Engineering, manufacturing and fabrication industries would do well to consider outsourcing their staff, especially in uncertain economic times when projects may or may not be given the green light.

While this year’s National Budget prioritised spending on social and economic infrastructure in line with the medium-term strategic framework and the National Development Plan, estimated public-sector infrastructure spending for 2018 has dropped since 2017.

Innovative Staffing Solutions Managing Director, Arnoux Maré, says even when companies win tenders, projects may be delayed or put on hold. “In these instances, the company may have employed people to deliver on a project, only to find it has been delayed by a few months and they have surplus staff on their payrolls. This is also a stressful scenario for the employees, who then live in fear of losing their jobs.

“If a company outsources its staff to an outsourcing operation, the employees without work can be re-deployed to other organisations where their skills are required. Companies don’t have to pay salaries for redundant roles or, alternatively, retrench staff members, who were employed in good faith,” adds Maré.

He says managing a workforce requires time, energy and skill. “Many businesses do not have the resources needed to do a proper job of recruiting the right people and managing the various aspect of the human resource function such as induction, training, industrial relations, dismissals and CCMA hearings.”

Maré’s company takes responsibility for the entire HR function, which allows its clients to focus on their growth strategies and core competencies. “It is important to note that legitimate outsourcing companies are not labour brokers or temporary employment services, but organisations where both the employees and the companies are protected,” he stresses.

At Innovative Staffing Solutions, we contractually employ our clients’ staff on a permanent basis. This means we take over a client’s drivers, hospitality workers or farm workers by reinstating them as permanent ISS employees, but they continue to work for said client. In exchange, employees receive benefits they may not have received previously, while the client’s HR needs are handled, such as, finding suitable staff and dealing with disciplinary issues.

Outsourcing also represents a viable way to address skills shortages in the engineering and related industries. “It the outsourcing company’s role to source the relevant skills and contractually employ the person on a permanent basis. It is also responsible for developing and retaining key technical skills and keeping abreast of industry trends,” notes Maré.

With the demand for infrastructure driven by expanding populations and rapid urbanisation, Maré says the engineering and related industries need higher numbers of skilled personnel. “This is where we can play a role in taking the pressure off companies to find the appropriately-skilled people.”

He cites the example of the more than 5500 drivers Innovative Staffing Solutions employs. “Our drivers collectively spend thousands of hours on the roads. To ensure they remain competent to do their jobs effectively, they are constantly assessed and developed. To this end, we invested in a truck that is used solely for the purpose of training our drivers,” concludes Maré.