There is no doubt that demand for quality resources in Australia’s legal market is very high at the moment, and there is a lot of speculation as to why. Perhaps it is a result of the Royal Commission sucking up a plethora of resources. Or it might be because there was a lack of investment in young talent during the GFC that is now playing out in the market. Whatever the reason it is clear that in order to secure quality resources employers need to consider alternatives to the traditional employment model.
As a legal resourcing firm, we often find ourselves talking about the benefits of using contract lawyers rather than the traditional employment model. Contractors, especially those pre-vetted, present many advantages to business.
There is a common misconception that the ‘rate x hours/days per week x weeks per year’ should be roughly equivalent to the salary of the permanent employee (perhaps with a small uplift for contracting). In our experience, this is not the case. While a contractor may be paid more per hour than a permanent employee, the overall cost of the contractor can often be less when entitlements and other costs associated with permanent employment are taken into account.
Using a contractor reduces many obligations that come with a permanent headcount. Some are obvious: employers aren’t required to pay annual leave, sick leave, long service or other leave payments. Contractors also do not attract superannuation costs, workers compensation, payroll costs, days off for professional development, cost of the practitioner’s practicing certificate and professional indemnity insurance, employee entitlements, mobile phones etc (these hidden costs can often exceed 15% of the salary cost). Additionally, in many organisations overhead allocation to your business unit is calculated on the basis of headcount, and can be as high as 25-30% of salaries cost.
Training costs are also reduced: because contractors bring specialist knowledge and are often experienced freelancers, they are able to hit the ground running and add immediate value.
At Orbit, our rates are inclusive of all the above costs as well as recruitment, which is already done to the highest standard, and we take care to place the right specialist so their value is felt immediately.
One of the biggest value-adds contractors bring is flexibility. In a fluctuating economy, the key to success in business is a workforce which is agile and adaptable in an unstable environment.
Contractors can be hired for a specific task or project, to cover a period of leave within a team, or to ensure there is no gap between one employee leaving and another beginning. Whatever the scenario, contractors work a specific amount of hours in a predetermined period which can be terminated without risk of redundancy or the need to performance manage. An employer can effectively turn a resource off and on depending on their workload or the skills required for a particular project or matter.
Australia’s contingent workforce is growing exponentially, and employers should be taking advantage of alternative methods of resourcing and recruitment to attract the best talent.
Kinetic Super’s Contingent Job Index reported that between November 2013 and September 2017 there was an increase of 43% in contingent workers nationwide. This is in part because people are looking for ways to work differently - Manpower Group Solutions’ Work, for Me report found that 41% of candidates list flexibility as a top three motivator when making a career decision. This is a 21% increase in Australia in the past year.
And Orbit can certainly attest to this – we have found a remarkable increase in interest and engagement with our model over the past 12 months. Lawyers are looking for flexibility. They’re also looking for interesting work to which they can both apply their specialised knowledge and upskill their expertise.
By far the greatest advantage of engaging Orbit is that you can leave the heavy lifting of the recruitment process with us. This saves you time and money (there are no sign-on fees or recruitment fees), while delivering a high quality resource. Our recruitment process ensures we only work with quality lawyers who are adept at contracting and able to work in a variety of environments. If we would not place them within Corrs then we would not place them with you.
Our lawyers have to pass two interviews, reference checks and a verification process, and they are generally referred to us by someone within our networks; so there is some serious vigour to our processes which ensures quality candidates. We also continually seek feedback from our clients so we are certain that we continue to work with the best candidates in the market. The fact that such a huge proportion of our lawyers have their assignments extended is testament to the value they add.
So, if you want real bang for buck, call us next time you are looking to fill a need in your team and let us introduce you to some of our exceptional lawyers.
If you’re looking for a flexible and practical legal resourcing solution on an urgent project or a temporary gap in your legal team, email or call Linda Grace for a confidential conversation on how Orbit can work for you.
Phone: +61 3 9672 3509