Back when lockdowns began, furloughs, even complete shutdowns, were widespread. Since then, many businesses have started getting back to their offices again. But not without challenges.
While businesses may be ready to operate under covid-precautionary measures, not all staff members are ready and able to get back to their onsite posts. Many of our existing clients are London-based, where high alerts continue and commuting on public transport is commonplace. Not ideal conditions for people-first businesses under pressure.
While some roles are well-suited to working from home, others just aren’t. Not everything can be done remotely: Service desk, end-user support, desktop support services and other IT support resources need to be onsite where your people and hardware is.
If you have full-timers who are vulnerable or live with vulnerable people, you might find yourself ready for action but without your full onsite team. If that’s the case, know that you’re not alone.
“We can’t get our people back”
You’re a people-first organisation. You’re serious about giving employees as much flexibility as you can. You’ve not been doing the bare minimum to toe the employment law lines. Treating your people right is part of your corporate culture. It’s in your DNA.
But you also need to do right by your clients. IT issues, downtime and delays don’t just impact your business but your customers too. Not to mention your bottom line if your IT issues prevent the wider organisation from providing the goods and services at a competitive pace, quality and cost commensurate with pre-covid times.
You don’t want to make broad, sweeping predictions. If the past year has taught us anything it’s that we need to be agile and open-minded about what the future (near and far) will hold. But I do believe that the furlough process is going to run until at least the end of March. Businesses will potentially have the same problems up until that point at the earliest.
By then, we could all be facing similar challenges but for different reasons. What happens when vaccines become readily available? Will you have team members not wanting to come back until the vaccines have proved themselves safe and reliable?
None of us has a crystal ball. What we do have is the ability to plan and consider contingency ahead of time and minimise negative impacts.
We don’t know what’s going to happen with COVID cases and lockdown measures come January. We’re not virologists and don’t want to be harbingers of doom during an already stressful time. What we might expect is that seasonal flu and colds are likely to spike as they do every year. With that in mind, we suspect more full-time employees will be reluctant to travel if they have any doubt in their minds that they could have a virus themselves, or that a close-proximity colleague is awaiting test results.
How to thrive until your full-timers come back
There are ways of dealing with these shortfalls. You’ve likely tried or thought about already. Many just aren’t viable.
Use a recruitment agency
- Saves time posting job listings, sifting CVs and screening applicants
- Expensive, especially for short-term fixes.
- Not guaranteed to find the right people with the right skills.
- No support once the contractor is placed.
- You need to train them yourself.
- Possible issues around IR35 changes in March 2021.
Recruiting contractors directly
- Save on recruitment fees.
- Searching and screening are time-consuming.
- A false-economy when you factor in hiring manager time, onboarding and training.
- Still no assurances on IR35 and other legal obligations relating to direct contractor hiring.
Plugging gaps with internal resources
- No hiring costs.
- Minimal training required.
- Less red-tape and legal risk.
- Taking highly skilled people away from business-critical endeavours.
- High risk of employee dissatisfaction.
- Short-term fix that’s not easily repeatable.
The better option
Acora isn’t an agency. We never have been, never will be. We’re an IT service provider (rated in the Top 50 globally don’t you know…!) with a track record of delivering complex IT projects into demanding sectors. We know what great looks like from a technical perspective and with over 300 employees and the same again in known and trusted associates – we know where you can find the great.
We don’t just give you CVs for a fee. Instead, we supply an ongoing service beyond simply getting talent through your door. Recruiters have their place. They charge you a fee for each placement –but that’s where their job ends. If that placement doesn’t work out, you’ll pay again for another and another until you get the right fit.
At Acora, we’re the ones managing the success of your contingent workforce. Whether that’s helping you place one person for a month or merging a whole team with your in-house structure.
- Simple day-rates for easy budgeting.
- Sourcing, screening and onboarding done for you.
- Our skilled talent pool cuts down training time.
- Protection against IR35.
- Vetted talent ready to work in your area under covid-safe office protocols.
As your service provider, we’re as invested in your contingent workforce as you are. Unlike a recruitment agency, we are here to provide a service. Not just people for a flat fee.
Whether you need a full team or just one person for one month, we can help. Get in touch now so you’re ready for anything in 2021. You can reach our Head of Support Services, Benjamin Whitehead, at [email protected].