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Why SMMEs in the country need staffing flexibility amid Covid-19

Arnoux Maré is the managing director of Innovative Staffing Solutions. Photo: Supplied

Arnoux Maré is the managing director of Innovative Staffing Solutions. Photo: Supplied

Published Nov 4, 2021


By Arnoux Maré

TO MEET the challenges posed by the pandemic and to contend with a contracting economy, South African businesses need to be agile and seek out opportunities that will accelerate their recovery and growth.

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One-way companies can do this is by leveraging the expertise of external service providers.

Lockdown measures have caused revenues in many small to medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs) to decline sharply and a lot of companies are being forced to cut back on business spending to survive. This hardship also presents an opportunity for organisations to streamline their processes and delegate to independent providers whatever functions fall outside of their core business ambit.

To assist organisations to weigh their options, here are seven reasons why externalising could be the best decision for your company:

1. Bang for your buck

With massive lay-offs and controlled spending, accessing a labour force with specialised knowledge may be harder for most businesses but the use of external service providers can bridge this gap. Companies gain access to qualified specialists without having to take on the burden of adding them to their payroll. Not only do companies save money, time and recruitment costs, but their profits will also be extended with fewer overheads to cover.

2. Greater productivity

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Even companies with a track record of success can suffer stagnation at the hands of incompetent staff. Deploying an external party can increase productivity by firstly decreasing the pressure on overworked or under-qualified employees and, secondly, allowing your staff to focus on the core business needs rather than bogging them down with mundane tasks.

3. Sharing of risk

One of the most important factors in any project is risk assessment and analysis. By delegating certain campaigns or processes to experts in their respective fields, your company will benefit from their enhanced ability to plan and mitigate potential risks.

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4. Concerted targeted efforts

Another overlooked advantage of delocalising a company’s labour efforts is that it enables you to plan and execute more effective, targeted campaigns and projects that you wouldn’t ordinarily be able to take on. This gives your business the chance to take new risks and experiment with different methods of exposure.

5. Fewer legal obligations

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In the eyes of the law, independent service providers are the owners and operators of their businesses and, therefore, are not entitled to the same legalities as employees. For employers, this means that they have fewer obligations to third-party suppliers than they do to their employees.

6. Staffing flexibility

If your business has operations with cyclical or seasonal demands to bring in extra staff, redistribution of labour provides an opportunity to make additional resources available when you need them and release them when they are no longer required.

7. Third parties provide expertise

Third-party service providers often offer superior service and provide the expertise that you cannot get from your staff. In most cases, they have been working in a specific field for several years and have had ample opportunity to hone their skills. Furthermore, an external service provider is likely to have done similar work before and will be able to get the job done quickly and efficiently.

Companies considering externalising their labour force or processes to gain the upper hand must work with reputable service providers. Businesses must have a solid contract with their service providers which examines service level agreements, time frames and measurement, penalties, rewards, regular reviews and exit strategies. This will ensure that while your business forges ahead, even the delegated aspects of your work remain aligned and meet your company’s expectations,.

Arnoux Maré is the managing director of Innovative Staffing Solutions.

*The views expressed here are not necessarily those of IOL or of title sites.


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