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The benefits of the contractor workforce

The contractor workforce is becoming a more integral solution to a client’s resourcing requirements.  But how can organisations ensure that contractors feel integrated in their business, whilst both parties still get the benefit of a flexible working partnership? 

We speak to IT Associate Director, Gavin Campbell, to understand the benefits of contracting with Robert Walters for both client and candidate. 

What advice would you give to Hiring Managers on the benefits of a contracting solution rather than a permanent resourcing strategy?

The primary benefit of hiring contractors is bridging shortages of highly skilled and specialist staff. Research conducted by Robert Walters, showed that employers also value contractors for being a cost-effective way of fulfilling a fixed-term project (29%) and for having the flexibility to vary their hours (14%). A smaller percentage noted the long-term benefits of contractors as assessing the potential of temp-to-perm hires (9%). Having a scalable workforce where demand is known to rise and fall can ensure greater flexibility overall. 

Why do you think contracting is such a popular option to secure work by professionals? 

Contracting is a great option for professionals to diversify their experience and get exposure to different employers and industries. We’re currently witnessing a greater skills transition between industries than ever before, with the focus of employers being centred around technology competencies and skills as a whole, rather than particular industry exposure.

How do you think employers can retain top talent in the contracting workforce?

Our research shows that there are some discrepancies between how employers think they manage contractors versus how contractors feel they are being managed.

There are some simple policies which you can adopt to retain good contractors including: 

  • Review of recruitment, induction, retention and exit processes can increase the value employers are getting from contractors as well as improve the contractor experience.
  • Showing a degree of certainty to the employee around the terms of their project and the length of contract.
  • Provide time for a handover and to transfer knowledge between team members to ensure that contractors feel like they are part of the organisation, especially when it comes to meetings and social events.

At the very least, these measures will help to keep contractors engaged and happy and benefit the organisation in the long run by ensuring that contractors remain loyal, and at best, will help to avoid conflict, and threats to the company culture and reputation management.

What benefits do Robert Walters offer contractors? 

As valued employees of Robert Walters, our contractors are eligible for a number of benefits which include access to discounted rates with our lifestyle, travel, IT, car and insurance and finance benefits. 

We’ve also recently launched a pilot contractor loyalty program, in which contractors are rewarded for periods of service at six and twelve months and on their Birthday.  We want to reward our contractors for long periods of service as well as great performance that have led to the extensions of their contracts. We value the relationships with our contractor workforce and we’re keen to ensure that our customer service and customer experience is at the forefront of our business.


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