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Why you should hire contractors to support your business

by The Advisory Group

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I have recruited bilingual Japanese contractors/freelancers for over a decade now in Tokyo, and couldn’t imagine switching to recruiting for the permanent side. Working with truly talented professionals in a very fast paced environment, with quick, demanding turnaround times on a project basis definitely plays to my strengths and stokes my passion and interest.

The temp or contracts market, and contractors alike, are often seen as an “expensive non-necessity” and I go to great lengths to dispel this notion on a daily basis. Contractors add a huge amount of value to business and they continue to be a growing requirement in today’s thriving business environment.

What value can a contractor add to your business?

1. Additional expertise

We often search and find contractors for clients to provide a skill set that is not currently available in-house or recruit a skill set that is needed for a one-off project, hence a perm hire is not a viable option. Being able to scale up in a flexible way and add extra skills and knowledge to the existing team on a case by case basis is critical to maintain a well-balance workload and ensure projects and deadlines are delivered well, on time and on budget.

2. Flexibility

Our contractors work on contracts from 1 day to 12 months or longer depending on the clients need.  On top of which all contracts incorporate notice periods, so there is ultimate flexibility surrounding a temp/contract hire.  Contractors are used to having to be flexible, and accommodating so they can “hit the ground running” from day one and adjust quickly to any working environment.

3. Retention of permanent staff

There is nothing worse for a new perm hire than joining a business who has a large backlog of work. If you find your perfect perm employee who happens to be on a 3-month notice period, who is getting the work done before they start?  A contract hire is the perfect way to ensure that perfect perm hire does not start the first week with a big bottleneck of work. This will lead to a smooth on-boarding process and long-term perm retention of key staff.

4. Contractors are not a head count

We have many clients coming to us with the request “I need someone ASAP, but we do not have a headcount for a perm hire”.  This is a perfect scenario to hire a contract worker. At FocusCore, we work to accommodate a client’s budget, so if for example your perm hire is 10M JPY/annum, we can work on a pro rata basis of that, filling the gap whilst you wait for that all important headcount approval from HQ.

5. Great opportunity to “test drive” a candidate

As clichéd as it sounds, “try before you buy!”. You wouldn’t buy a car without test driving it!  Clients only get a real picture of a candidate’s ability in a role once they are actually working on the job, day to day.  A popular option for our clients is hiring a candidate on a temp-to-perm basis.  It works both ways - the candidate gets to experience your culture, work methods and the clients get to experience a candidates’ ways of working, team fit, culture fit and both parties can later on start the perm process 100% sure and committed to each other!

Many companies think it is expensive when it comes to hiring contractors.  You are correct, hiring contractors may seem expensive in the short run but you end up saving money in the long run. Contractors command a bit of a premium, but that’s because they offer a premium service - extra skill sets and flexibility.  The value add from contractors is clear to see, the cost of not having them is insignificant compared to the cost of losing a client or losing a key employee due to heavy workload or when your project is not delivered well and on time.

I have loved every minute of the last 10 years recruiting some of the best contractor talent in Tokyo. I have a network of truly professional, adaptable, gifted contractors, many of which I have used time and time again.  I especially love seeing contractors I placed years ago grow into very senior roles in industry. I love hearing feedback from my clients in terms of how contractors helped them out of an emergency situation at such a short notice, and I really enjoy my contractors showing me how successful they are today thanks to our introduction.

These contractors play a key role in supporting and reviving the Japanese economy by creating a highly productive, variable workforce so take a bow contractors - we salute you!

For more information, please contact me at jivago@theadvisorygroup.co.jp