19th March 2018
Last week we discussed why compliance is the priority for international contractor placement. But as most agencies operating in this field will likely know, choosing a supplier to outsource this function to is challenging. So how can you make this decision? The answer, in our view, is don’t.
We simply don’t recommend that you hand over your contractor compliance control to an external company and then leave them to it – this approach rarely has the impact you’d like. Instead, seek out a partner. Having a firm working alongside your agency and a team of experts embedded into your business will have far greater success – and it will help you reassure your contractors, clients and potential targets that you have the necessary compliance resources to hand.
What agencies are saying
We understand that it’s all too tempting to select a supplier that’s offering to not only completely take contractor compliance off your hands, but also do this while providing greater incentives to your contacts. But choosing these suppliers rather than having a partner embedded in your firm could potentially have a detrimental impact on your agency, as Jack Rawcliffe, Managing Director of JDR Energy, explains:
“I get a lot of calls from other companies in the market telling me they are cheaper, and that they can offer contractors over 90% take home pay. That’s never going to be a compliant solution. They often tell you what you want to hear without doing any due diligence. Then you get the companies that will pitch directly to consultants and incentivise them with kickbacks if they recommend their solutions to contractors – that is an absolutely massive risk for a recruitment company if that solution is found not to be compliant – especially given the recent introduction of the Criminal Finances Act. I think agencies have to ask themselves – do I want to save a few hundred pounds a month on my payroll – or do I want to sleep easier at night knowing that our risks are completely mitigated.”
Becoming partners – working together
“The key to our relationship with 6CATS is that it’s a seamless partnership. In fact, most of our contractors don’t even realise we are separate companies and for me that’s a perfect scenario. The way they operate is completely aligned with our look, sound and feel. That’s been achieved by the fact that they have taken the time to sit in our office alongside our contractor care team, our sales team and our operations team so our processes are completely aligned and therefore seamless. And 6CATS is brought in right from the very beginning of a project as part of our pitch to the client. That means we can educate the client as to how everything needs to work in terms of payments, taxation and visas. It would be really unusual for us to secure the work, find the contractors and then go to 6CATS and say now find me a solution.”
What’s truly key in a successful partnership like the one we have with JDR is that it’s a two-way thing. Our contractor care team is supported by JDR’s contractor care team and so the messages are always completely consistent. It also means that the consultants at JDR really understand compliance and what they need to consider when placing a contractor in-country. The other benefit of working in a true partnership is the added value that the agency can give to the contractor. Around a third of the agencies we work with build our fee into their margin so that the contractor sees no additional cost. The agency introduces the candidate to us and tells them that they will be onboarded within 24 hours. That’s not just great service – it’s also mitigating risk for all parties.
Developing award winning contractor compliance strategies
If you’re still unsure of how such a partnership will help you, consider this. JDR Energy has won several awards over the past couple of years – including one for its contractor care. According to Jack, the partnership we have developed played a crucial role in this success: “I put that award down in large part to our relationship with 6CATS. I know that what they tell me is accurate – I know that if they say they need a piece of information – it’s for a reason. You can’t put a price on that level of trust and service. The future of international recruitment against a backdrop of ever evolving in-country and UK legislation means that an international contractor management solution you can trust is absolutely business critical.”