Recruiting staff from temporary agency workers

The landscape of temporary agency workers and spotting the right candidiates for the role
July 20, 2010 - PRLog -- Recruiting staff from temporary agency workers

SURVIVING the recession has been a big challenge for UK businesses. Emerging from it is set to be even harder. Strained budgets coupled with limited resource have made it difficult for businesses to cope with growth and new business, whilst the instability of the economy has prevented businesses from taking on extra staff through fear of a sudden dip in the market.

And yet, in the midst of it all, some unexpected opportunities have arisen. Slow growth has made it possible for businesses to utilise the benefits of a flexible temporary agency workforce, which in turn, has increased opportunities for businesses to spot skilled talented future recruits. Boosting businesses’ productivity and helping organisations stay ahead of change, a strong, temporary agency workforce can also improve employee-satisfaction and overall business efficiency.

Business, communication and customer service skills

According to a 2009 Learning and Development Survey of business leaders by CIPD, 43% of respondents said they were concerned at a lack of customer service skills. Meanwhile, 61% of respondents reported feeling that new employees from school, college or University lacked business acumen and strong commercial awareness, and another 60% believed these kinds of workers were deficient in communication skills.

The problem with the findings, aside from the obvious implications of approximately half of school and University leavers possessing little of the most basic and necessary skills in business, is that the Government’s focus, at least up until now, has been on increasing academic qualifications and access to apprenticeships. A wider skills agenda, as well as one which can adapt to the changing needs of British citizens and British businesses is therefore more important than ever.

The good news is that UK businesses are in a great position to start the ball rolling. Increasing access to courses in these skills is one option, but a simpler and more effective approach may well be to conduct in-house training in these areas and seek to begin a dialogue between managers and staff by gaining employee feedback. Reviewing individual training needs is essential, as not every employee will have the same requirements. Some employees may even have concerns which are acting as barriers to their capacity, once again, intensifying the need for strong management. One-on-one assessments are an effective way to ensure all bases are covered here.

The signs of a promising CV

Firstly, knowing the skills shortages and areas for which a company can improve is a key component to finding the right staff amongst a flurry of candidates. There are two strategic methods of employment – building the company around it’s staff skills and building the staff around the business strengths – knowing which suits your company is a great starting block for potential recruitment.

Once you have a strategy, the CV of a temporary agency worker provides all the information needed to spot skilled candidates. The most promising temporary workers have strong interpersonal skills & certifications. The reasoning behind this is that employers see versatility, adaptability and flexibility; components which ease the transition process of new recruits both for the job itself and the integration within the workforce.

Temporary agency workers invariably have a CV with a number of previous positions, and depending on the type of worker a company needs, looking at the span of skills within these positions allows businesses to allocate candidates to a number of potential variables within a position or focus on particular aspects, whichever is the remit of the company.

Industry-specific skills and skills for the future

From construction and care, to education and finance, a cross-sector shortage of industry-specific skills has continued to affect UK businesses, despite unemployment reaching three million last Summer. According to news reports last year, Hays had a total of 350 vacancies for qualified social workers, especially those dealing with families, whilst a short supply of doctors and nurses meant an increasing number of private and public sector care providers relied more and more on agency staff. Redundancies in the construction sector meanwhile left firms bereft of skilled tradesmen, and in forcing workers to retrain in other sectors created very real concerns for the future of the construction industry.

Recognising the problem, the Government has set about increasing apprenticeships in these areas and encouraging more young people into ‘problem industries’ specifically. Unfortunately, their attempts to regulate employment have contradicted some of these efforts, particularly in care where all those working with children and vulnerable adults on a regular basis have been compelled to register with the Independent Safeguarding Authority at a charge of £64 per person. This move was seen by some as discouraging potential applicants at a time when an ageing population is one of the UK’s biggest challenges and concerns.

Thus, at this stage, it is important that businesses encourage new workers themselves. The most effective way to do this is to offer flexible working hours, the right pay for the job and perhaps some added benefits such as pension schemes and health insurance. Additionally, by motivating and developing your existing workers, you can also encourage new staff through word of mouth. According to some of our clients in these sectors, the best way to do this is to equip each individual worker with the specific skills they need to do their job, (which in this case may involve sending them to night-school or giving them on the job training in their specific field/line of work), making staff feel valued and ensuring they feel a sense of achievement in the job they do.

For more information regarding temporary agency workers visit the de Poel website

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de Poel are the number 1 procurers of temporary workers, saving its clients over £500M every year. For our customers we cut costs, reduce administrative burden, bring visability and transparancy, raise compliance and improve cashflow.
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