A dreary Monday in London was lit-up by a brace of inspiring seminars focussing on the benefits of innovative payroll technology and outsourcing business processes to umbrella companies and recruitment firms. Upon entering the sparkling elegance of the London EDITION hotel’s stunning foyer, over fifty invited guests soon forgot the sleet like rain lashing the capital as they made their way up the gilded marble staircase to the snug confines of Studio 2. Steaming pots of fresh coffee and sumptuous platters of ‘finger food’ only added to the sense of exclusivity as new connections were made and long-standing business relationships rekindled.
As guests settled into their seats, Julian Pilling, Solutio’s Co-founder & UK CEO, welcomed one and all and introduced the first speaker, Julia Kermode, Chief Executive of the FCSA. Her candid opening address, fittingly titled, ‘Why Compliance Matters’, outlined the organisations’ raison d’etre which, in turn, set the tone for the seminars overarching themes. Citing examples of non-compliance and their (often) imprisoned perpetrators, Julia’s comments brought into sharp focus the industry’s relentless shift towards transparency throughout the past decade as opposed to the myriad of dodgy tax avoidance schemes so prevalent in the dark days gone by.
With minds firmly focussed, Adam Pode from the Staffing Industry Analysts, delivered a compelling presentation (‘Tech and Trends’) articulating the salient developments of the worldwide recruitment sector. Highlighting the explosion of the so-called gig economy (now worth in excess of $4,500,000,000,000!!!) Adam’s innate knowledge served to emphasise the scale of the commercial opportunity available to recruitment businesses who offer a genuinely compliant facility to pay the vast swathes of workers who can be broadly defined as “contingent”. Macro socio-economic trends dictate that the growth of contracting labour is only destined to continue and firms will need to embrace the power of technology and new methods of working to fully take advantage of this fertile landscape.
Enter Pom Chakravarti and Pramith Naidu from the highly successful QXAS (QX Accounting services) outsourcing company. Formed in the UK, but run primarily from India, QXAS provide a full suite of external business processes for accountants, umbrella companies and recruiters. Pom & Pramith’s joint ‘People, Process and Platform’ presentation, provided a persuasive rationale for outsourcing business services to specialist organisations irrespective of their location. With particular emphasis on communication, training and sharing a client’s company culture, QXAS offer a viable and streamlined business model that can dramatically increase the profitability of UK-based recruitment and payroll firms. By definition, QXAS extoll a global philosophy in synch with advancements of the sector referenced earlier by Adam Pode.
Based in Manila, the Philippines where he manages a 170-strong software development team, David Bell, is perfectly placed to observe how technology is transforming all facets of working practices, particularly in the recruitment space. In addition to being Solutio’s Co-founder and CEO in Asia, David has a unique ability to distil complex tech advancements into a series of practical benefits for those entities active in the contingent worker supply chain.
Appropriately titled ‘Innovation as a Catalyst for Business Growth…’ David’s presentation focussed on the commercial benefits of synchronised data, transparent transactions and shared management information as a route to guaranteed and proven compliance. Banishing notions of occasional audits to the history books, David demonstrated how compliance can be both constant and tangible as opposed to a malleable annual exercise based upon a tertiary snapshot of a business on any given day.
Vastly experienced and one of the most respected consultants in the staffing industry, Jonathan Brostrom’s closing slides served to pull all of the seminars themes together in a succinct and thought-provoking presentation entitled ‘Supply Chain Transparency’. Jonathan is Principal Consultant for 1218 Global who has witnessed “decades of change” which he summarised into the following five trends:
With an eye on the “unfolding” future, Jonathan too predicted how technology will accelerate all aspects of the assignment process including onboarding, candidate evaluations, contracts, payments, key information documentation and reporting. He referenced notions of a “portable identity” whereby workers have immediate and constant access to information empowering them to develop successful careers.
To succeed in this new connected world, intermediary organisations will have to prove themselves capable of adding genuine value as not to be neutered by the march of the machines. Glib statements of trust are being replaced by indisputable reports, company reputation will be scored by honest reviews and worker value will be measured by skills and performance; PR will be rendered pointless and the influencer’s opinion invalid as the truth finally rises to the indisputable fore.
Writing with the benefit of hindsight and reflecting on the seminars content, I am reminded of ‘The Global Village’, a seminal media text written by Marshall McLuhan, published in 1964. McLuhan correctly predicted how technology would shrink the world, but I doubt if even he could have foreseen the limitless potential of the digital revolution’s next phase. Listening to the presenters, I felt as if I were in the company of pioneering visionaries whose knowledge and expertise should be cherished and acted upon; I had been given access to the blueprint for the staffing industry’s future and afforded a privileged insight into the advantages of an ever more integrated and far better world.
To find out more about cutting-edge payroll technology, outsourcing umbrella business processes or to attend future events organised by Solutio, please contact Sophie Law (Business Development Manager) on 07789 488 081 or email firstname.lastname@example.org, or request a call back here.
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