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How firms can evaluate and measure the success of their recruitment agency

1st September 2011

Economic conditions have been tough for a couple of years now – right across the globe – but I think we are seeing the first signs of recovery as businesses look to recruit and put long-term plans in place.These firms need a structured approach to recruitment to ensure they get the most out of their employees and this means working with recruitment agencies, such as Bromak, to get the best results.

Using temporary agency workers is becoming more common at the moment due to companies needing increased flexibility in their workforce and needing to have greater control of their labour costs.

The main difficulty that many clients have is maintaining control of agency costs when many departments, sites or offices might be working with different agencies and paying different rates.

There are things that companies can do to help evaluate and measure how effective and how efficient their use of agencies is. I have looked at these below:

1. Create a dialogue and hold review meetings with the temporary worker

The service they receive from their recruitment consultant, the regularity of the aftercare and the accuracy of their payroll is of paramount importance and is also key to how well they perform during the assignment.

The agency will be making a margin for every hour that the worker is on assignment so if the candidate feels like they are not getting the support from the agency or are experiencing regular payroll problems then the agency is not doing their job.

2. Ask the agency to prepare regular reports on who and where they are supplying

If you have many line managers requesting agency workers on a number of different sites it is imperative that you keep track on what is being supplied and to which locations. Equally important is to ensure that the pay and charge rates are consistent.

3. Ensure that there is one person in your business reviewing agency usage regularly

If you are fully aware of who is getting your agency business and where your money is being spent you are more likely to be able to negotiate better rates and agree better terms. In the same way that you don’t want equipment out on hire longer than is necessary, you don’t want an agency worker on hire for a day longer than required.

A single point of contact will enable you to be more in control and ensure that agency workers are not being used when you have permanently employed members of staff that may be under utilised in the same areas.

4. Do regular comparisons on direct employee costs versus agency costs

At present it is cheaper in many cases to employ agency workers than employ permanent staff. Even with the agency margin added on it can still be cheaper taking into account national insurance, holiday pay, car allowances, mileage, subsistence and expenses etc.

Keeping aware of rates, margins and how they compare to permanent salaries / packages will ensure you are not paying more than necessary for someone to do a particular job for you.

5. Compare the performance of one agency over another

This will be far easier to do if you are receiving feedback from the workers, you have a single point of contact and are reviewing rates and usage on a regular basis.

Additional to this, if you are regularly receiving reports, you will easily be able to review their performance and ensure that you are able to put pressure on those agencies underperforming. This is vital and you will end up giving more of your work to the agencies that are performing and providing the best value for money.

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