue their services on completion.

 

3. Flexibility to scale

A further advantage is the ability to scale up and down quickly. The process of hiring people on a permanent basis is generally a more elongated process. The beauty of the contingent model is that many ‘career contractors’ are available on shorter notice periods and as they are being engaged for specific purpose work there is less of an onus on exploring the cultural fit and motivational fit than there would while hiring a permanent staff member. In many ways the key aspect is the competency fit and this can be assessed quite swiftly.

 

4. Best practice benefits

Career contractors by their very nature move from business to business quite often and in many cases they are compelled to keep up to date with the latest industry training so as to justify premium rates. The advantage to the entrepreneur can be twofold; firstly these resources often deliver projects in a shorter timeframe due to superior knowledge and secondly there is the retained benefit of knowledge transfer to any retained permanent staff.

 

The changing nature of how we hire people has resulted in a workforce that is much more comfortable with having a ’portfolio’ career and eschewing the values of the ‘job for life’ that previous generations aspired to. While companies will want to retain intellectual property and know-how in its permanent headcount, there is mounting evidence that we require a flexible, scalable and contingent workforce to adapt to challenges and opportunities in today’s marketplace. This model could be exactly what the next start-up needs in order to thrive.

 

 

Posted by Recruitment Consultant, Sigmar on 7 December 2017

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IT Jobs Market 2021

IT Jobs Market 2021

2020 was an interesting year for Ireland’s IT jobs market with the initial impact of Covid causing some companies to reassess their recruitment practices - either pausing or freezing completely. However, most sectors have bounced back since March and we even saw some companies take advantage of a less competitive market and increased their hiring plans. In 2021, we expect to see a release of this “pent-up demand” for candidates as businesses begin to move back towards BAU models. Digital Transformation Digital transformation projects that typically would have taken years to plan happened practically overnight or over a few weeks as COVID-19 restrictions forced companies to speed up their digital adaptions in what became an “adapt or die” environment. 2021 will see a further increase in demand for individuals with digital transformation experience as companies accelerate further the digitisation of their customer and supply chain interactions and of their internal operations.   Companies who failed to innovate or tweak their processes to suit the demand of the market felt a larger impact than companies who remained agile and changed quickly depending on the market demands. Consumers have moved dramatically toward online channels during the pandemic, so companies are having to create digital or digitally enhanced offerings in response. Cybersecurity Unsurprisingly with the adoption of remote work and the planning for transition to the next “normal”, we have seen huge demand for infrastructure and security professionals which we foresee continuing in 2021. As organisations pivoted to work from home models, security engineers rushed to establish secure connections and prevent network threats that targeted remote workers. At the same time, with the surge in online shopping and e-commerce transactions, they had to bolster their organisation’s e-commerce platforms. 2021 will see organisations continue to increase their spend on cybersecurity as companies look to how they will operate in a post-pandemic world. With many organisations such as Google planning for a “Hybrid” work-from-home model, i.e. employees working a few days in the office and a few at home, network security will be a priority. MedTech, Life Sciences and Healthcare Given how health has never been more in focus than it has been in the past year, it is perhaps no surprise that there has been a huge demand for IT professionals in the wider health industry. MedTech and Life Sciences companies are continually developing new and innovative treatments and consequentially developing technologies to enable this. We have seen an increase in demand of more “hybrid roles” such as IT professionals with experience working specifically within class 1 medical devices fields. Biotech and digital transformation within gene cell therapy in particular is set to be a large growth area for 2021. Connected health is set to be a large growth area for 2021 also, as medical practices are forced to digitize and with telehealth being forecast to grow exponentially. Candidate-led Market Despite the initial dip in March 2020, the market very much remains candidate driven. Particularly now as candidates are no longer bound to jobs within commuting distance of the office. Regional talent pools have flourished as candidates who would have worked in major cities, now have the opportunity to work remotely meaning they can move to their preferred location and still do the same job on the same salary as before. Regional companies also benefited as they are now able to tap into larger talent pools due to remote working practices. Perhaps what has been most surprising about 2020, is that salaries have stayed relatively stable, but candidates have been seeking increases in their packages over base. With the increase in remote working opportunities, candidates are no longer distracted by “bells and whistles” (free food, ping pong tables etc.) and instead are more interested in actual projects, technologies being used and career growth and progression. Therefore, our advice to employers is consider how you are marketing your positions. Contractors We saw in our 2020 Q3 survey findings that many businesses looked to Contractors to fill gaps in their teams while coping with the uncertainty in the market due to COVID-19. From recent discussions with our clients this trend is likely to continue in 2021. We particularly foresee an increase in demand of contract roles for Frontend/Fullstack Developers, DevOps Engineers and Data Analysts. As a result of the increase in demand, contract rates have been on the rise. With many large and SME organisations reverting to remote work this has opened the market up to all areas of Ireland. A big trend is seeing Contractors based in the regions now being able to work for the large organisations in the cities and receive the same rates of those based in the cities. Therefore, rates in the regional areas of Ireland have increased due to the remote access of new roles in the industry. 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BCIBC CEO event with former Taoisigh John Bruton and Bertie Ahern

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