We first came up with the EngLancer concept when helping to set up a small ‘boutique’ engineering firm. We had aspirations to deliver larger scale projects more efficiently than perhaps our more established/larger competitors were able to do. To do this, we recognised that when we won these projects, we didn’t want to have to recruit extensively and rapidly to deliver them.
However, as I’m sure any engineering manager knows, finding the right people is very difficult and time consuming. So when trying to do this rapidly following a project win it’s even more difficult (if not impossible) to get the quality that you need for your brand. We also came to the conclusion that if you recruit to deliver larger projects, it then requires you to keep winning and delivering jobs of a similar size. A major risk to your business therefore in terms of cash flow.
Working in this way also increases your overheads and reduces your competitiveness. At the most basic level, you will need HR, IT Support and possibly a larger office, to look at it very simplistically. So we looked to see if we could outsource well specified packages of work to a network of contract and freelance engineers, or practices of a similar size, where collaboration between our organisations was beneficial.
Having seen how effectively and efficiently we could turn projects around, we began to look at whether we could facilitate this mechanism to improve how engineering projects and tasks within these projects could be realised. What we found was that the software and web development industries have actually been doing this for years.
Think how difficult it is to get the recruitment process right and how expensive and time consuming it is to get it wrong. The difficulties of “un-doing” any mistakes is also something engineering managers can do without. With the EngLancer system however, it’s effectively free to make a mistake. Because, if the work is not good enough, or if it doesn’t meet the initial scope, you don’t pay. Essentially you only get invoiced for results.
Compare that to a bad member of permanent staff, or a contractor, where you pay them (and often the recruitment agency percentage) regardless of performance.
We’ve put some numbers together to illustrate this.
We have taken an aspect of work that you want to outsource, which equates to 150 hours (or 1 man month to complete). Let’s also account for a certain amount of inefficiency, so the work needs to be corrected or reworked such that it actually takes 165 hours to complete.
The EngLancer price is calculated based on 150 hours of work as the fee is fixed. As such, production inefficiency doesn’t cost you, the engineering customer. This is also ensured through the payment mechanisms we operate and manage.
So, the cost of using EngLancer is pretty much the same as hiring permanent staff. However, you can use an “EngLancer” one week and not the next, you can find talent that doesn’t need to live in a commutable distance from your office and someone you don’t need to provide with office space, a computer or a software licenses to deliver your projects.
The calculations above also do not allow for any of the management time; that is, your time spent: reading CV’s, interviewing, being hassled by recruitment agents, discussing requirements with HR staff (who may or may not understand what makes a good CAD technician or engineer) or the training time that is always necessary with new staff members.
We are engineers here at EngLancer, so we always like to put numbers to our arguments. Have a look and let us know if you agree with them.
This gives an equivalent hourly rate of £29.52
Example 2: Contract staff – In house:
This gives an equivalent hourly rate of: £25 + £2.89 (Overheads) + £6.25 (25% Recruitment Agency) = £34.14