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  • Why your business needs a technological boost

    Sep 11, 2015

    Although sometimes we hate to admit it, technology is one of the core ingredients of business success. While many people still believe that old-fashioned manual data entry is the way to go, these processes are dated and likely to result in errors. 

    In fact, thanks to technology, simple tasks such as contractor payroll services and salary packaging has never been easier. However, according to a recently released report from PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), Australian businesses still have much to learn about technology adoption.

    Collaborating with Google, PwC developed the Small Business: Digital Growth report which not only highlighted the value of technology, but the significant revenue Australian businesses are missing out on.

    PwC economics partner Jeremy Thorpe stated that there is an output potential of around $49.2 billion over the next decade for small Australian businesses ready to launch into technology.

    "Despite Australia's recognition as a nation of early adopters, our small businesses are not fully embracing the transformational benefits that mobile and internet technology has to offer," he said in an August 17 media statement.

    "We're advocating small business to take advantage of the tools that are already available, such as mobile friendly websites and cloud based services."

    Part of a wider picture

    Small business growth within the IT contracting industry might be important, but the local success of your enterprise can have an influence on other sectors and regions. With small business such a vital part of the economic framework, Google Australia's Richard Flanagan urged firms to adopt whatever technology is available.

    "From finding new customers to saving money, technology helps virtually any small business grow," he said.

    "This new research shows that the gains are spread all around Australia, with billions of dollars of potential value to be had in rural and regional areas."

    Innovative activity

    Instead of thinking about technology as just an investment, businesses must believe that innovative action will put them head and shoulders above the competition. According to figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, just 42 per cent of local enterprises completed innovative activity across the 2012-13 financial year. 

    ABS Spokeswomen Sue-Ellen Luke explained in a 2014 media statement that small businesses are being left behind.

    "In line with previous results, large businesses are more than twice as likely to have undertaken some form of innovation - such as introducing new or improved goods or services, or improving operational processes - than small businesses," she said.

    If your contracting business is looking for a technological point of difference, contact the expert team at Oncore Services today.

  • UK contractors attracting further investment

    Sep 08, 2015

    As the UK economy continues to improve after a long period of slow growth, it is IT contractors that could see some of the benefits. With business confidence on the rise, hiring intentions are also growing and enhancing the potential for candidates in the near future.

    According to the Recruitment and Employment Confederation's (REC) monthly JobsOutlook report of 600 employers, close to three-quarters (74 per cent) of UK businesses are considering new hiring staff as 2015 draws to a close. 

    For those who have been following UK employment trends, this is well higher than the 62 per cent (May) and 63 per cent (June) recorded over the past months. As these statistics continue to improve, REC chief executive Kevin Green explains skill shortages will start appearing.

    "Our data shows that almost all businesses are operating at capacity and want to take on more staff to meet demand, but the reality is that chronic skills shortages are making this difficult," Mr Green noted in a July 22 media statement.

    "For workers the outlook is good. Starting salaries continue to rise as employers compete for talent, and permanent and temporary opportunities are available to those with the required skills and capability."

    Interestingly, 96 per cent of businesses are struggling to accommodate increases in demand, according to REC. This suggests that IT contractors may be in the best position to fill these positions without taking up resources that the business doesn't have. Considering 99 per cent of agency workers or contractors are paid the same or more than permanent employees, it seems it is a great time to be a contractor in the UK.

    Mr Green stated that this fact could change the way businesses recruit.

    "With candidates in short supply employers need to think hard about how they attract jobseekers. Longer term, business, government and educators must work together to help alleviate the skills shortages so that candidates are equipped with the skills that employers need," he said.

    ITCRA highlights Australian market

    As the UK contracting market is slightly more mature than its Australian counterpart, it is vital to compare the state of each now and again. 

    In the Information Technology Contract and Recruitment Association's (ITCRA) ICT Employment Trends Report for Q2, 89 per cent of all positions are contracted, compared to the 11 per cent permanent. 

    ITCRA CEO Julie Mills understands many contractors are also being offered permanent roles - further promoting the concept of contracting in general.

    If your business or recruitment agency wants to support your contracting professionals, contact the expert team at Oncore Services today.

  • Are current workplace laws gypping employees?

    Sep 03, 2015

    Employees and professional contractors alike are at the cornerstone of the Australian economy and therefore should be well protected under workplace relations framework.

    However, according to a draft report from the Productivity Commission, current laws aren't going far enough to protect these employees and offer greater flexibility. 

    As part of this report, released in early August, the commission has made a number of recommendations that would support employees and contractors moving forward. This included creating tighter frameworks around contracting and labour hire, clearer legislation around employees taking public holidays and reducing the red tape around unfair dismissal cases.

    Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry CEO Kate Carnell explained that the draft report is key to ensuring positive workplace relations in the future.

    "Given the importance of workplace relations to our future productivity and prosperity, we are thankful that the Commission is studying our existing arrangements and looking at ways they can be improved," she said.

    "The claim by some critics that there is no need for any review, let alone change, is absurdly complacent and will consign Australia to slowing productivity gains. For the sake of the 750,000 people, including 280,000 young people, who are unemployed, we must do better."

