It's no secret that there is a shortage of skilled engineering and manufacturing candidates right now in the UK. Businesses like yours are struggling to fill their permanent roles, and with The Engineer reporting that 79% of UK Manufacturing businesses are having extreme difficulties making permanent hires for their vacancies, we can understand why some hiring managers are wondering where to turn to fill their open vacancies.
Fear not; there is a solution. One that some companies have never considered. Hiring a contractor.
A contractor is a professional who provides their skills or services to a company for a set period. They may be contracted for a set number of hours, a period of time, or a specific project.
Contractors can be self-employed and work independently as sole traders, run their own limited company or work through an agency as PAYE workers.
Employment Solutions has a long and successful history of supplying contract workers to businesses within the engineering and manufacturing sectors. We know the benefits of hiring contractors, and we want to share with you the top eight.
1. They’re not as expensive as you might think.
When you first see the rate a contractor is asking for, you might panic and think it will be way too expensive for you. But, you need to keep in mind that there are no additional costs unless the contractor is PAYE through your agency. You don’t need to pay the following;
- Sick pay
- Holiday pay
- National insurance
- The contractor is only paid for the time they work.
- No training costs.
2. Speed to hire
With an increasing skills shortage, three-month notice periods are becoming more and more common; contractors are usually available immediately, negating the lengthy recruitment process. Contractors are often ready and willing to go at the drop of a hat, and contract placements can generally be turned around within a couple of days, sometimes faster. This speedy turnaround also makes contractors the ideal candidates to fill vacancies created due to temporary leave like paternity and long-term sick leave.
3. They will hit the ground running.
Engineering and manufacturing contractors are typically very highly skilled and experienced within their industry. By hiring a contractor, you are getting an expert who can immediately
impact your business with little to no training. This is key if you are working on a time-sensitive project and want to avoid delays in your production schedule.
4. Adds flexibility to your workforce
We touched on this earlier. Working with contractors gives you and your business a lot of added flexibility. With contractors, you can increase the size of your workforce during peak periods and not have to worry about redundancies and cost-cutting in quieter periods. This approach works exceptionally well for businesses with seasonal variations in work or companies who need to ramp up for projects at short notice.
5. Great way to plug a skills gap
With the number of jobs growing daily, the skills gap is making it more difficult to recruit engineers. Hiring a contractor can give your business some breathing space while you search for a permanent employee. This could save you money, especially if the vacant position is crucial to your business.
6. No commitment
You may need to ramp up your numbers to complete a project or have an immediate need for a particular skill set, and you have no time to go through the entire perm hiring process.
Contractors who do not have a permanent employment contract can work with your business for as long or as little as you require. Once the initial contract is up, there is no obligation on behalf of the company to offer any more work. Don't worry; many contractors have been doing this for a long time and are comfortable with this; it also provides your business with greater flexibility.
7. Contractors have their own insurance.
Contractors are required to have their own insurance to enable them to work. Public liability insurance is there to cover them and you, if required, while they are supplying their services.
8. You can recruit niche candidates for specific skillsets/tasks/projects/one-offs.
Hiring a contractor may be the answer for many one-offs or short-term projects requiring specific "niche" skillsets or expertise that you may not have in your business. Hiring a contractor allows you to recruit the exact skills you need without worrying about how you will redeploy them in the company later. Hiring contractors can also help avoid any internal bias and may bring other ideas from previous experience.
Employment Solutions has been working with some of the biggest and best UK engineering businesses for over 20 years and has sourced and placed thousands of contract workers for our clients.
With our own in-house team to deal with contract, compliance, payroll and ongoing contractor management, we make the process as simple for our clients as possible. We offer a genuinely end-to-end recruitment service that most agencies can't.
If you can relate to the above points and would like to discuss how hiring a contractor could help your business, please call us on 0161 839 5353 or fill in the form below and a member of the team will be in touch.