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Why are contractors increasingly being used in risk management?

02 / 03 / 2016
Why are contractors increasingly being used in risk...There are currently around 4.6 million people who work for themselves in the UK, with many of these offering their services to organisations as contractors.

The Office for National Statistics estimates that this group accounts for 15 per cent of the country's total workforce, and workers within it are increasingly being utilised by businesses throughout the nation.

Our Barclay Simpson 2016 Risk Management Market Report revealed that demand for contractors in the industry rose significantly during the final six months of 2015, with 21 per cent of risk management departments now regularly utilising contractors' services.

Meanwhile, a further 44 per cent of respondents said they would consider recruiting such individuals to gain access to hard-to-find or niche skills for a specific time period.

But what benefits can contractors bring to an organisation? And how can they fit in with companies' corporate culture visions?

The benefits of utilising contractors

Respondents to our report explained that they were increasingly using contractors to help them keep their risk management departments operating to full capacity during periods of transition, such as when new regulations are introduced, or when a new strategy is being launched.

Contractors generally spend their professional lives working at one company for a few weeks or months, before moving to another firm for a couple more, meaning they benefit from having to adapt their skills to a wider variety of organisations and situations, allowing them to improve along the way.

What's more, this group of workers often operate on a flexible basis, which can have benefits for both contractors and businesses. It allows the workers to achieve a better balance between their personal and professional lives, while enabling organisations to take advantage of niche skills and expertise for just a short time period. This means they can try to keep costs down, alongside boosting their risk profile.

Contractors and corporate culture

Another benefit of utilising the services of contractors is that they may be more likely to fit in with a company's corporate culture.

According to research published in 2014 by the RSA thinktank, contractors and freelancers tend to report higher levels of happiness and job satisfaction than full-time employees.

The majority (84 per cent) of contractors surveyed by the organisation said they thought they were happier working on their own terms than if they had been employed on a permanent basis, with 66 per cent of those questioned 'strongly' believing this.

With a growing number of businesses currently creating corporate cultures that include an element of 'fun', it could be argued that incoming contractors may be more enthusiastic about adapting to these shifts due to their more positive attitudes towards working life. Full-time workers who are more set in their ways may find it more challenging to embrace change, therefore highlighting another benefit of hiring contractors.

Contractors and risk management

But what about contractors in the risk management sector specifically?

Risk management is an ever-changing industry, particularly as digitisation takes hold, meaning utilising the services of contractors who have gained experience with a number of companies and who have had to nurture and develop their skills to keep themselves ahead in a competitive market can have significant benefits for businesses.

However, it's important that contractors working in a risk management department remember to take themselves and their role in the company into account when devising a risk strategy, as an influx of temporary employees can increase an organisation's risk profile if not managed adequately.

Our 2016 Market Report combines our review of the prevailing conditions in the risk management recruitment market together with the results of our latest employer survey.ADNFCR-1684-ID-801813550-ADNFCR