    While the ACCI supports the work of the Productivity Commission, Ms Carnell cited the need for the framework to extend further into anti-bullying and unfair dismissal laws. As such, the ACCI will continue to push these issues on behalf of contractors and employees.

    With the final report expected to be released in the coming months, Ms Carnell believes it is vital the commission follows through this draft.

    "It is very important that the final report includes recommendations that will create employment opportunities and the prosperity that comes through work. ACCI will do all it can to ensure this outcome is achieved," she remarked.

    Unemployment rate falls

    When referencing possible changes to employment framework, it is important to note the changes occurring across the country. According to Roy Morgan latest statistics, unemployment is down 1.5 per cent on July 2014 figures to 8.7 per cent. 

    In fact, 547,000 Australians have found full-time employment since July 2014, taking the total in this category to close to 8 million. 

    With the prospects for both employees and contractors looking brighter, it's vital for recruiters and businesses to support their workforces. This is where Oncore Services can be of assistance. 

    For information on our contractor management softwarecontact our expert team today.

  • Good time to be a female contractor - Study

    Aug 31, 2015

    It comes as no surprise that the Australian IT industry is still wading its way through a seemingly impassable skill shortage. While this is slowing progress in some sectors, there is a silver lining - the increase in women working in technology.

    The IT industry has long been a domain for men with few opportunities for skilled and qualified women. However, according to recruitment firm Robert Half, changes are afoot.

    As part of its Women in IT survey, Robert Half revealed insight from 900 chief technology officers and chief information officers. These representatives came from across the world, including Australia.

    Division Manager of Technology at Robert Half, Bansrii Shah, explained that many women come to IT from a background in another industry. However, as the digital transition continues, the skills are easily transferable.

    "The digital economy is transforming every sector, so if you couple your passion in sport, food, retail or any other area, and have the IT skills, you can now combine that with a career in technology," he said.

    "Technology is no longer a male dominated sector and new opportunities, particularly in the innovative, creative digital space, are increasingly seeing women enter this market."

    Positive Australian result

    Close to two-thirds (65 per cent) of Australian businesses have employed more women into their technology positions since 2010. This figure was well above all other countries involved in the survey including the UK (52 per cent), Singapore (49 per cent), Switzerland (48 per cent) and France (42 per cent).

    Additionally, Australia positioned significantly higher than both Germany (36 per cent) and Japan (31 per cent) which are both countries that have proud equal opportunity employment histories.

    Deloitte findings

    While the statistics in the Australia's Digital Pulse report released by Deloitte Australia and the Australian Computer Society (ACS) don't exactly provide the warm feelings that Robert Half's did, it does highlight the overall picture of women in IT.

    According to the report, just 28 per cent of all ICT workers are women. This is compared to the professional workforce where the balance is more even (43 per cent). 

    Deloitte and the ACS discussed reasons why women don't move into or stay in the technology industry for as long as hoped. This included the perception of a lack of flexibility and the narrow image of progression. 

    If your business is looking at female contractors to support your ongoing success, Oncore Services is here to help. With contractor management software and a number of other assistance packages, we can help ensure your female IT contractors are well looked after and continue to grow your business as a whole.

  • Interested in the ICT contracting market?

    Aug 28, 2015

    Given the demand for contract and permanent ICT staff, it should come as no surprise that there is always movement in these industries. 

    In fact, the second quarter of 2015 was no different, according to statistics from the Information Technology Contract and Recruitment Association's (ITCRA) ICT Employment Trends Report.

    Buyer's market

    Across recent quarters, the ICT contractor market has been beneficial to both professionals and businesses. This unpredictability continued this quarter with the discovery that the number of days needed to place contractors decreased over the last three months.

    "Our 'days to place' data is a measure of demand and supply. Victoria and New South Wales have alternated from being a buyer's to a candidate's market each quarter," ITCRA CEO, Julie Mills explained in a July 31 media statement.

    "Currently it is shifting back to a buyer's market as it now takes fewer days to place contractors. The national average is sitting at 30 days to place a contractor."

    In New South Wales, this rate fell from 45 days to 29 days, while Victoria saw a decrease from 42 days to 34 days. Three other states and territories including the ACT (49 to 45), Queensland (29 to 25) and Western Australia (29 to 22), also experienced a drop. 

    Just one state, South Australia, experienced the opposite with rates rising from 24 days to 26 days.

    Hourly rate changes

    Despite the ratio between permanent and contractor roles remaining at 11 per cent to 89 per cent, Ms Mills did explain an interesting trend in the contracting industry. 

    "At ITCRA I am hearing anecdotally of situations where employers are offering permanent roles to contractors, so this would not necessarily be evident in roles advertised," she said.

    "But this structural shift of employers and indeed contractors shifting preference to permanent is, to date, evidenced in only certain sectors and markets."

    Ms Mills added that many businesses want to build their own internal talent to ensure they don't suffer under the current skill shortage. However, she was at pains to explain that the market trend is still to outsource contractors in a similar fashion to the global marketplace.

    Across all industries, there are close to 1 million independent contractors in Australia, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. With the demand only increasing and pay rates expected to rise, this is an area of real growth.

