There is certainly a lot of debate around the impact of the continuing trend toward the casualisation of the Australian workforce. ABS statistics now report that one in five Australians are employed on a casual basis. This trend is driven by employers seizing on the advantages of hiring talent using this method. So what are these advantages?
It seems counter intuitive, but you will save money through the effective use of contractors and a flexible workforce in general. By bringing in contractors at a time of high demand and similarly reducing numbers in quieter periods, margins can be maintained and you do not have to build in costs for the long term. Costs such as payroll tax and workers compensation, and the administration of these costs, can also be avoided through the use of temporary and contract staff.
By hiring more experienced and possibly more expensive contractors for projects, you may pay a higher hourly rate, but the overall cost of the project may be reduced, as it will take less time to complete. It’s not always the hourly rate but the total cost of project that needs to be considered when allocating human capital to a project.
Hidden costs can also be radically reduced through the use of contract staff. Increased pressure on permanent staff, longer hours and missed deadlines can lead to increased staff turnover, which in turn means the loss of corporate knowledge. This leads to the increased costs of retraining.
Accessing skills that are otherwise unavailable
By using contractors, leaders and businesses can access skills that are not affordable in the long term. You can bring in skills to complete a project and ideally pass these skills on to your existing staff while the project is being completed. A good example of this may be at the time of the introduction of new legislation or a new system.
Concentrate on your core business
Seasonal changes, government initiated regulation change and a variety of other external influences can take your eye off the main game. To ensure that your business achieves its best, hiring additional help to see the company through these changes can be useful.
A good example was the introduction of US Sarbannes Oxley legislation and requirements. Many CFOs and CEOs of US subsidiaries in Australia hired in the necessary skills to make the changes to comply with this legislation.
Similarly, many businesses that are going through a systems change hire talent to handle the day to day tasks while their permanent staff are involved in the implementation. This is sensible to ensure that the system is understood and truly reflects the way business is done in their organisation.
Quick response times
Not all change is expected or planned, so the best way to ensure it’s business as usual is to bring staff in quickly. Contract and temp staff can be hired from recruitment agencies such as people2people within hours. A good example would be unexplained absence. You may need your payroll processed tomorrow, but your payroll manager has been taken ill. Temporary and contract staff can fill that gap quickly.
With the many advantages of flexible staffing, it is clear why businesses in Australia are taking up the option.
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