UAE companies increasingly rely on contract staffing to meet business growth challenges

March 24, 2014 11:19 am

TASC, a regional leader in talent and people management solutions, reveals that it has witnessed year-on-year increase in contract staffing in the UAE by about 15% to 20%. With greater pressure to improve organisational efficiency and optimise HR investments, along with more awareness of the benefits of alternative staffing solutions, organisations in the UAE are increasingly turning to outsourcing or contract staffing to meet business objectives while maintaining performance and output.

The government sector, telecom and IT, large retail companies, and the oil and gas sector have been first movers and are amongst the most proactive to embrace this trend. The highest demand for contract staff is for IT personnel, call centre employees, retail promoters including short-term promoters during events or peak seasons, office admin staff, and experienced oil and gas project managers. The verticals that are still lagging behind but could benefit from flexible staffing, according to TASC, include engineering, trading companies, and the SME sector.

Mahesh Shahdadpuri, CEO and Managing Director, TASC, commented on the main hurdles that have prevented some of the slow adopters from taking advantage of increased staffing options in the market: “In some instances, there is a lack of awareness of the benefits, along with a misconception that it is illegal to hire external staff that are not on their visas. There are businesses that genuinely need this but they are not necessarily clear about the regulatory framework. In addition, some of the traditional outsource staffing companies simply provide visas – as opposed to what we provide, which is a full service talent solution that encompasses recruitment, visa, assessment, training, certifications, security clearances, day-to-day HR management, attendance, payroll and other managed services.”

Today TASC has over 3,000 employees, outsourced to over 150 clients in the region, including some of the biggest international brands such as LG Electronics and Samsung Electronics, and other clients that include one of the largest global FMCG brands, one of the largest local banks, prominent regional airlines, telecom companies, large local businesses, and government agencies.

Benefits of outsourcing
“Talent is the lifeblood of any organization,” emphasised Shahdadpuri. “Outsourcing staffing requirements allows HR departments to focus more on transformational activities, rather than transactional ones . For instance, our large call centre clients have reported a significant improvement in their customer satisfaction scores by up to 35%, as we took away the headache of recruiting at a short notice, managing staff training, attrition, day-to-day HR management, and transactional queries,” added Shahdadpuri.

“IT companies and departments are on tight timelines and often need hard-to-find skills fast. The right outsourcing partner will have the systems and processes in place to source such skills from around the world, ensuring that projects start on time and are delivered to stringent quality standards,” he further added.

Some large retail clients rely on TASC to deploy sales staff and manage their day to day transactional activity related to attendance, payroll, sales, MIS monitoring, and more. Clients have reported an almost 20% increase in sales, as they are now better able to focus on strategic competitive challenges rather than HR ones.

Other benefits of contract staffing or outsourcing employees include a reduced total cost of ownership, quicker time to hire and deploy, and improved productivity through efficient division of work between permanent and contract employees. Organisations also have the opportunity to “try before they buy”, as they can hire for a contracted period before converting to permanent employee status. They have resource flexibility and can change team structures depending on project needs, without jeopardising the company’s reputation, as they are not seen as a “hire and fire” employer. Temporary staff can also be utilized to cover long vacation periods and maternity leave, thus furthering the organisation’s reputation as an employer that supports work-life balance, thereby attracting the best talent in the market.

To maximise the benefits of contract staffing, Shahdadpuri recommended certain industry best practices that are the norm at TASC: “It is important to treat outsourced staff fairly and with the same respect and appreciation due to permanent staff. Outsourcing firms need to be audited to ensure they are paying their people on time and treating them well. Maintain an optimal balance of fulltime and outsourced employees. Invest in the induction and training of your contracted staff. Outsource it if you can’t do it in-house. This is just as important as ensuring the skills development of permanent employees, as it directly affects your company’s performance. And, finally, be a responsible employer and provide your contracted and permanent staff good medical cover and benefits.”

For more information please contact:
Ketaki Banga
BPG Cohn & Wolfe
Tel: +97142953456 Ext. 310

Harriet Goodman
BPG Cohn & Wolfe
Tel: +97142953456 Ext. 313