The UK contractor and freelance market has risen steeply in recent years. It’s estimated that self-employed people now account for 15% of the working population, with professionals at either end of the age and experience spectrum looking to move into the contractor space. The Freelance Union predicts nearly 50% of the workforce will be made up of contractors by 2020, with a high level of mergers & acquisitions, an uncertain British economy and ongoing Brexit adding to the market demand for interim talent. Despite this, not all organisations within General Insurance and Financial Services are taking advantage of the benefits contract and temporary resources can provide. Here’s why you need contractors in your business.
Assistance with projects and change
The General Insurance sector is constantly evolving, particularly as innovation such as InsurTech continues to influence how business is conducted and the skills employers are looking for in their teams. The digital revolutionis continuing at pace, coupled with increased scrutiny on brand positioning, which means we’re seeing an abundance of business change and transformation projects in the insurance marketplace, and that’s before we look at the mergers and acquisitions taking place across the industry! These are often large-scale with tight deadlines, requiring specialist skillsets that may not exist within your permanent staff. Insurers are already struggling to find the right staff for their organisations, with four in ten senior insurance executives saying a growing skills gap is the top factor influencing their workforce strategy. This means hiring managers should think creatively and pragmatically about how they can address skills shortages and bring in new talent, which should include contract resources with specialist skills in business model transformation, digitalisation and cyber security.
Specialist skillsets and experience
Contractors tend to be highly skilled in a specific area, with years of experience and the ability to hit the ground running from day one. While permanent team members often require training in particular programmes and technologies before they’re up to speed, contractors add value from the very start of their contract. They generally carry all relevant certifications and licences required for their function, with a solid understanding of current legislation and market conditions. As the demand for workplace skills continues to shift, it makes sense for insurers to bring in contract resource to fill gaps and provide support to the in-house team. Doing so encourages specialist skills transference, introducing new knowledge that not only supports the organisation but allows in-house team members to develop.
Flexibility and financial savings
For many General Insurance companies, the appeal of using contract staff is rooted in flexibility and financial savings. Contractors hired on a short-term basis provide quick, effective bursts of labour. If the project finishes early, budgets get cut or there is no cultural fit, the nature of a temporary contract means both the business and the individual can move on easily, without having to deal with redundancies and notice periods. The flexibility of contract workers also makes workload peaks and troughs more approachable; if a new project requires you to bring in a large volume of staff immediately, or an overburdened team requires extra support in between hires, contract talent can help.
While contractors typically cost more per-hour than the equivalent permanent employee, they don’t carry the additional costs – such as benefits, retirement contributions, sick leave and holiday pay – that permanent employees do. In addition, you can also save on the onboarding and training costs that can be associated with permanent employees, as the right contractor will have the skills required to work effectively and efficiently as soon as they start with your business.
Let IDEX help you
IDEX has the unique market insight and expertise to help you source and attract the best interim talent, with a ready made pipeline of individuals ready to go, whether you need support in project management, compliance, claims, broking and more. Help reach your business goals with contract resources. Contact us here to find out more.