30th November 2020

Do your clients need temps? Here’s some top tips for managing seasonal staff


December is one of the busiest periods for recruiting and managing temporary staff. There are over 1.45 million temporary workers in the UK already, according to the Office for National Statistics, and this figure will continue to rise as companies add seasonal staff to cope with the demands of peak trading.

Temping and fixed-term contracts can be a lucrative revenue stream for recruitment agencies. Many clients will rely on you to provide a consistent stream of suitable candidates, in order to avoid doing the leg work themselves. However, this type of recruitment can also be more challenging.

To help your agency coordinate short-term recruitment opportunities, we’ve put together some top tips for managing temporary staff:

 1.Help your clients plan ahead

Even companies that regularly recruit fixed-term contract workers can find themselves on the back-foot. Often temporary staff can seem like a ‘tomorrow’ job until the business gets busy and they are urgently required.

As a trusted recruitment agency, you can help clients to plan ahead and identify temporary staff numbers in advance. Explain to them that scoping out future requirements saves them scrabbling around to find good people during peak trading periods. It also helps you to start building a database of suitable candidates that you can still draw on at the eleventh hour if a last-minute need for further temporary employees arises.

To support your forward planning capabilities, it can be helpful to manage clients through a recruitment CRM system, to automate outreach regarding seasonal employment needs.

 2.Create clear job descriptions

Temporary recruitment isn’t just about finding the right number of people for each client; it’s about finding the right skillset too. This can only be achieved if you work with businesses to create clear job descriptions for fixed-term and freelance contract opportunities.

More often than not, an up-front briefing will crystalise companies’ objectives, so you can focus on filling roles that will make the biggest difference to their productivity. And managing candidates through an online CRM system will allow your team to match the skills needs that clients identify with your database of available temporary workers – producing rapid results.

 3. Optimise the onboarding process

Time is of the essence in temporary recruitment, so the quicker you can get the right candidates up and running in their new role, the better. However, there’s a certain amount of due diligence that must be done before temporary staff can start with a new firm.

The quickest way to tick all the compliance boxes – particularly in the current climate of remote working – is through recruitment management software. Products like ETZ Comply will enable your agency to create a profile for every candidate, managing their documentation online to ensure CVs, ID, signed contracts, and other essential data are stored in a single, digital location.

 4. Improve admin, invoicing, and payroll

Unlike general recruitment opportunities, where recruiters are paid a commission for finding the right candidate and the client then takes overall communications, many companies expect their recruitment agency to play an integral role in the management of temporary staff.

As a result, your team may take on a much bigger admin burden during peak periods, as you coordinate timesheets (including chasing workers to submit their hours) and paying temps – all of which takes people away from higher-value tasks. And it’s vitally important to make sure that fixed-term contract and freelance staff are paid on time, as 2020 has been a particularly bad year for late payments, according to the Freelance Informer.

The best way to manage additional logistics is to invest in a technology stack that streamlines and automates temporary recruitment admin. For example, ETZ’s timesheet software helps agencies to reduce timesheet processing times by up to 85%, while our payroll module includes an autopilot feature, to reduce the need for messages from frustrated unpaid workers.

If you’re bearing the cost of paying seasonal workers, it’s also vital that you’re paid by clients as quickly as possible. The right software can support this process, by enabling you to quickly convert temps’ timesheets into client invoices; ETZ can generate invoices in less than 60 seconds.

5. Profitable processes for temporary recruitment

Employing temporary staff is a tried-and-tested way for companies to manage season surges in business activity. As a recruiter, however, you’re under pressure to locate the right resources quickly and manage any admin effectively.

Software platforms like ETZ optimise the whole process, collecting valuable data that allows you to identify new temping opportunities, match available candidates with short-term vacancies, and take care of all their practical needs. And the more efficient your firm becomes at managing these elements, the more profitable the temporary and freelance contract market will be to your business.

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