Global technology recruitment leader Talent has increased its support to tech contractors in an effort to alleviate the effects of increasing isolation due to COVID-19.
Over the past month, Talent has launched a number of new initiatives to its Talent Engage member base of 10,000 contractors across Australia and New Zealand. Work is in progress to expand this offering into the UK, Europe and the USA. Engage is an industry-first digital community that provides contractors with the tools to work effectively and offers loyalty and wellbeing benefits typically only afforded to permanent employees.
Feedback from contractors indicates that they are feeling more isolated, disconnected and uncertain during this time of crisis as they do not have access to the level of support offered to permanent employees.
To assist contractors with coping in the current environment Talent has made mental health a key priority. From Friday, all Talent Engage members and Talent contractors in the UK, Europe and US will receive premium complimentary access to the Headspace meditation app regardless of whether or not they are currently contracting through Talent. This partnership will allow Engage members and Talent contractors access to over 1,000 hours of content designed to help manage stress, fall asleep, exercise mindfully and remain focused.
Talent has also extended its confidential counselling service LifeStreet to contractors, whilst dedicated Contractor Care Managers have organised online social events and increased their efforts to communicate with contractors, check in, hold virtual trivia competitions, deliver meals and gain insights into ways Talent can provide greater care and assistance.
Professional development has also been a focus, with the launch of Percipio’s Aspire Learning Journeys to support Engage members’ upskilling efforts during the pandemic. Since the beginning of March, there has been a 300% increase in Engage members signing up for online learning courses.
Talent APAC CEO Mark Nielsen said these initiatives are part of the Talent’s ongoing investment to support contract workers’ professional, personal and emotional needs.
“We know that many contract workers miss out on the benefits and support afforded to permanent employees and this becomes more evident in times like this. We have always offered a wide range of services for our Engage community, but in the past months we have put a greater focus on doing what we can to help our contractors look after their physical, mental, professional, emotional and community wellness remotely.”
Talent Founder and Executive Chairman Richard Earl said that Talent’s commitment to contractors is a priority.
“We know from the feedback we have received from our contractors and from many studies that the contingent workforce is at a higher risk of feeling disconnected and isolated. During this time of Coronavirus, these feelings are heightened and we believe the support Engage offers will help contractors deal with these feelings and other issues resulting from the COVID-19 crisis. Our vision to redefine recruitment means we are dedicated to finding new ways to benefit our clients, candidates and contractors and globally we were already committed to initiatives that happen to be particularly relevant in these times.”
The contingent workforce is growing globally and Australian Bureau of Statistics data shows contractors now makeup to 10% of all employment in Australia and is particularly evident in the tech sector, with Talent experiencing a 38% increase in contractor growth over the past three years.