• Contractor Signup

    The Business Case for a Direct Contractor Recruitment Strategy – Part 4

    In Chapter 3 we discussed the pro’s and con’s of the Traditional Contractor Recruitment Model.  Below, in Chapter 4, we take a look at what an efficient direct contractor recruitment model looks like, and the challenges faced with its implementation.

    The Direct Contractor Recruitment Model          

    To recruit employees directly in an efficient manner a recruiting/hiring manager needs to have a number of processes and technologies in place.  You need the skills and knowledge to source or market your jobs to the right people which may involve the use of referrals, career sites, CV databases, social networks, search marketing or job boards.

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    You need to be able to deal with a higher volume of direct applications which may involve technology to support the wider recruitment process such as an Applicant Tracking System (ATS).  Interviewing, brand perception, candidate experience, these all take on extra importance when implementing a direct hiring strategy for permanent employees.  When it comes to hiring contractors directly, these challenges become further complicated by the additional steps in the recruitment process.

    For an efficient direct contractor recruitment model, you need to be able to take care of all aspects of the recruitment process, and encompass the operational needs of payroll, procurement, invoicing and timesheet management.

    Direct Contractor Recruitment Model

    Earlier in this paper we mentioned that some companies do employ a direct recruitment strategy for contingent hires.  Using a combination of sourcing, referrals and advertising they attract contractors directly and use a dedicated payroll company to process their pay.

    However the challenging nature of developing a successful direct contractor recruitment model has resulted in a level of resistance amongst companies aligning their contractor and permanent strategies.

    Below are some of the key obstacles employers will face when choosing to adopt a direct contractor recruitment model:

    Challenges to a Direct Model:

    • Sourcing & Attraction – Recruiting skilled contractors often requires access to niche networks.
    • Increased Applications – Dealing with the inevitable increase in applications means additional recruitment technology such as an ATS may be required.
    • Compliance – Employers cannot directly hire a contractor without potentially being liable for additional costs such as taxes, therefore to improve or increase compliance with HMRC, employers may prefer an agency to be an intermediary.
    • Payment – Companies who attract contractors directly typically need to have payroll service provider or preferred agency in place to process contractors.
    • Recruitment is Not Centralised – Line managers may be free to choose their own recruitment suppliers which can make implementing a holistic direct strategy difficult.

    In the next chapter we will look at how employers can use technology to overcome the above obstacles and really maximise the benefits of a direct contractor recruitment model.

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  • Contractor Recruitment Technology

    Why You Should be Thinking About Contractor Recruitment Software

    The Recruitment Landscape is Changing

    Independent  professionals now represent 15% of the UK’s 30+ million people in work. In 2013 the number of businesses hiring freelancers increased by 46%. Research from the United States suggests that by 2020 half of the US workforce will be freelance.

    Top performing graduates as well as seasoned professionals are beginning to see freelancing as a bona-fide career option.  However, although recruiters are familiar with recruitment tools such as job boards and LinkedIn, few are aware of new age recruitment tools and platforms tailored purely for hiring on-site contractors and freelancers directly.

    Given the increasing importance of recruiting the contingent element of the workforce, we’ve decided to highlight some of the important benefits and features to look for in contractor recruitment tools.

    Streamlining Administrative Tasks

    Good contractor recruitment software automates time consuming administrative processes across the recruitment lifecycle; from matching candidates against your job specifications, to timesheeting, to payroll, all within a single system.  Taking away the monotony of admin, means you can focus your time on what’s really important, speaking to great candidates.

    Increasing Productivity  

    Cloud based contract recruitment software gives recruiters all-hours access to detailed and up to date information, enabling them to work on their own terms and contact the best candidates as quickly as possible.  Mobile friendly systems further enhance a recruiter’s ability to review candidates and schedule interviews on the go.

    Finding the Best Talent Quickly

    When it comes to hiring contactors, it’s not unheard of for a job ad to be posted in the morning, the first applications to arrive at lunchtime, and for interviews to be scheduled in the afternoon. By leveraging advanced data science and machine learning technology, systems such as Elevate Direct automate the sourcing of contractors so you can find the best candidates quicker. Your job specs are analysed by the system and then matched against an existing contractor talent pool to instantly provide you with a shortlist of suitable candidates.

    Access to ‘talent pool software’ functionality dramatically reduces your time to hire, which is extremely important when hiring contractors to help with unexpected increases in the workload, and for projects with tight deadlines.

