How Many Contractors Are In Your Business?

If you can’t answer that question, your business is at risk!

There’s a genuine fine line regarding how contractors should be engaged and managed in today’s ever-digitised workplace.

Many contractors are treated like they’re part of the business. A regular fixture of the team. Some have been working for their corporate ‘employer’ for so long, they’re assumed to be on staff.

And it’s absolutely fine to treat contractors this way, as long as you have a solid handle on the size, output, tenure, cost and responsibilities of your contractor workforce. That is, you’re managing them strategically and with a commercial, ROI mindset.

In the absence thereof, you’re putting your business at huge risk. Seriously. You see, we’ve come across many organisations here in Australia, in Asia (and as have our international offices globally) where the size, scope and cost of the contractor workforce is completely unknown. And hence, the risk factors are huge.

“What risks”… you ask?

  • contractors are sometimes taken on in haste, in order to get a key business project completed. In situations like these, the company due diligence can sometimes be less than robust
  • non-staff workers pay less mind to the company ethos, have (somewhat understandably) less ‘commitment’ to the firm, more to the job, and are not inclined to be driven by culture or loyalty
  • the level of scrutiny upon the contractor is generally lower. Performance management isn’t a big consideration, a focus on output and KPI’s is more in play
  • in project teams, the Project Lead is quite often a contractor, a person who in turn hires more contractors to deliver the project

All these people are given security passes, company logins, access to company IP, business plans, industry contacts, and more. And quite often, with a laissez faire management approach.

What you DON’T know about your contractors, is….

  • what they’re sending to their private email accounts
  • what other motivations they may have
  • what their background & history is

It’s genuinely daunting.

And with digital underpinning of almost every industry today (including unlikely sectors like agriculture), the risk of being compromised is higher than ever. Simply because it’s so easy now: to download a list, to PDF a worksheet, to email a business plan, to infiltrate personal information. Even to lift hardware.

This isn’t scaremongering. This is the real deal.

And don’t forget. We’re in the middle of what’s being called the ‘Uberisation of the workforce’. Whereby temps, contractors – the full suite of non-perm talent – is now the norm in almost any business. So, without a carefully managed contingent workforce program, one that strategically engages, monitors and manages the workers, you’re totally at risk. Not just the financial risk of over-spend, but of the highest level of corporate risk.


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