1st April 2019

Starting a recruitment agency: how to run your back office operations


What happens behind the curtain isn’t the most exciting part of starting a new business, but often it’s the key to long-term success. Many recruitment start-ups fail not because they can’t secure enough clients, but because back-end processes mean they can’t spend enough time servicing those client relationships.
As a specialist in recruitment operations, ETZ has seen first-hand the difference that a better functioning back office can make to recruitment agency growth. Here, we share some of our top tips for making admin improvements, so you can spend less time on low value tasks – and more time face-to-face with your clients.

Standardising your timesheets

It’s amazing how many recruitment agencies (of all sizes) waste time each week formatting timesheets submitted by contractors. Letting workers send information in varying formats might work best for them, but it doesn’t help you formalise information across each client, ready for invoicing.
The easiest way to streamline the submission process is to invest in timesheet management technology, which requires contractors to upload information in a consistent format. If a timesheet is incomplete or filled out incorrectly, errors will be automatically flagged by the software and the onus is on the contractor to correct it – or they won’t get paid.
By digitising and standardising the way in which timesheets are collated, all your team needs to do is give the data a cursory check before it’s ready to go over to your clients. It takes much less time and effort, and often the data is prepared quicker than within your current process.

Putting extra attention into expenses

While some of your contractors won’t incur expenses, issues processing claims from those who do can impact your business cash flow. All too often, recruitment agencies find that invoice payments are delayed because timesheets and expenses need to be filed at the same time, and a missing or incorrect expense form is holding up the whole workflow.
Many platforms that automate invoice management also include an expense function, which gives contractors the opportunity to upload claims whilst they are logging their hours. The right platform may also enable contractors to attach digital copies of their receipts, so all essential paperwork can be sent directly to your client’s accounts team.
By harmonising timesheet and expense submissions, and letting technology do the chasing, you can ensure that one missing document doesn’t delay payment by days – or even weeks. It also gives contractors another reason to start using your online software.

Cutting the time and cost of chasing invoices

If you asked a hundred recruitment start-ups to name their biggest time-wasting activity, manually sorting timesheets and expense claims would likely come top of their list. However, one of the next major energy drainers often goes unnoticed.
Even the most promptly submitted invoices aren’t always paid on time and chasing that payment can take a great deal of effort. It’s not uncommon for staff to send several emails and make multiple calls to clients in order to get invoices settled.
Bringing recruitment back office software on board can alleviate this problem, by delegating initial chasing to technology. If a deadline passes without payment being made, the solution can trigger an automatic prompt to that client – so that staff only have to step in if those messages are repeatedly ignored.
More times than not, however, a simple reminder is enough to ensure remittance is received.

Sophisticated back office tech for recruitment start-ups

As this discussion shows, clearly there are many benefits to investing in automation technology for your recruitment back office. However, many start-ups are reluctant to explore this type of support, assuming it will be too expensive.
ETZ has listened to these concerns and developed a package called Startup 20/20, which offers the same operational benefits that our enterprise customers receive, but at an affordable price for small businesses. We’re bringing transformational technology to companies like yours who need it most, so that you can feel confident your back office is well optimised.
See how Startup 20/20 can improve the way your recruitment business manages essential operations; find out more and book a demo today.

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