    As such, both businesses and recruiters will need to ensure their contractor management software is up to date so contractors are always paid in full and on time.

    For more information on how Oncore Services can develop your HR contracting offering, contact our expert team today.

  • IT contractors working longer hours?

    Aug 25, 2015

    One of the true benefits of IT contracting is the freedom of time. As contractors aren't fixed to traditional hours, work/life balance is supposed to be better and stress kept at a minimum.

    However, according to the results of a recent CareerBuilder survey, professionals in the information technology industry are actually facing longer hours than ever.

    CareerBuilder polled more than 1,000 full-time workers in this occupation, among others, and discovered that 63 per cent accept that working nine to five isn't a true representation of their workload. In fact, 50 per cent check or reply to work emails outside of contracted hours.

    Additionally, some professionals like to extend themselves through overtime, with 62 per cent indicating they did it by choice rather than as a burden.

    Rosemary Haefner, chief human resources officer of CareerBuilder​, explained that technology has got to the point where it is possible for IT contractors to check in from anywhere and work outside the regular nine-to-five.

    "Moving away from a nine-to-five work week may not be possible for some companies (yet), but if done right, allowing employees more freedom and flexibility with their schedules can improve morale, boost productivity and increase retention rates," she said in a July 23 media statement.

    Male or female comparison

    The IT contracting industry is moving towards a gender-neutral environment as more and more women join the sector. CareerBuilder offered some insight into whether males or females were operating more outside normal hours. According to the figures, males were more likely to work beyond the clock (44 per cent) compared to women (32 per cent).

    Similarly, a majority of men (59 per cent) check their emails outside work in contrast to women (42 per cent). 

    Overtime statistics

    These statistics correlate well with recent Hays Recruitment figures surrounding overtime.

    In its 2015 Hays Salary Guide, 28 per cent of Australian organisations had increased overtime rates in the past 12 months. More than 10 per cent of professionals were working an extra 10 hours per week - in some cases unpaid.

    Supporting IT contractors

    With IT professionals working longer hours, it is up to businesses and recruiters to support them in their endeavours. Take Oncore Services for example.

    Through our contractor management software and assistance offerings, we can ensure your busy contractors are on the right superannuation packages, are being paid on time and have the correct insurance cover.

    For more information about how we can help your IT contractors, contact our expert team today.

  • Data and analytics insight required by businesses

    Aug 21, 2015

    Regardless of your industry, data and analytics play a critical role in making positive decisions in the workplace. Whether you want to gather some detailed reporting on your contractor workforce hours or analyse your payroll functions, technology is paving the way for these insights.

    However, while many businesses have the technology to access this information, a recent report highlights that very few have the capability to take any meaningful data of it.

    KPMG International's Going Beyond the Data - Turning Data from Insights into Value report surveyed 830 senior business executives across 15 nations. According to the findings, 97 per cent use data and analytic technology, though only 19 per cent noted they were 'satisfied' with the insights offered. 

    KPMG Global Head of Data and Analytics (D&A) Christian Rast explained the results in more detail.

    "In the last two years, we've seen a tremendous increase in D&A adoption and maturity across organisations; for example, more than 80 per cent in our survey say they are making faster, more accurate decisions with D&A, and over 67 per cent use D&A to reduce risk," he said.

    "Yet, we also know that business leaders face some critical challenges in realising the full value of their data insights in the areas of revenue growth, serving customers and overall competitive advantage."

    What departments use data and analytics the most?

    Based on KPMG's report, the HR department is among the most active in data and analytics use, alongside R&D, supply chain and finance. Almost half (47 per cent) of these departments agreed that productivity was the primary driver from data and analytic adoption.

    KPMG Partner Anthony Coops noted organisations need to understand that insight doesn't materialise from data alone.

    "The ability to apply advanced analytics that can map the data to the critical business drivers and issues calls for stronger alignment between the business and the analytics process," he stated.

    Similarly, Forbes reported IBM statistics that suggest poor data insight can cost business between 20 and 35 per cent of their operating revenue - something that can have a dramatic effect on an organisation of any size.

    Are you looking for an analytical edge?

    In the IT contracting industry, there is only one provider to consider for your data and analytic needs: Oncore Services. With a proud history in the Australian market, our expert team can help both recruiters and businesses gather the necessary data through vital business functions to boost productivity and ensure your contractors are looked after. 

    For more information on how to get started, be sure to get in touch with us. 

  • Confidence survey highlights room for growth

    Aug 18, 2015

    It is fair to say that business confidence plays an important role in both growth and development. Without the confidence to make key corporate decisions, it's easy for businesses to fall away from the competition.

    At the same time, too much confidence can lead to decisions made without proper research and the right technology in place.

    With these thoughts in mind, it is pleasing to report on the latest figures from Roy Morgan Research's Business Confidence survey. In June, this value grew 9.6 points to 114.7 points - an increase of 9.1 per cent on the previous month (May).

    However, due to the number of domestic and international issues at the moment, this figure is still well below the five-year average and the peak after the 2013 federal election. 

    Norman Morris, Industry Communications Director at Roy Morgan Research, gave the example of lower interest rates in Australia and the budget announcement that writes off up to $20,000 worth of investment.

