The recruitment industry seems to change on a regular basis, and just when you think recruiting permanently is a business's preferred option, requests to fill temporary assignments start to increase! These days it's rarely sufficient just to recommend a candidate to fill a temporary role, and sending CVs and interviews are becoming part of the recruiting process even for short term assignments. With an ever-decreasing candidate pool, finding a temporary worker is getting more and more difficult and so is much more time consuming than it used to be. Depending on how your agency works, this can mean you have less time to source and search for permanent candidates, or at least, the balance shifts as providing temporary staff is a much more reactive business!
At a recent TEAM meeting, this was one of the topics we discussed, and we shared our “top tips” on how to get the right balance between managing temp and perm business and how to keep both as effective and efficient as possible.
Share the Load
Some agencies work on a single consultant per desk basis, i.e. one person manages the industrial temp desk, another the commercial temp desk and then someone else the perm side. That still works for many, but ensuring all consultants have the skills and knowledge to manage both aspects and step in when there is an over balance is a great way of ensuring you stay on top of things. We have always worked using a “team” principle, and many of us agreed this was a great way of ensuring a consistent coverage. Each client has its own account manager and that consultant manages both the temp and perm recruitment for that client. We still have consultants who are the main point of contact for each desk, but the clients only see a seamless process and their requirements on both sides are managed effectively.
Work with your Clients
Could you work with your clients to devise quicker and more effective ways to provide the perfect temporary worker? There may be tests or assessments that you could “pre do” in readiness, so when that assignment comes in you have the right candidate ready, and your recommendation is confidently accepted by the client without the need for CVs and interviews.
Organise an Event
Look at networking opportunities within your target sector and consider Chamber of Commerce events and morning networking sessions that won't impact into your day. Consider setting up your own networking event in the form of a workshop, seminar, or even an HR Forum as a couple of us do in our regions. Target clients you want to work with but make the sessions informative and useful to the guests rather than being a direct sales pitch event. Get to be known as the industry expert in your field, and you’ll be the one people recommend not just to a business that is recruiting but to potential candidates looking for work.
Get involved in careers fairs or work with local schools and colleges. Students go home and tell their parents who was involved in these types of events, and it not only helps you develop your future talent pool but shows you do care about the community you do business in! I've been involved in supporting our local college with their careers day and have presented to a group of business students. I’ve met some great, new businesses who are also involved in supporting schools and colleges in our area.
Make the most of your data
Our databases are full of years’ worth of names and details of candidates who could potentially fill both the temp and perm positions you are working on – even if you haven’t spoken to them for a long while. Utilise your database and ensure you are not just in contact with your current candidates but candidates you have worked with in the past. Even if you didn’t place them and they found a new role themselves, things change, and they may be interested in finding out about current opportunities within the local job market.
Stick to Your Guns when it Comes to Fees!
The candidate pool is small and so good candidates are in demand. In previous years, agencies have probably been too flexible with their fees in a bid to keep revenue coming it. With a very tight candidate market don’t be afraid to say no! Be tougher when negotiating your fees but always be prepared to justify them and what you do differently from others to provide an exceptional service.
Get Back to Basics
We often forget about the basics and sometimes those basic elements of what we do really are the most important. Are you advertising in the right way and in the right places? Does your team need a refresher on how to write the most effective job advert? As well as the consultants keeping in touch with their clients, as MD I also make my own “customer service” calls to check our clients are happy and make sure there is nothing else we need to be doing – it’s easy to become complacent and so asking for honest feedback on how to improve is a must!
I hope these tips have been helpful to you. Don't hesitate to get in touch if I can be of any more help.
Lynne is Managing Director of Personnel Placements and has been recruiting in Salisbury and the surrounding area for over 15 years. PP as it is affectionately known within the local business community is a generalist Agency that has been supporting local companies with their recruitment and HR for over 30 years. They are also an active member of TEAM – The Employment Agents Movement – which enables them to source candidates from all over the UK.