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Employer’s guide to boost productivity

Employer’s guide to boost productivity

We hear about it every day - “Times are tough” - yes, we are operating in a difficult market, but businesses who take a proactive approach can make the most of the situation. To assist pragmatic employers, a brand new HR report has been released that provides a “How-to Guide” for finding, hiring and managing professional contractors in New Zealand to maintain productivity.

The report comes as a timely arrival for many employers who are considering executive leasing, in other words using contractors, through these challenging times. The flexible cost structure of contracting appeals to business managers, because it means they’re not locked into long-term financial commitments. And in the current volatile market, these commitments can prove to be a real headache when profitability comes under pressure.

“It is time to start thinking outside of the square” says Tony Wai – Managing Director of Crackerjacks, the company that has released the report. Along side his role with Crackerjacks, Tony provides management consulting to SME’s and has seen the need to implement a resource for businesses that provides practical advice to maintain profitability, even in a difficult market.

This “How-to Guide” is the first of a series of HR reports that’ll be available for proactive employers to get creative with their HR strategies to minimise the effect of the recession.

Wai explains that the paper addresses a number of questions managers raise when considering using professional contractors. The key sections in the paper include; current rate expectations of contractors in NZ, technical differences between contractors and employees, a handy formula for converting a permanent salary into a contractor’s hourly rate and tips for managing on-site contractors.

Interestingly so, the paper highlights the current rate expectations of professional contractors in NZ. Often HR Managers and employers are in the dark about the actual hourly rate of a contractor when they go through an agency, as the margin is included in their rate. But in this report there are no margins included – so employers can see the true cost of securing a contractor directly. Key findings include; IT technical specialists charge out at $65 per hour, HR Managers expect $70 per hour and an experienced Accountant (non-manager) expects $37 per hour.

Crackerjacks – the organisation that created this report, is an online HR tool that houses a database of professional contractors. They have the ability to track rate expectations of contractors, so in-time will be able to show fluctuations of the expected rates amongst various professions. Their candidate database has grown from 1,000 professionals in December last year to the current count of 2,388 professionals. There is no doubt the current employment market has fuelled this dramatic growth.

It comes as no surprise permanent staff turnover has increased, in fact according to the RCSA, this figure peaked in February 2009 at 50% PA in New Zealand. There now are a significant number of candidates circulating in the employment market, and many of which are skilled professionals who’re now experimenting with contracting to get through this difficult period.

But with the recent events of prominent global credit agency - Standard and Poor’s reassessing our rating from a negative out-look to a stable footing and hiring expectations of NZ employers increasing from the last quarter, things are starting to look a bit brighter for our economy.

Along with this rise of optimism, productivity is following, however, the big question remains - what will the future hold? Many employers are scratching their heads wondering whether it is time to re-hire permanent employees or hold off growth plans for another 12 months, when we could be well ‘clear’ of the recession.

In this situation contracting offers Managers a timely solution – they can reach the next level of growth, without committing to long term fixed costs. Crackerjacks, a specialist tool in the professional contracting space has seen the need for a resource that assists ‘newbie’ managers to the arena of hiring professional contractors.

For more information on this HR Report visit to download a free copy.


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