No annual leave left? Or maybe the high demand in work has meant you’ve been requested to come in? Don’t worry, whatever the reason there are some benefits to working over the Christmas period. Getting Ahead of Work The best part of being one of the few people working this time of year is that you will have the peace and quiet you need to get things done. Catch up on work and get a head start on work for the new year. With the phone not ringing constantly and emails not flooding your inbox, it’s an opportunity to get some headspace to really get ahead of your workload. Getting a Seat on Public Transport For anyone who commutes to work this will really feel like a Christmas miracle. Having your own seat and maybe even a seat for your coat and bag is a really nice perk to working this time of year. Avoid Unappealing Christmas Parties This time of year brings a lot of nights out and they’re not always nights out you’re in favour of. Working gives you the perfect excuse to turn down any unwanted invitations for a Christmas session. Although, if you do want to go, working shouldn’t stop you. Just pace yourself and be sure to stay hydrated and get enough sleep. Christmas Organised If you’re working over Christmas chances are you’ve known about it for a couple weeks or even months, so you’ll be organised well in advance. It’s a great feeling coming up to Christmas knowing you won’t be part of the mad Christmas Eve rush to buy last minute presents. Being Recognised as a Team Player Maybe you were asked to work over Christmas because of workload or because of staff demand. Accepting you have to work and coming in with a smile, will go a long way with your supervisors and colleagues. It might be fun! It’s Christmas and everything this time of year is joyful! Take the time to treat yourself and indulge. Get that Christmas latte or treat yourself to a fancy lunch or a delivery to the office. Whether you will be working or not, Sigmar Recruitment would like to take this opportunity to wish you a happy Christmas and every success in 2020.
With global talent acquisition markets becoming increasingly more sophisticated, and companies vying to position themselves more favourably than their competitors, the need to properly manage and prepare contingency workforce models as a matter of policy is of critical importance now more than ever. In a progressively competitive marketplace, allowing your hiring practices to be ‘reactive’ rather than ‘proactive’, is an inherently unsatisfactory recruitment strategy, especially if you’re hoping for a sustained level of success going forward. Below are some tips that we recommend you consider when assessing your present and future resourcing capabilities: Planning Planning as always is key to the success of your company, but the specific milestones you’re looking to achieve as a company must be very clearly defined before you set out your plan. You must be definite on where you expect there to be resource shortages, based on projects that are imminent within the business, and then focus your contingency workforce planning around where those shortages are likely to be. Implement Correct Rules and Regulations Ensure that there are correct rules and processes in place for the engagement of a contingency workforce. These are usually in place for permanent employees so why not contractors? Companies may have concerns about co-employment scenarios but practically, engaging closely with contractors and welcoming them warmly into the company can be of more benefit to the company in the short to medium term. One reason for this is that the contractor will often have transferable skills which can be passed on to the permanent members of the team. Consider a formal knowledge transfer plan, whether as an ongoing element throughout a contract or structuring something formal in the final month of the contractor’s engagement. Consider VMS Packages Larger companies may wish to consider a VMS (Vendor Management Software) package which enables online contingent worker sourcing and billing. Some of the leaders in this field include Beeline, Fieldglass and IQ Navigator. These products provide a central hub from which hiring managers can coordinate all recruitment activity, suppliers (Recruitment Agencies) can access requirements and upload talent and, crucially, all commercial aspects can be processed and monitored giving complete visibility on spend related to the contingent workforce. Engage the Services of a Contracting Recruitment Firm The hiring of contract staff can require specialist knowledge and access to unique pools of talent. By engaging the services of a specialist contracting recruitment agency, you can ensure that the hired resources are properly vetted and assessed, but more importantly that they have the correct compliance documentation in place, such as tax registration, appropriate insurance coverage etc. To conclude, the landscape for the hiring of contract resources has changed dramatically, and whereas in the past a company might have recruited for contract resources as and when their need arose, a more premediated approach is now the norm. It’s cost effective, drives profits forward and can be measured as a clearly defined contributor to the bottom line. It can also be a reliable barometer for increases in overall productivity.
In the last decade the Irish workforce has dramatically changed and one such development has been the changing nature of the contingent workforce. What was traditionally seen as a low skilled disposable workforce has evolved to become a key strategic element of organisations’ workforce strategies. Defining Contingent Work There are several different definitions of ‘contingent work’ including direct-hire temporary staff, direct-hire fixed-term contract staff, independent contractors and perhaps the most prevalent of all, those engaged through recruitment agencies. This clearly demonstrates that temporary or contingent staff are a heterogeneous rather than a homogenous cohort so a ‘one size fits all’ policy to manage them is unlikely to be successful. The Traditional View A traditional view of contingent staff was that of low skilled workers who were paid less than permanent workers, likely to be female or minority and likely to be working in administrative or support roles – essentially a ‘disposable workforce’. In the early 1990s there was a view that the spread of contingent work practices helped perpetuate a two tier labour market system with contingent workers on the second, more disadvantaged tier. The Contemporary View The more contemporary view is that contingent work represents liberation rather than isolation; it increases flexibility and personal control and, reflective of the value of their skills, some contractors (e.g. in IT) earn more than permanent workers. Contingent work has continued to spread across virtually all disciplines including accounting, law, medicine, banking, management etc. Another manifestation of this is how ‘Interim Management’ positions for C-level executives are now facilitated through a network of executive search firms in Ireland and worldwide. Demand There are a number of factors that underpin the increased demand from firms for contingent workers. Using workers with specialised skills on a project basis (especially in the IT area), filling temporary absences, facilitating employees’ requests for part-time hours and looking at workers on a ‘try before you buy’ basis are several of the reasons organisations choose contingent workers. However the key demand drivers would seem to come from companies looking to create value and competitive advantage through cost efficiencies and through the use of flexibility.Through this flexible model, organisations can adjust the types of skills employed in line with fluctuations in demand without adding to the long-term cost of retaining these particular skills. Relevant Developments in the Recruitment Industry In parallel to the growth of regular recruitment agencies, Managed Service Providers (MSP’s) have been a major development in the recruitment industry, linked directly to the growth of contingent staffing practices globally. Staffing industry analysts define an MSP as “a company that takes on primary responsibility for managing an organisation’s contingent workforce programme”. Generally MSPs provide their clients with a Vendor Management System (VMS), which is “an internet-enabled contingent worker sourcing and billing application”. We have a number of the major global MSPs operating in Ireland at present and this is again symptomatic of the nature of large scale contingent workforce management practices. To give an idea of the scale of the global market for contingent staffing it was estimated $100 billion is spent globally on contingent staffing under management through a VMS, an MSP, or both and the figure is continuing to grow. The estimated global temporary agency staffing labour in 2013 was $327 billion. It is important to point out however that the growth in the use of contingent labour is not only in large MNC’s but in small and medium-sized indigenous companies also. These trends indicate that this paradigm of contingent work is here to stay and if anything set to increase in prominence.
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.