The REC’s 2014/15 Industry Trends Survey reported that agency turnover from temporary/contract business increased by 9.5% to £28.5bn, and according to our industry sources there are some 10,000 recruitment agencies in the UK that provide temporary staff. So entering the contingent workforce market is likely to be challenging, but approached in the right way can pay great dividends.
The reality of the contract recruitment market
As a start-up, setting out to provide your clients with temporary workers will undoubtedly give you some initial headaches as you work through the logistics of service delivery. You’ll need to evaluate the processes and resource required to administer all the back-office elements, including management of your temporary workforce, timesheet management, plus pay and bill functionality.
A consultant’s day can be easily filled with all the associated admin of running a temp desk, leaving little time for sales and business development activity.
Before launching in, do your homework and consider:
- The competition – what do they offer and how can your business differentiate?
- How will you keep on top of candidate availability? This may sound like the easiest part of the jigsaw, but when you have an open booking and need to start calling round to see who is free, it can be the most frustrating and time-consuming part of the process.
- How will you manage compliance?
- And the pay and bill process?
- What about cash-flow?
You’ll also need to research recruitment software options. Look for systems that will not just improve efficiencies, but add value to your bottom line. You may not find (or need) a system that ticks every box – understand where you main pain points will be and how software can help you overcome these. Be sure that your provider is investing in regular upgrades – the world of technology is moving fast. It goes without saying, it needs to be mobile friendly and cloud-based for access via any device.
So, here’s how you can win as a start-up at temporary/contract recruitment:
- Pick a specialism that you want to be recognised for and stick to it. This is where you can stand apart from established and generalist operators who dip their toe in lots of sectors and are constantly jumping from one requirement to the next.
- Understand your market. Know where to find your candidates and what your clients need. This might be knowledge of your local area, or a specific skill set.
- Keep close to your candidates. Communicate with them regularly. Sure the big players have vast databases, but they are notoriously bad at staying in touch. The internet has populated their candidate pools, but they don’t know who is available for work today. On the whole they’re not renowned for candidate experience either. You can be.
- Get the basics right – ensure your workers are compliant and paid on time.
- Look to impress your clients. What can you do better/quicker than your competitors? Knowledge of your candidates’ real-time availability will give you an accelerated speed to fill. Eliminating paper timesheets (with their room for human error) will win you brownie points.
- Be an early adopter of emerging technology. Established players are tied to legacy systems that may no longer fit their business needs. As a start-up you can be agile, employing SaaS software that takes a mobile-first approach to mirror your candidates’ behaviour and preferences. A market leading example is TempBuddy. It’s multi-award winning workforce management software will help you get the best people to the right place at the right time, paid promptly and accurately using smart mobile technology.
Good luck in your business!
This article was originally posted on 21st Jan in the UK Recruiter.