    "However, these June results were taken prior to the deteriorating position and impasse in Greece, the dramatic downturn in the Chinese share market, and the resultant further drop in the iron ore price," he said.

    "Other major economic headwinds also continue to blow, with a worsening budget deficit and the fact that over two million Australians are either unemployed or underemployed."

    Thinking of investing in growth?

    In addition to the confidence results, Roy Morgan Research offered insight into how many businesses think the next 12 months will be a positive time for investment. According to June figures, this figure improved to 59 per cent of enterprises.

    It is important to note that this is highest rate of businesses with this mind-set since November 2014 and the statistic is well above the five-year average.

    Focus on IT contractors

    For recruiters and businesses that are working with IT contractors, the focus of this growth potential might come in the form of software and technology.

    According to the Information Technology Contract and Recruitment Association's (ITCRA) ICT Employment Trends Report for Q1 2015, recruiters are finding it hard to locate the right candidates amongst the increased demand.

    As such, working alongside Oncore Services could be one answer. With our expertise ranging from contractor management software to risk mitigation and expense processing, establishing these quality process could be the best option in the months to come.

    We are in the business of improving efficiency, so talk to our expert team about how we can help.

  • Cyber security concerns extend to IT contractors

    Aug 14, 2015

    For all the benefits of technology, there is one problem that will continue to lurk for years to come - cyber security.

    Whether external cybercriminals or internal hacks, managing information and data security has never been more important.

    In fact, according to 2014 PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) survey, the number of global cyber security incidents rose an incredible 48 per cent in a 12-month period. These statistics are compounded by PwC stating that the average financial loss from such breaches was a staggering $3.07 million in 2014.

    However, these figures are global, so it is vital to analyse the thoughts of Australian IT managers. Considering more and more Australian IT businesses are moving their data online and working with contractors through the cloud, cyber security is an issue that needs to be dealt with promptly.

    Weekly cyber breaches?

    Centrify polled 100 IT managers in both Australia and New Zealand and discovered some worrying trends. 

    Based on the responses, 46 per cent had experienced a cyberbreach in the last week. Additionally, 13 per cent of IT managers believed some form of attack had even occurred in the last 60 seconds.

    Centrify senior director APAC sales, Niall King, explained that cybercriminals have a greater chance of accessing private information when it isn't physically stored.

    "The challenge is that today's corporate perimeter has nothing to do with physical headquarters and contains data that resides in the cloud and on numerous devices employees and contractors use in the field," he noted.

    "As employees reach for the cloud on their mobiles to get their jobs done, it opens up greater security vulnerabilities. As a result, there is a greater need than ever for unified identity security across multiple devices and platforms."

    Concerns for the next 12 months?

    Respondents were also asked what their biggest concerns over the next 12 months were. Unsurprisingly, the top answer was cyber security (56 per cent of IT managers). However, cloud computing (55 per cent), mobile applications and management (both 21 per cent) also received support.

    "The combination of cloud computing and mobile access is creating incredible security headaches for organisations globally," Mr King noted.

    How can Oncore Services help?

    At Oncore Services, we take cyber security and other concerns that IT businesses have seriously. As such, we have developed a full suite of software service options incorporating some of the most important features a business handles. From payroll and tax to superannuation, Oncore Services can provide secure and productive HR functions for you and your contractors.

  • Value of mature workers to IT industry

    Aug 11, 2015

    The IT industry continues to grow at lightning pace, as a result of advancing technology and businesses moving important data and information onto digital platforms.

    However, for all the benefits of this trend, Australia - and indeed the world - are seeing significant skill shortages.

    According to Australia's Digital Pulse, a report released by Deloitte and the Australian Computer Society, digital technologies now make up 5.1 per cent of the country's GDP. With more than 600,000 ICT workers already employed across the industry, the report noted that Australia needs at least another 100,000 over the coming six years. 

    Based on ICT qualification numbers, this isn't happening, and it has the potential to put future pressure on the country's IT contractors. So, what is the solution?

    Golden Age Index

    In late June, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) issued its Golden Age Index. Based on analysis from the 34 OECD countries, it found there was real value in industries using mature-age workers. However, this was one area where Australia as a country lacked - ranking 15th out of 34.

    Despite the five​-place improvement from 2014, Australia ranked behind high flyers Iceland, New Zealand, Sweden, Israel and Norway. Even the US, Korea, Japan and Estonia outgunned Australia.

    PwC Global People Business leader Jon Williams explained that mature-age workers don't actually block the path for younger workers. In fact, he noted that it generates more demand and opportunities in the economy.

    "However we need to change our social bias toward older workers to allow this to happen. We are stuck in a cradle-to-grave model of career progression with a stigma towards changing careers and taking a step back," Mr Williams stated.

    "Businesses who make better use of the skills and experience of older workers gain a real competitive advantage at a time when their customer bases are also ageing."

    Mature IT contractor support

    One of the main reasons why mature workers don't always change careers or take on contracting opportunities is the fear of failure. With a family to support, mortgage to pay and a retirement to plan, taking this leap of faith is often a step too far for many.

