Whether you are an employer considering using contractors for the first time or a seasoned veteran of contingent workforce management, how do you make sure you get the most from your highly skilled temporary professionals? One of the best ways to maximise your investment in this valuable resource is to leave the management of contractors to an expert in the field, relieving you of burdensome administration and freeing you up to do what you do best – run your successful business.

So what should you look for in a prospective (or your existing) contractor management service?

Experience

Firstly, how experienced are they? Many recruiters have moved into contractor management in recent years, but you want a company with a depth of experience, not a newcomer still finding their way in the sector. Highveld has been the employer of choice for skilled contracting professionals for more than 25 years. We know tax and labour law inside and out and will ensure you are compliant with the legislation at all times.

Secondly, do they know your industry? It’s only natural for ambitious businesses to want to expand, but let a provider from a different sector make mistakes with some other client when breaking into your industry. You want to work with an expert in your field who understands your specific labour market, the trends, technologies and shifts in supply and demand.

Empathy

How well can you work together? Do your cultures align? Even if you both maintain the highest standards of quality and ethics, you may approach business in different ways. If so, the relationship may become adversarial or at least difficult. Take a bit of time to get to know each other before committing to an engagement.

Spend some time with the account management team who will be responsible for your business. If you have only spoken with the sales director or CEO so far, it’s important to meet the people who will look after you and your team on a day-to-day basis. You need to have confidence that they will understand your issues and be able to solve your problems without drama or delay.

At Highveld we don’t have a one-size-fits-all approach and we meet each client’s needs in a tailored, personalised manner.

Range of services

Familiarise yourself with the provider’s portfolio. You may only need a narrow service offering now, but what about a year from now? As your business grows or evolves, your requirements may change or expand. You may choose in future to outsource payroll management, for example. Can the service provider you are considering cope with these as yet unrecognised needs? How flexible are they? Will they amend your contract or insist on drawing up a new one?

Highveld offers contractor management services, payroll management, workforce planning, and vendor management. Do other providers give you that?

Technology

What is their technical capacity? Are their systems compatible with yours? How much of the process is automated, and how much is still manual (with the corresponding risk of human error)? What is the data security policy and does it meet your standards? Have your IT manager talk to theirs. Make sure you speak the same language.

Capacity and quality

This is a critical factor. It’s a balance because you want the reassurance of a provider with a prestigious client list and a track record of delivery to multiple and complex client demands, but you also need to know you will receive the priority and attention you deserve.

Ask to see the client list. There may be some clients who prefer not to be disclosed; that’s perfectly acceptable. You may also need your confidentiality protected at times. But if the provider is unwilling to reveal anything about their clients, this is a red flag. Ask if you can chat to one or two clients in your field. A provider with satisfied customers should be happy to provide testimonials or referrals.

And don’t stop there. Ask the clients about the quality of contractors hired through the provider. This is where the buck stops. However good the CMS provider’s systems and internal people, you are paying for the value added by the contingent professionals’ services procured through the provider. You need to be assured your provider has access to the best in the business. Highveld has a database of the best temporary staff in your field. Contractors stay on our books because of the superior service they receive from us; and you reap those benefits as the client.

Finally, what is the ratio of account manager to clients? Will you be assured of efficient service delivery or will you have to compete for the time and attention of your client service manager? With Highveld you are assured of personal service carefully designed to meet your needs.

Find out more

To find out more about how Highveld can boost your business, contact us on 012 367 5600 or info@hveld.co.za