The bottom line on executive contracting

by External14 Nov 2011
A case in point

An experienced accounting executive who had been recently placed in a permanent CFO role with a well known hospitality company, found himself quickly at a critical cross roads.  As he settled into his new role, he discovered several alarming problems with his company's front office IT system and its integration with the finance function. At the time, there was no one within the business who had the time or the expertise to properly rectify these problems. As the new CFO, he needed to ensure that there was a comprehensive IT system installed which could provide him with an accurate financial picture.

The recruitment consultant who placed the CFO suggested he consider hiring a contractor to address the problems with the company's IT and Finance systems. The CFO knew the benefits that hiring a contractor for this purpose would bring and through engaging Talent2's specialist Accounting and Finance Contracting team, was able to source a contractor within a week of providing a brief. The new contractor already had experience in the IT Finance system that the company was using and as a result, was able to work swiftly to identify a new solution that fit well with the company's broader IT infrastructure.

Within three months, the problems were solved and the CFO was delighted that the situation was rectified so quickly and smoothly. The contractor fit well into the organisation, and after his initial project was completed, he was recruited to support another project team and his contract was extended for another nine months.

While this is just one example, the case demonstrates the value that a contracting approach can bring beyond just one, immediate need.

The talent pool and the growing future of executive contracting

In line with the global trend, the pool of professional contractors in Australia is growing as the benefits of freelancing become more evident. In fact, according to recent stats from the ATO, 4.1 million of the current Australia workforce are non permanent employees and this is on the rise.

The opportunity for greater remuneration is a key driver, with employers willing to pay higher rates for contractor skills they do not possess in house. This is a major challenge for many organisations as supported by PWC’s Global CEO Survey which cited 66% of CEOs as saying that a lack of required skills is their biggest talent challenge.

The greater level of freedom that contracting offers professionals is also making it increasingly attractive. Contractors can enjoy the freedom to pick and select their clients/projects according to their passion and can also have greater control over their schedules, making work-life balance achievable.

Contracting also enables professionals to gain a wealth of experience and increased opportunities to work with leading companies, as contracts generally range from three to 12 month periods. It also offers them the flexibility and vision to train in cutting edge skills to further their career and build a stronger professional network. In fact, 89% of freelancers consider working independently as an important part of their career strategy.

Other benefits include relocation opportunities, where high-level contract work can open up doors to exciting opportunities, tax savings and other incentives based on the market.

The bottom line

With talented professionals recognising the value that contracting offers their careers, and businesses starting to clearly reap the benefits of engaging contingent staffing, the future of contracting as a strong value proposition, is a powerful one.

About the author

Georgia Murch is the Australian and New Zealand manager for contracting business, Talent2.

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