    At Oncore Services, we understand the stresses and pains of IT contracting. As such, we have developed a number of services for contractors of all ages to have access to. From savings, wealth management, superannuation and career mobility, Oncore Services is in a great position to ensure your contracting career is as successful as possible.

  • Most Australians ask for superannuation help

    Aug 07, 2015

    Establishing a trusted and reliable superannuation provider is of the upmost importance for Australians - given the rising cost of living. However, with many different providers in the market today, most Australians need an element of assistance in making the right decisions for themselves and their families.

    This fact is reinforced by the results of a recent Roy Morgan Research poll. Collected over five years with the thoughts of 250,000 Australians, the 'Superannuation and Wealth Management in Australia' report offers much insight into the world of superannuation.

    According to the results, 72 per cent of Australians who changed superannuation provider in the 12-month period to December 2014 reached out for assistance. However, where they found this information varied.

    A total of 35.4 per cent sought advice from a financial planner or accountant, 18.7 per cent from their employer, 12.2 per cent from family and friends and 9.3 per cent directly from a financial institution.

    Roy Morgan Research's Industry Communications Director, Norman Morris, explained that it was positive that so many Australians are looking for superannuation assistance when switching providers. However, he was still concerned with the 28 per cent who don't get any advice at all.

    "With only around a third of those who switch their superannuation getting professional advice, combined with the considerable lack of engagement and understanding by many in superannuation, it is of some concern that they may miss out on appropriate advice for their particular needs," he said.

    "The recent Financial System Inquiry recognised this issue [saying that] 'in the absence of quality financial advice, consumers may make inappropriate investment decisions, or fail to make appropriate financial planning decisions.'"

    Superannuation assets set to rise 

    Superannuation will be an important consideration for the next generation of Australian contractors. According to Deloitte, retiring on $1 million won't be enough for Generation Y - highlighting the need to find accurate advice for your situation.

    By 2033, total superannuation assets will reach a massive $7.6 trillion in Australia, confirming the significance of this system to the country's future. So, what are the options for IT contractors?

    Oncore Wealth Solutions understands the current landscape of the superannuation system and can assist contractors when working out the best super fund for their individual situation. This can include information on tax advantages, government top-ups and consolidating super funds.

    There is no doubt that superannuation can be a minefield, but by working with Oncore Services, IT contractors can be confident that when retirement arrives, the nest egg will support your future.

  • Contracting a key part of UK economy

    Aug 03, 2015
    If employees are looking for an opportunity to extend their work/life balance, there are few better choices than to start contracting. With the ability to apply their skills between businesses and add value across the industry, these individuals are beginning to become an important part of the UK economy.

    In a recently released report from the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce's (RSA), the organisation noted the rise of so-called microbusinesses​, which includes the self-employed and contractors.

    According to the report, there are now five million microbusinesses in the UK - up from the 3.5 million recorded in 2000. In fact, 96 per cent of private-sector firms in the UK are made up of between 0 and nine employees.

    This fact is confirmed by ContractorCalculator​, which explained that contractor numbers have steadily increased over the last 30 years. At the same time, the number of large and medium-sized businesses have declined - highlighting the impact that contractors are having on the economy.

    ContractorCalculator CEO Dave Chaplin explained the importance of working productively with contractors.

    "Contractors have swelled in numbers since the recession and are now a mainstay of our economy," he said.

    "It is important that those contingent workers who deliver vital strategic skills, often making up for the shortfall in available skilled permanent staff, are recognised and rewarded for the support they provide."

    Contractors - skilled and talented

    Based on the RSA report, employees are getting themselves more qualified and as a result are more desirable as a contracting option. In 2001, 20 per cent of the self-employed workforce had a degree or equivalent qualification - compared to the 28 per cent recorded today.

    Mr Chaplin added that this meant contractors can be useful strategically, not just technically. 

    "It is hard to discard the positive impact made by those who are self-employed, when highly regarded contractors are being placed into senior positions, including change management and corporate governance," he summarised.

    Will contractor numbers continue to rise?

    According to both the RSA and Mr Chaplin, contracting numbers across all industries will continue to increase moving forward. Highlighting its autonomy and management potential, it is described as a "positive career choice".

    As such, businesses and recruiters will need to ensure they have the systems in place to help meet the needs of contractors. Contact the expert team at Oncore Services to learn about our software packages and the associated benefits.

  • Does your business require a more productive technology solution?

    Jul 28, 2015
    Across many professional services, including recruitment, employees are feeling the effects of higher workloads and are operating longer than contractually obligated.

    According to the recently released 2015 Hays Salary Guide, 28 per cent of Australian businesses had increased overtime during the last 12 months, while just 11 per cent had decreased this value.

    Based on the findings, the number of hours that employees were actually working overtime had risen substantially. A total of 11 per cent noted it was more than 10 hours per week, 34 per cent between five and 10 hours, and 33 per cent by five hours or less.

    Managing Director of Hays in Australia & New Zealand Nick Deligiannis explained that many Australians are undertaking overtime - yet just 38 per cent are being paid for their efforts.

    "Professionals in highly skilled roles, often on a salary, and often in professional services, tend to undertake a lot of this overtime," he said.

