There’s only one way startups and small businesses can survive in the long run – be the most flexible and adaptable businesses in any economic climate. Some experts argue that the only way to sustain these strengths is to employ less permanent staff such as contractors and freelancers, to fill skills gaps around business projects
The practice has become more popular in the past few years, which is reflected by the increasing number of individuals taking up the contract route. Hiring contractors on a project basis enables a startup to grow at their own pace and only recruit skilled individuals when they’re needed. But even though it sounds like a simple solution, finding and hiring the right contractor can be difficult, especially if you’re not familiar with recruitment practices or simply don’t have the resource to find contractors yourself.
Why should you use contractors in the first place?
Finding suitable permanent candidates with the skillset you need is often challenging, especially if you cannot guarantee quick career progression or the benefits of a larger brand. Most startups have limited resources that may not be enough to hire top talent permanently; this is why contractors can be a great alternative as they can be hired for a limited time or on a single project. They offer the skills you need for the duration and price you can all agree on.
Global employment trends indicate that more and more highly skilled professionals are deciding to take the freelance route – economic slowdown in several sectors with decreasing job benefits and security, combined with the freedom to work on their own terms has led many to swap permanent positions for s successful freelance career
The freelance route is particularly tempting for those on top of their game – client feedback and recommendations directly ensure repeat work, if you are able to identify and reach out to such high quality contractors quickly, you can really benefit from a rich set of skills and experience.
Using Recruitment Agencies vs Recruiting Yourself
Large companies have the resources to fully leverage all recruitment options including head-hunters. Hiring a contractor involves several elements. You need to find them, sift through applications, payroll them, process timesheets and invoice your supplier or contractor.
Due to these complications typically when hiring contractors firms just use a recruitment agency that will take care of everything. In return for finding and placing the contractor the agency will charge a fee on top of the contractor day rate that the client has to pay.
Depending on which industry or niche you are hiring in, the average margin an agency makes on the day rate could range anywhere from 12-30%. For SME’s and Startups this can prove a significant cost, but if you had the ability to attract candidates directly and streamline the payroll, timesheeting etc within a single solution, it would be a major advantage.
Elevate Direct – The Contractor Recruiting Solution for Startups
The technology now exists to enable CEO’s of small businesses looking to hire skilled contractors to do so on their own terms. Elevate Direct is a new web based platform with no upfront costs, where businesses can get their jobs matched against suitable contractors. The system automatically shortlists suitable candidates so employers can engage with them directly. Companies such as Tandem Systems, SQA Consulting, Eteach and Photobox have all used Elevate Direct to hire the perfect contractor.
By automating the search for contractors for you, very little time needs to be invested on your side. Once you log into the system and place a job, it compares your requirements against thousands of contractor’s profiles and gives you an instant shortlist. The shortlist is based on their day rate, availability, skills, experience and it even factors in cultural match, based on the career path of the contractor. This aspect of the system saves business owners hours searching for and sifting through CV’s
In addition to finding the candidates, the platform can also process the back-office payrolling, time-sheeting and invoicing, ensuring your recruitment cycle is a smooth ride from start to finish. While we mentioned earlier the margins recruitment agencies can make on a contractor’s day rate, by using technology to automate the process, Elevate Direct users only pay a 5-6% markup instead. As a rough example, If you’re looking to hire someone at a rate of around £400-£450 a day, by using Elevate Direct you would be saving almost a £1000 a month in fees compared to hiring the same contractor via an agency.
In a super competitive world where having the right talent makes all the difference, a Startup or SME’s can’t afford to lose out on time or money. Elevate Direct’s efficient automated platform saves you from dealing with costly agencies and streamlines the administrative hassle of hiring contractors directly.
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