With increased competitiveness in industry as well as the need for a more diverse range of specialist skills, changes in the way we work have resulted. One of the most significant changes is the move to the increased incidence of outsourced personnel and skills. Outsourcing can yield some important and extensive benefits for businesses, but it does have implications in terms of contractor management and contractor compliance.
What are the advantages of outsourcing work?
There are many advantages that may result when a company outsources work to specialist contractors. Funds can be saved through buying in expertise to complete a task or project that may otherwise have been spent to train up an existing employee or recruit a new employee who will then be on the payroll in the long term.
Outsourcing also offers increased flexibility of skills. When done well and when underpinned by a robust and clear contract, the skills that a contractor may bring in can enhance practice and offer new dimensions and possibilities for your business.
Are there disadvantages of outsourcing work?
Like any business arrangement, there is potential for problems to arise when work is outsourced to people who are external to the company. Thorough and attentive contract management is crucial to ensuring that problems are avoided or identified early and contractor compliance checks are pivotal for ensuring that those to whom work is outsourced are capable, skilled and equipped to successfully complete the work.
If outsourced work is poorly managed, a negative effect on the quality and standard of work can quickly become apparent. Similarly, occupational health and safety standards can be compromised and the reputation of a company can suffer. Of course, no business wants to see a deterioration in the reputation that they have worked so hard to establish.
What should be done to protect a business and contractor?
Ideally, there will be solid and positive working relationships that exist between contractors and businesses that outsource work.
Prior to confirming a contractual arrangement, a business should ensure that the necessary checks have been done and verified so that contractor compliance with their obligations is assured and they are qualified for the work being undertaken. Contractor compliance requirement may include (but not be limited to):
- Insurance certificates
- Safety practices and performance
- Qualifications and education
- Any other specific criteria that may be related to your industry or the distinct needs of your company.
Many businesses and contractors can be quite daunted by all that is required and some aspects of contractor compliance can be a little difficult to understand. Specialist companies exist to support and advise businesses and contractors of their obligations and requirements. Many of these companies oversee contractor management at all sorts of levels and will verify and maintain detailed records and evidence of obligations being successfully completed and kept up to date.
No business can afford to put themselves at risk of using contractors that fail to meet their obligations. Similarly, no contractor should risk liability by carrying out work when they have not met their obligations or have allowed them to expire. Peace of mind and confidence results when contractor compliance is assured.