    "Add the high number (68 per cent) of employers who expect their levels of business activity to increase in the year ahead, and it's no wonder that more employers are increasing not decreasing overtime in their organisation."

    Problems associated with working overtime

    When operating in busy industries, such as IT contracting, working overtime might seem like a good idea - get ahead on the next day's tasks or even finish off after a busy day, but this can result in poorer productivity moving forward.

    Mr Deligiannis noted that stressed and overworked employees can't perform at their peak and the potential for burnout is high.

    "In many of the organisations that increased overtime, there could be a very good business case for adding an addition to the headcount - either permanent or temporary - to get through peak periods and relieve pressure on existing staff."

    However, is there another solution?

    Technology to grow productivity

    According to Microsoft Australia, Australian businesses can grow and develop quicker if they embrace new technologies and take a more innovative approach to working. In a recent survey, it was found that Australian firms have one of the lowest rates of new technology adoption in the Asia-Pacific region - behind many developing south-east Asian countries like Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam.

    To combat this, IT contracting business could consider the assistance of Oncore Services. Through our multiple contractor management software platforms, many time-consuming processes such as payroll and invoices can be consolidated into one easy-to-use system.

    For more information on how Oncore Services can add value to your business, contact our expert team today.

  • Research highlights growing divisions in UK IT industry

    Jul 22, 2015
    There is no doubt that the digital industry continues to go from strength to strength. However, its progress around the world is hampered by the growing divisions in both skill shortages and gender disparity.

    This issue was reaffirmed in recently released research from UK IT contracting recruitment firm The Candidate in its 'Women in Digital' report. Collecting the responses of 150 digital businesses across the north-west of England, the report highlighted the scope of the male-dominated work landscape and how it was impacting various roles.

    Gender divide at every level of IT contracting

    The Candidate discovered that men continue to dominate every level of the IT contracting market. A total of 156 per cent more men are placed in management roles, while only 18 out of the 150 businesses were led by women in senior management.

    It was also found that 65 per cent of all contractors employed by the businesses were men - totaling over 4,000. 

    Different roles, different genders

    As part of the digital age, new roles are constantly being created. However, based on the results of the survey, there is even gender inequality here. 

    Men were more likely to take on supposed technical jobs in relation to pay-per-click (PPC) and search engine optimisation (SEO), while women tended to focus on digital roles in marketing, social media, public relations and communication.

    However, with this mind, The Candidate noted that they spoke to many women in digital roles who were very optimistic about the future. They said the key to growing women's participation in digital roles is to promote equality and set up programs that help females feel comfortable leading from the top.

    "If the weeks we spent collating this research has told us anything, it's that digital is an exciting, dynamic and ever-changing industry to be in; jobs in digital are now hugely desirable and sought after," The Candidate noted in a press release.

    "We hope that our report goes some way in unveiling some of the issues that might be holding back this sector that has such huge potential."

    Australia's IT jobs market

    Gender equality is also something that Australia's IT contracting will have to consider. According to the Workplace Gender Equality Agency, there is a 28 per cent wage gap between genders in the Professional, Scientific and Technical Services category.

    If your business is looking for a way to ensure that your service to all IT contractors is perfect, Oncore Services will be able to help. With a range of payroll, invoice and other administration services, we can make sure that your contractors are looked after, whoever they are.

  • Debtors paying invoices faster - Report

    Jul 21, 2015
    The IT industry is a fast moving sector with new technology constantly improving potential development. However, seemingly minor issues such as slow invoice payments have the potential to slow growth.

    As such, it is pleasing to report the statistics from the latest Trade Payments Analysis out of Dun & Bradstreet. According to their figures, average invoice payment times dropped to 50.4 days over the first quarter of 2015 - compared to 56 days 12 months ago.

    This is seemingly a significant milestone with Dun & Bradstreet reporting that it is the fastest Q1 rate change since records were first measured in 2007. Additionally, it is even more impressive given the fact that the economy is only growing at 2.3 per cent.

    Why such a change?

    Dun & Bradstreet had a number of reasons for this improvement in payment times. This included lower interest rates on cash flow and the brighter outlook for the corporate sector after the recent recession.

    Gareth Jones, CEO of Dun & Bradstreet in Australia & New Zealand, explained the findings in more detail.

    "The lower cost of debt is certainly helping businesses to manage their repayments and control their cash flow in an operating environment of soft demand," he said in a June 17 media statement.

    "The protracted recovery since the global financial crisis has also forced businesses to become leaner and more efficient operations, with a greater flexibility in payment terms and conditions to improve the likelihood of timely payment."

    However, it isn't all blue skies ahead for invoice payments. While they are being paid quicker, Dun & Bradstreet still believe 44 per cent are paid late - hurting the cash flow and growth potential of many businesses.

    Businesses looking for assistance

    With the national economy moving slowly, there is a real need for corporates to look for assistance in order to grow. According to the Bibby Cash Flow Index, 59 per cent of organisations are looking to seek general business advice. This was followed by tax information (57 per cent), superannuation (33 per cent), investments (29 per cent) and risk management (23 per cent).

