Many up and coming SMEs need talent to manage business-critical projects, yet lack the means to finance a permanent in-house complement of staff to fulfil them. Fortunately, the online recruitment resource OnRec has offered some timely guidance on the benefits of using freelancing/contracting professionals to address these issues.

The Recruitment and Employment Confederation’s regular JobsOutlook survey of UK employers has consistently demonstrated that many companies are operating at the upper limit of their capacity, and would find it impossible to manage increased demand without additional staff. But does it make sense to appoint permanent employees for temporary conditions? Similarly, is it wise for small or medium-sized businesses to appoint a permanent in-house IT team, when actually they only need occasional IT system set-ups and updates?

These are precisely the kinds of situations where sourcing skilled Umbrella Company Employees and other contracting professionals would be a more pragmatic and cost-effective solution, according to the logic of the OnRec piece.

While acknowledging that freelancers tend to ask more for their job than permanent staff, the article explains that their primary advantage is that they’re only paid per job:

“When you don’t have a job, you don’t need to pay them anything. Instead, they’ll go find projects elsewhere. In this way, if you have a field where you sometimes need work done but not that often, freelancers can save you a lot of money.

Another bonus of only paying freelancers when you need to is that you can look for a freelancer that perfectly suits the job you’re trying to do. You don’t need a jack of all traits in the office. Instead, you get a different specialist to do the jobs for you.”

As the article notes, the higher hourly rates charged by contracting professionals isn’t only a reflection of the sought-after skills they possess. They also take account of between-project down times when these flexible workers don’t get paid. Higher rates also reflect the fact that freelancing and contracting professionals have eschewed statutory employment benefits like paid annual leave, paid sick leave and maternity/paternity leave in favour of the freedom to work flexibly.

The article concedes that it involves some effort on the part of hirers to find good freelancers. But OnRec argues that once they have been found, hirers can continue using their services on an as-and-when basis, secure in the knowledge that they have a reliable and trustworthy ally whenever the need arises.

These contingent professionals are also familiar with being drafted in rapidly when business demands require them, provided that they’re free to start working. As employers responding to the REC’s JobsOutlook surveys consistently report, freelancers and contractors grant them access to skilled workers that they would otherwise lack.

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