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Kirsty Hopkins
1st May, 2014

What Peeves UK Contractors?

Liverpool Docks

More and more UK companies may be waking up to the value of contractors but that does not mean they are able to maximise this value. A key issue employers need to address is the recruitment process, which an overwhelming majority of contractors find to be too lengthy. Many contractors also complain about poor treatment at the start of work, more specifically in the areas of induction and onboarding.

This disconnect could leave employers at a disadvantage in the pursuit of talent, HR Magazine reports.

The observations were set out in a white paper published by leading recruitment consultancy Robert Walters, based on a survey of more than 500 UK contractors and hiring managers.

95% of independent professionals believe that the hiring process should to take no longer than three weeks.

As it turns out, 95% of independent professionals believe that the hiring process should to take no longer than three weeks. But they often end up frustrated because 52% of employers expect the negotiations to take longer. According to Robert Walters director Andrew Broster, a protracted hiring process puts employers at risk of losing valuable specialists: a rival's offer may start to look more attractive if contractors get tired of the wait.

Induction and onboarding practices also leave many contractors confused or feeling ill-treated: 41% told Robert Walters they had arrived for a new job to find no workstation, desk or chair available. In addition, 64% reported problems with accessing IT systems and 43% were unable to obtain IT information of critical importance. Tim Gilbert, another Robert Walters director, said that companies should pay as much attention to contractor onboarding as they do to induction for permanent staff. Otherwise, the working relationship could be fraught with tension from the start.

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