Finding External People

In these days of lean headcounts, many large organizations use external suppliers to carry out a lot of their learning design and development.

It makes sense.

However, there is a hidden ‘problem’ that arises, not from the fact that the organization is using external people rather than employees, but by the way they find the external people.

Let me illustrate this with an example:

The client project manager asked two of the subcontractors working on his project to carry out a specific task.

They demurred on the grounds that this wasn’t what they had been contracted to do.

The PM responded that he wasn’t paying people £900 a day to cut up rough over this entirely reasonable request.

It was at this point that it came out that the subcontractors were both working for company A, who was subcontracted by company B, who had been subcontracted by company C who was working for company D, who actually had the brief from the client. The client was paying company D £900 per day per bum on a seat.

Companies C, B, and A were each charging a pass on and a margin so the subcontractors actually doing the work were being paid £225 per day including expenses and the firms in between were each taking a cut that added up to £675 per person per day.

So if you are a large organization (and this is both public and private sector), why not build a small list of skilled and competent local individuals who you can call on, rather than going to a big firm that will charge you through the nose but pay peanuts to the people at the end of the chain?

Connect with the author Rus Slater on LinkedIn 

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