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How will Resource Outsourcing/Staffing help the Industry Post –COVID?

How will Resource Outsourcing/Staffing help the Industry Post –COVID?

India has generally seen a trend of engaging blue-collared, support staff resources on third-party/ off-roll/outsourcing/ staffing engagement. Post-2008 recession, the pattern of engaging white collared, skilled resources widespread by the IT Industry but still was limited to IT Industry alone. Post-COVID, the trend of engaging white collared, technical employees into Contractual engagement excluding few Senior Management and strategical roles is envisaged as a necessity and is in demand now irrespective of any sector.

IT Industry shifted to this trend after the 2008 recession based on the following observations.

  • Bench cost was consuming revenues of the Organization affecting the financial health of the Company,
  • Having resources on bench based on the projection of growth didn’t turn out to be a wise decision.
  • Expansion plans delayed due to many factors
  • Competition,
  • Pricing,
  • Clients’ Approvals,
  • Licensing,
  • Global Economic trends,
  • Currency conversion,
  • Downtime between projects,
  • Mapping of the maximum capacity of each resource
  • On the other hand, holding back employees with no complete engagement led to the attrition of resourceful employees, leaving behind only the average people in the stream.

Why is the Non-IT Industry ( Construction, Infra, Energy, etc..,) following this trend 13 years later?

Non-IT Industry, on the other hand, has been most apprehensive about this model. And there have been justifying reasons for the same.

The reasons for non-acceptance were many concerns.

  • Accountability and Integrity of skilled resources on contractual engagement.
  • Gauging of work in manual ways and not digital ways which make it challenging to monitor the process
  • Empathy towards fellowmen for the insecurities in contractual jobs
  • Comparatively smaller players in staffing with an unclear or obscurely defined scope
  • Payroll agencies with only documentation capabilities or partial responsibilities.

Development and transformation was slower owing to

  • Multi-level external challenges
  • Delay in deliverables where the line of activities got disrupted without a possibility of back up or control
  • Support from all departments on time
  • Inventory availability
  • Govt approvals
  • Fund shortage due to delayed receivables from the end client,
  • Change in instructions from management/client since this Industry has been extremely dynamic in nature.

All the above reasons led to resistance to change or non-prediction of uncertainties or inability to collectively assess the cost and business benefit.

In the current scenario, ambiguities are intensified to the extent of the uncertainty raising questions like “IS THERE A TOMORROW? IF YES, WHO ALL WILL JOIN US AND BE A PART OF TOMORROW?”

Limited visibility to the future by even big giants of the Industry, failure of long term plans, long term plans being replaced by short term plans have forced every Company to lie low and sustain. This, in turn, has led to Pay cuts, Lay-offs, Furloughs, increased pressure for people to perform. In such a scenario, the Human nature of sympathy, empathy towards fellowmen, bothering about developing people for long term returns, consideration towards others’ jobs, feeling stressed due to workload have taken backstage. What has been more critical is working towards sustaining the Organization (a foundation which houses employees) through the chaos irrespective of all reasons – genuine, significant, logical or fake, insignificant, illogical.

This situation has led Industry to adapt to staffing/ outsourcing as a stop-gap to cater to the active projects, or newly acquired projects for the next three years. Approximately three years expecting all the cascading effects, chain reactions, transitions, transformations, adaptations to be completed in three years, and implementation of new normal to start functioning successfully.

Hopefully, this opportunity should transform the staffing industry with a place in the Industry as an organized sector- breaking barriers, inventing, innovating, and leading to great opportunities and aspiration to the youngsters to step in this Industry by choice and not by chance. Because decisions are made out of interests, and interests lead to innovation.

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