With South Africa still in the grips of a three-week-long bus strike over salary increases, Innovative Staffing Solutions suggests outsourcing could be the answer to avoiding labour action and its attendant detrimental impact on the economy.

Arnoux Maré, Managing Director of Innovative Staffing Solutions, says strikes at a local level could be avoided if organisations opted to outsource their staff. “We currently employ more than 8 000 staff members who we contract out to various clients. Our overwhelming experience is that if you take care of your staff, they will take care of you. Strike action is not a natural occurrence, but the result of an unanticipated or poorly managed situation,” explains Maré.
Bus drivers have been on a three-week-long no-work no-pay strike over salary increases. They are demanding a 9.5% salary hike for the first year (2018) and 8.5 % for 2019, but employers are offering an 8% salary increase for this year, followed by 8.5% for the second year. To date, there has been no resolution on the matter and thousands of bus commuters have been left stranded.

Maré says since opening its doors more than seven years ago, Innovative Staffing Solutions, a subsidiary of Innovative Solutions Group, has not experienced a strike.

“We have been able, through focused management, to offer staff benefits that are significantly better than regulated industry packages. At the same time, we have been helping reduce our clients’ operational costs by up to 60%. However, our main advantage has been to ensure that we stay on top of human resource legislation and industrial relations developments to manage all labour situations and deflect them long before they become a problem,” says Maré.
Maré says many companies are not able to weather the storm of industrial action and the effect of it has on operational matters. “The majority of companies are not strong enough to survive industrial action, which results in a loss of business and income. Our commitment to our clients is that, in the event of a strike, alternative staff will be immediately be deployed to ensure no halt in operations.”

Meanwhile, Maré says Innovative Staffing Solutions understands that the wellbeing of its staff is non-negotiable and makes sure its employees are well taken care of so that they can, in turn, deliver the industry-leading services that the company offers its clients.

Maré says the company’s focus on the wellbeing of its employees and their families means greater productivity and efficiency for everyone. “An employee who is well taken care of is more likely to be productive and, importantly, to stick around, an important consideration in an economy where employee retention is an issue.”

Maré says when clients know their workforce is taken care of, well trained and productive, they can focus on their core business capabilities and grow their businesses. “Outsourcing their staff to us reduces their business risk in terms of industrial action and enables them to spend capital funds on their business, products or customers. Managers and other key staff members can focus on strategic business functions instead of getting embroiled in day-to-day staffing issues.”

In 2017, the company employed one person for every working hour in the year, across various industry sectors, including transport, engineering, manufacturing, logistics, hospitality and agriculture – despite a challenging economy.

“We are delighted that we have changed many lives by permanently outsourcing employees to new job opportunities in the various industry sectors we operate in. We believe the outsourcing industry is a key enabler of much-needed growth and full-time job creation in South Africa,” says Maré.