    Saving You Money

    Using a new piece of software no longer has to be expensive.  Cloud based free contractor recruitment software like Elevate Direct requires no downloading and very little training. By enabling you to recruit contractors directly, good contractor recruitment systems will eliminate or significantly reduce huge mark-ups on day rates.  Depending on the sector you operate within, the mark-up on day rates you will pay hiring a contractor via a recruitment agency could range anywhere between 8-32%.

    The right contractor recruitment software can also reduce media costs by providing free distribution of your jobs to external platforms such as job boards; helping to attract a wider pool of talent when needed.

    Streamlined administration, faster time to hire, reduced media costs, increased productivity, and reduced day rate margins will help your business save significant costs when it comes to hiring contractors.

    Improved Workforce Planning

    Specific contractor recruitment tools provide valuable insight into your contractor population. They can provide analysis and reports into contract duration, day rates, skills, who would be suitable for an upcoming project etc.

    Delving deeper into the data allows companies an holistic view of the contractor market;  which skills are in short supply, which companies and industries supply successful contractors to you, what type of career path have contractors that fit in with your culture taken,  if you have a retention problem, which companies are attracting your contractors.  All of this data in conjunction with the security of access to niche contractor talent pools, allows employers to better plan their contractor workforce around future projects.

    Above are just some of the reasons why we think you should be thinking about contractor recruitment software, and how you can adapt your talent attraction strategy to hire more contractors directly.

  • Startup Hiring

    The Startup Hiring Challenge & How Elevate Direct Can Help

    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.

  • Contractor Signup

    Contractor Sourcing Tool Highly Commended at Global Recruiter Awards

    Elevate Direct Global Recruiter Awards

    London, 2nd July 2014 – Elevate Direct, the contractor sourcing tool that enables employers to   automate their sourcing of contractors, has been ‘Highly Commended’ at the UK Global Recruiter Awards 2014, within the ‘Best Innovation’ category. The awards held at Café de Paris in London on the 26th of June, recognise significant achievements across the industry.  Judges emphasised that Elevate Direct was “A unique platform built for the direct engagement of contractors”.

    Dan Collier, CEO and Co-Founder of Elevate Direct highlighted that “This is the second innovation award this year we’ve been shortlisted for. It’s great to be getting such industry recognition considering we’ve not been around for very long.  Our pace of technical innovation is only going to increase this year.  We’re just about to release an updated ‘cultural rank’ algorithm to further bolster the automated matching process and save recruiters even more time finding their perfect contractor.  With increasing numbers of people choosing a freelance or contract career path, we’re meeting more and more employers exploring options like Elevate Direct that allow them to migrate their contingent recruitment away from agencies in the long term”.

    About Elevate Direct

    Elevate Direct is a direct recruitment platform that enables employers to hire contractors directly.  It can be used as a stand-alone sourcing tool that automatically matches contractors to an employer’s job, or as a full end to end solution that not only sources that candidates for you, but takes care of the payroll, time-sheeting and invoicing back office processes.

  • Contractor Signup

    Startup’s In The Cloud – Microsoft Cloud Day 2014

    Microsoft Cloud Day - Elevate Direct

    On Wednesday the 18th of June, the ‘UK Azure User Group’ will be kicking off the ‘Microsoft Cloud Day 2014’ conference in London.  IT professionals from across the Capital will be gathering to network and hear from some great speakers describing their experience of using Azure, the  Microsoft cloud platform.

    Mark Russinovich (Microsoft Technical Fellow) will be delviering the keynote presentation: Cloud Scale: Insights into Building a Cloud Future‘; which will be followed by a number of other presentations including: Scaling your mobile and Windows applications’ and ‘Architecting Azure’ for high volume mobile payments. 

    Our very own CTO and co-founder Mick Delaney will be on stage, explaining how we migrated Elevate Direct from AWS to Azure.  “As a an ambitious recruitment startup, it’s very important we are able to scale up the business quickly, on a platform that supports open source”, says Mick.

    Mick will be describing in more detail from both a technical and business pesepctive, our challenges as a startup, and how Azure is helping to solve these while we roll out plans to expand the business globally.

    The ‘UK Azure User Group’ hold monthly meetings in London and Manchester with speakers that cover topics on all aspects of the platform.  To find out more about their events, visit their meetup group here.

    About Elevate Direct

    Elevate Direct is a cloud based end to end contractor recruitment platform that allows employers to hire contractors directly.  The entire process from sourcing to payroll, time-sheeting and consolidated invoicing is all taken care of within a single platform.

    For more information about Elevate Direct visit www.elevatedirect.com.


    Image by KROMKRATHOG “Cloud Of Colorful Application Icons In The Hands”, freedigitalphotos.net