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How can your business maintain a flow of freelance and contract talent?

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How can your business maintain a flow of freelance and contract talent?


In a time when engaging freelance talent is becoming increasingly attractive, does your business have a strategy when it comes to engaging contractors and maintaining a relationship?

Being clued up on legislation to follow when you’re engaging freelance talent is one thing (such as the looming IR35 update, if you’re in the UK), but with contract employment on the rise in the wake of a new normal the competition when it comes to engaging talent is fierce; 79% of employers that we surveyed said they were employing the same amount or more contractors this year than they had in previous years. So with more and more businesses utilising the benefits of a freelance workforce, contract workers once competing for jobs now have multiple options when it comes to projects, and may find themselves able to cherry-pick their client pool. Therefore, it’s never been more important to introduce a process for engaging and building a relationship with your off-payroll workforce.

Employer Poll: "How will the number of contractors/freelancers you work with in 2021 differ from in previous years?"

Engaging contractors should look different to how you engage your employees.

You should look to position yourself as a company of choice when seeking to work with freelance talent, but it’s important to remember not to treat them as an extension of your permanent workforce. For UK businesses, freelancers engaged in projects that fall outside IR35 should be handled as a business-to-business agreement.

Understand that positioning yourself as a business of choice when it comes to contracting opportunities is more about your business objectives, milestones, and successes than it is about what it’s like to work for you as an employer. Your contractors don’t want to feel as though they are being treated like an employee, and failure to recognise this could affect your flow of off-payroll talent through word-of-mouth amongst disgruntled freelancers.

Turn to a staffing firm for full-circle contractor care.

Staffing companies can provide a crucial insight into how and where to get the best contract talent for your projects, but many businesses without the internal resource or know-how also turn to agencies to maintain a relationship with their contractor base even after a project has ended.

Freelancers turn to agencies to understand the latest developments and opportunities in the industry, and trust us to provide an honest view of the contract landscape. Having these conversations every day means we’re not just in a great position to engage talent for a particular project, but to enhance our clients’ reputations on their behalf and keep their work at the forefront of the minds of leading talent. We are aware of many countries looking to challenge the statuses of independent contractors, but with over 200 contractors on-site globally, our in-house compliance team are versed in local regulations of major employment sites across Europe, the US and further afield, and are committed to ensuring compliance on behalf of our contractors and clients. Get in touch to find out more about our compliance offering.

As workforces continue to become more mobile, more adaptable and more collaborative, contract talent will become increasingly embedded in business strategy. Those already engaging contractors have the chance to get ahead of the curve and strengthen the relationship with their contractor base, and those new to engaging freelancers have an opportunity to hit the ground running knowing the importance of contractor care.