    It is these areas where Oncore Services can be of assistance. With a range of services including invoices, tax, compliance and expenses, our specially designed software can ensure corporates and recruiters provide excellent value to their IT contractors. 

    For more information on how we can help, contact our expert team today.

  • Young Australians and their savings habits

    Jul 17, 2015
    The next generation of Australians are the future leaders in all our industries including IT. However, there are many problems that this group of people will face - rising house prices, higher fuel bills and a generally larger cost of living.

    It is then pleasing to note the results of a recently released Savings Habit Report from Suncorp Bank. Based on these findings, the bank discovered that Generation Y is actually the best consumer group for saving money - much higher than Generation X and the generation preceding them - the Baby Boomers.

    According to the statistics, Generation Y (those aged between 25 and 34) save on average $533 per month. This calculates to around 12.7 per cent of their personal income and is more than $100 higher than the national average ($427).

    Suncorp Bank Regional Manager, Monique Reynolds explained how Generation Y are spending their hard saved cash.

    "While property investment appears to be a big motivation amongst this group compared to other generations, it is interesting to see their motivation appears to be heavily focused on a holiday and other social experiences, rather than the traditional Australian dream," she said in a June 22 media statement.

    "The saving strength of younger Australians could also be attributed to the fact that people in this age bracket are increasingly staying at home for longer, with the most current data indicating one in four adults (20 to 34 years old) still live at home."

    In fact, 32 per cent of Generation Y respondents in the report were saving for a holiday rather than a home (24 per cent).

    One of the important findings to come from Suncorp Bank was the description that Generation Y is living in a 'saving sweet spot'. They have a lower level of financial commitment, but are yet enjoying the benefits of income rises. 

    Saving for the future

    These local statistics seem to correlate well with recent numbers from the US. In a survey from TIAA-CREF, there was significantly lower number of Generation Y who we depending on superannuation moving into retirement, compared to those in Generation X and Baby Boomers.

    In fact, 34 per cent of Generation Y respondents plan to save money for 25 years of retirement - higher than the 26 per cent average.

    "Many in Gen Y came of age during the Great Recession, which helped shape their attitudes and outlook on their own finances," said Teresa Hassara, executive vice president and head of Institutional Business at TIAA-CREF."

    Contact our expert team to find out how Oncore Services can help you get more out of your earnings as a professional contractor.

  • ICT roles increase across Australia

    Jul 15, 2015
    The career scope of ICT professionals is only increasing, according to Australia's Digital Pulse - a collaboration report from Deloitte and the Australian Computing Society.

    Based on the interesting findings, the digital technologies sector is one of the most promising aspects of the Australian economy - contributing $79 billion in the 2013-2014 financial year (5.1 per cent of GDP).

    In 2014 alone, the number of ICT professionals grew five per cent to more than 600,000 across the country. 

    However, there are challenges ahead for the industry. Over the coming six years, Australia will need another 100,000 ICT professionals to take the strain off existing contractors and workers.

    ICT contractors and professionals are vital for the economy as many processes move to the digital platform.

    As such, Deloitte Access Economics director John O'Mahony is urging people to transition or train in this field.

    "The contribution from ICT to Australia's economy, and our successfully meeting our productivity challenges, are at risk if we don't ensure there is an adequate workforce equipped with the necessary ICT skills. We urgently need to boost both awareness and opportunity around ICT skills development," he said.

    "Despite the strong growth in demand, with a projected gap of more than 100,000 ICT workers in the next five years, and declining rates of ICT graduates, we are facing a serious problem."

    One of the interesting statistics to emerge from the report was that 47 per cent of people who studied ICT at some level are now in other professions - including marketing, accounting and advertising. The research indicates there is scope for these people to move back into this promising industry, and take their pick of contracting roles and job opportunities.

    ICT contracting - competitive market

    With more professionals expected to move into the ICT industry, it is likely that the contracting scene will become more competitive than ever. According to the last ICT Employment Trends Report published by the Information Technology Contract and Recruitment Association, contracting roles account for 91 per cent of all roles.

    This is causing delays in recruitment with so many candidates to pick from in certain states. For example, it is taking seven weeks to fill an ICT contract role in the Australian Capital Territory.

    With this in mind, it will be important for businesses and recruiters to consider the help of Oncore Services. We have developed software that can support for ICT workers in many ways including superannuation, payroll and invoicing.

    For more information, contact our expert team today.

  • Want success? Try a slice of innovation

    Jul 10, 2015
    There are many examples of businesses that work hard, but don't achieve any significant growth. While it could be a case of poor management, lack of customers or low quality service or product, many business experts believe innovation is the real problem.

    Ekaterina Walter, author and columnist recently featured in the premiere of Microsoft's new business show Modern Workplace. In the episode, she stated that Fortune 500 companies used to dominate the market for 70 or more years. However, with the figure closer to 15 years in recent times, she believes that businesses aren't doing enough to adapt to changes in their industry.

    According to Microsoft, today's market is dictating that companies replace their traditional processes with more agile solutions to keep up with the innovative organisations. If they don't adapt to new systems and technology, the business will probably be left behind or fail completely.

