Contractor Onboarding: Takeaways from The Global Recruiter's Roundtable

Contractor Onboarding: Takeaways from The Global Recruiter's Roundtable

We recently had the privilege of participating in a roundtable event alongside numerous recruitment experts deeply engaged in attracting top contractors across diverse industries.

The event, hosted by The Global Recruiter and sponsored by contractor insurance company Kingsbridge proved to be a valuable forum for exploring the distinct challenges and successes encountered within each recruitment sector concerning the onboarding of contractors versus permanent hires.

Shayne Simpson, our Group Managing Director, brought his valuable insights and expertise to this engaging discussion. His contributions were based on his experience working closely with contractors as a consultant and his current role as the Group Managing Director of Ascent Group, which houses six specialised recruitment brands. This comprehensive experience allows him to offer a clear perspective on contractor management.

Throughout the event, several key topics were thoughtfully addressed, shedding light on…

The legal responsibilities of onboarding contractors

In the wake of the April 2023 repeal of the IR35 legislation, a significant shift has occurred, placing the responsibility for determining tax status squarely back on the shoulders of contractors themselves. However, this shift in accountability also raises caution for recruiters and recruitment consultancies.

As vital components of the supply chain, recruiters are now tasked with the imperative duty of ensuring that contractors have accurately determined their tax status. Neglecting this fundamental step in the onboarding process could have adverse consequences down the road. To put it bluntly, oversight in this area could come back to haunt recruiters, potentially resulting in legal repercussions and financial penalties.

It is therefore important that recruiters pose the right questions and engage in meticulous due diligence right from the outset of candidate engagement.

Aligning candidate experience and compliance

Ensuring a smooth and frustration-free candidate experience while addressing essential compliance questions is pivotal. Recruiters should explore methods to simplify this process, benefiting all parties involved. This simplification can involve harnessing technology for digital data submission or proactively addressing these questions from the outset.

The recruitment experts shed light on the expeditious nature of onboarding contract candidates, and given their short-term engagements, this places less emphasis on their cultural fit within the company in comparison to permanent hires. Once compliance-related inquiries are resolved, the integration of contractors into projects occurs swiftly, thanks to their familiarity with this agile work style.

Shayne highlighted the importance of the candidate experience, as he explained that, “the candidate experience is something that separates you from the competition” and went into detail about Ascent Group’s use of NPS scoring to determine the quality of every candidate journey.

Additionally, he raised the noteworthy point that contractors frequently evolve into prospective clients, therefore leaving a lasting impression is absolutely vital.  

Embracing technology for back office activity  

Kingsbridge shared that they have frequently observed a deficiency in back office operations within the recruitment sector. They have noticed that many companies lack a robust compliance setup and often rely on labour-intensive manual procedures, which become less sustainable as businesses expand and incorporate more contractors into their CRM systems.

Interestingly, our “tech advocate” Shayne, was the pioneer in implementing our technology stack and has consistently enhanced it over the years. As a result, we have somewhat shielded ourselves from these challenges.  

AI onboarding implementation

During the roundtable event, the consensus among participants was clear: recruiters, who are essentially sales professionals, prefer to channel their efforts into relationship-building with candidates and clients rather than getting caught up in avoidable administrative tasks.

While everyone acknowledged the vital role of technology in streamlining processes and managing routine administrative work efficiently, the collective sentiment emphasised that this should not detract from essential communication. Maintaining active engagement with candidates remained a shared perspective among attendees, recognising that neglecting this aspect could lead to candidates seeking opportunities with other recruitment firms that prioritise ongoing communication.

The complexities of compliance

Recruiters currently grapple with challenges in the referencing process, which ideally should not follow a rigid standardisation because each candidate brings their unique qualities to the table. During our discussions, we discovered that referencing emerged as the most intricate aspect of the compliance journey due to the vast diversity in referencing standards. It’s also worth noting that references can become a sensitive point of discussion, particularly when a candidate has already received a job offer, adding to the complexity of the final stages of the recruitment process.

Another complexity arises when securing references for younger workers who may not possess extensive work experience compared to seasoned professionals. Nevertheless, these younger candidates still possess the requisite skills for the job. For instance, requesting three years’ worth of references from an 18-year-old introduces its own set of distinctive challenges.

More to come

We’d like to thank The Global Recruiter for organising the event and inviting Shayne to participate, as well as Kingsbridge Insurance for sponsoring it. We had the pleasure of meeting some new faces, and we look forward to reconnecting in the near future.

Keep an eye on our blog for more events coming up!   

Looking for more information?

If you’re considering the use of contractors or interim hires in your business – we can help you along the way.

Visit our IT Contract Recruitment page where you will find further details.

Grainne Simpson

Mobile: 07912 865053

Work: 01908 766158

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