Subcontracting Specialist M&E Services: Pros, Cons, and Alternatives

Subcontracting Specialist M&E Services: Pros, Cons, and Alternatives


As a specialist talent solutions partner for the Mechanical and Electrical (M&E) Industry, we at Cento have a unique perspective on the ins and outs of M&E subcontracting. Subcontracting has long been a common practice within the M&E sector. It provides a flexible way to engage specific skills and expertise without having to invest heavily in full-time, internal resources. However, while there can be several advantages to subcontracting, there are also downsides and alternatives to consider. In this blog post, we aim to explore these various aspects, and provide some insight into how you might navigate this complex landscape.


Pros of Subcontracting


Expertise Access: Subcontracting allows M&E companies to leverage specialised expertise for specific projects without the need to permanently hire and train staff. This can be especially useful for projects that require niche or advanced skills.


Cost Efficiency: Subcontracting can often be a cost-effective solution, allowing companies to pay only for the services they need when they need them, rather than maintaining a large, permanent staff.


Flexibility: The ability to scale resources up and down according to the needs of specific projects provides companies with a high degree of operational flexibility.


Cons of Subcontracting


Quality Control: While subcontractors can offer specialised expertise, maintaining a consistent level of quality can be a challenge. The quality of work can depend heavily on the subcontractor's standards and practices, which may not always align with the hiring company's expectations.


Dependency: Over-reliance on subcontractors can lead to a lack of in-house skills and a dependency on external resources. This might leave a company vulnerable when subcontractors are not available or if there are disputes over terms, costs, or quality of work.


Communication Barriers: Collaborating with various subcontractors may present challenges in communication, potentially hindering coordination and jeopardising project timelines and quality.


An Alternative Approach: Strategic Recruitment


At Cento, we believe that a balanced approach is key to overcoming these challenges. While subcontracting can play a crucial role in certain circumstances, building a strong in-house team should not be overlooked. This is where strategic recruitment comes into play.


Faced with a lack of candidates, a diminishing skilled workforce, and stiff competition for talent, companies may find the recruitment process daunting. However, with a partner like Cento, we help companies navigate these challenges and identify the most suitable talent for their needs. We specialise in everything from engineering to senior management and C-suite roles.


In a competitive market, finding the right talent is paramount. We understand the M&E industry's intricate nature, allowing us to match candidates' skills and aspirations with companies' project requirements and culture. By doing so, we create win-win scenarios where companies acquire the expertise they need to grow, and candidates find opportunities that allow them to apply their skills and advance their careers.


So, while subcontracting can be an effective way to fill skills gaps and manage costs, it's not without its drawbacks. By investing in strategic recruitment and talent development, companies can build more resilient, agile, and effective teams, better positioned to navigate the complex and ever-evolving M&E landscape.


Market Statistics:


  • The global market for M&E services is expected to reach $1.5 trillion by 2025.
  • The UK market for M&E services is expected to reach £40 billion by 2025.
  • The construction industry is the largest user of M&E services.
  • The healthcare and education sectors are also major users of M&E services.