    In a June 10 news article, Microsoft revealed that for a business to be successful over time, they need to be more connected with different departments and break down non-essential silos. The company used the example of two innovative multinational companies that were implementing the right technology and ensuring their business culture rewarded and inspired innovation every day.

    "Empower their employees to make bold decisions. Encourage teams to take risks… and even to fail, but fail fast and adapt. Perhaps hardest of all, be prepared to set legacy systems aside to inspire greater creativity and innovation," the report read.

    Australian innovation statistics

    According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), 42 per cent of Australian businesses undertook innovative activity in 2012-13. 

    ABS Spokeswomen Sue-Ellen Luke noted there was a difference in the level of innovation between larger and smaller organisations.

    "In line with previous results, large businesses are more than twice as likely to have undertaken some form of innovation - such as introducing new or improved goods or services, or improving operational processes - than small businesses," she said.

    Innovation is something that businesses in various industries will need to work at as it can take many different forms. However, for IT contracting recruiters, Oncore Services is here to help.

    Encapsulating administration and payroll matters, timesheets, invoices and more, Oncore's software solutions can help ensure contractors are paid on time, every time. For more information on the service, feel free to contact our expert team today.

  • Integration - a vital part of IT contracting

    Jul 07, 2015
    As more and more businesses start to require technological overhauls, IT contractors are expected to become a vital part of the recruitment landscape.

    However, according to recruitment experts Hays, the way that businesses integrate these outsourced contractors is vital to the entire project's success. Much like any employee wants to be respected and connected to their peers, IT contractors need to feel part of the team in order to maximise their productivity.

    What are the benefits of IT contractors for employers?

    As well as the obvious revenue gains from not hiring full-time, there are a number of benefits associated with businesses working with IT contractors. These include creating a flexible workforce and the incorporation of specialist skills. 

    With this in mind, Hays pointed out that businesses can encounter people management issues if unfamiliar with contracting protocol though. Nick Deligiannis, Managing Director of Hays in Australia and New Zealand, explained this in more detail.

    "Any company entering into a partnership of this kind needs to ensure that the outsourced team believes in the same core values as their own," he said in a May 11 media statement.

    "If the team coming in already shares the same ethics and is able to embrace the company's culture, the foundations are there to build a strong working relationship."

    How can businesses and IT contractors form a positive relationship?

    Hays noted a number of ways in which businesses can create a productive relationship with IT contractors, including:

    • Goals and objectives
    It is important that the host company, outsourced team and senior management are all on the same page when it comes to goals and objectives. By understanding what the end target is, it will be easier to track performance and assess weaknesses.

    • Training
    While an IT contractor isn't a full-time employee, they still require the same level of training as regular workers. Not only does this show that they are a valued member of the team, it ensures that they can handle internal systems and processes with ease.

    • Communication
    One of the biggest issues for businesses and IT contractors to sort out is communication. Both parties entered into the contract to get a job done so it's vital that communication lines are kept open throughout. 

    Regular meetings will check that the IT contractor is on track to deliver the project within the allocated deadline. If not, steps can be implemented to help achieve the goal.

    Oncore Services are experts in the business/IT contractor relationship and have a number of offerings to help streamline processes and systems. Contact our expert team today for more information.

  • Business confidence lifts in May

    Jul 01, 2015
    With the budget out of the way, it is interesting to note the impact of the announcements on business confidence. Down for many months, recent Roy Morgan Research has revealed that confidence in May has slightly improved compared with the month previous.

    Taken from more than 1,300 interviews with firms across industries, business confidence has grown up 9.6 points to 114.7 points - up 9.1 per cent. According to Roy Morgan, this is the highest figure since January 2015 - indicating the rocky path since the turn of the year.

    However, 114.7 points is still well below October 2013's peak of 136.3 points and the five-year average of 117.3 points.

    Roy Morgan Research's Industry Communications Director Norman Morris explained that the media had a lot to do with the positive nature of this year's budget.

    "The increase in business confidence in May was most likely the result of a generally positive immediate media reaction to the federal budget and its focus on small business," he said.

    "It now appears that the combination of a decline in interest rates, the reduction in tax rates for small business and the proposed immediate tax write-offs for expenditure up to $20,000 are likely to have only limited positive impact while a number of economic headwinds remain."

    Time for growth?

    Regardless of whether the media promoted the budget announcement too heavily, a growing number of businesses are confident about their potential moving forward.

    According to Roy Morgan, 60 per cent of respondents believe that there will be good economic conditions for the 12 months - this up nine per cent from April and the highest recorded level since November last year.

    In fact, the survey reveals more than half the businesses (63 per cent) feel the positive trend is here to stay for the next five year.

    Taking real measures

    With many of the budget initiatives planned to be implemented over the coming months, businesses can take it on themselves ensure growth through Oncore Services.

    We have a number of solutions to help manage your growing contractor base and ensure the best outcome for all parties. This includes online timesheets, payroll management, expense processing and risk mitigation.

    Whether you have one contractor or 1,000 on your books, Oncore Services is committed to providing a solution that is tailor-made to your requirements.

    For more information about how Oncore Services can help your business grow to the next level, contact our expert team today.

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