Combining Temporary and Permanent Recruitment

Most RSLs and Not For Profit organisations deal with temporary recruitment needs and permanent hiring separately; with different processes, stakeholders and candidate experiences taking place. Should they instead consider combining temporary and permanent recruitment within on management structure, operational process and technology application?

In today’s challenging operating environment – is this really the best way forward?  In this blog we explore the benefits of bringing temporary and permanent recruitment together under one service; overseen by HR. 

The management of temporary agency supply contracts has often been the domain of procurement, with their key function focused on making sure that costs are kept to a minimum.

Not for Profits and RSLs often need temps fast (often to cover shifts), and they need to spend as little money as possible given the current economic environment they are operating in.

HR oversees permanent recruitment; managing the many challenges that volume front-line requirements create, and sometimes using a PSL.

The benefits of combining temporary and permanent recruitment

Let’s look at some of the reasons you may benefit from combining temporary and permanent recruitment:

All recruitment starts with a requirement from your internal Hiring Managers, who often have to juggle both temporary and permanent recruitment processes.  So much the better for them, their time and your organisational ROI to have one key recruitment partner who can help navigate the best outcomes, regardless if it is a temporary or permanent recruitment need.

A joined up recruitment service with visibility of all component parts makes it easier to develop recruitment strategy that is fit for purpose.  Once established, this becomes easier to communicate through one universal “recruitment” communication; reducing mixed messages and confusion.

A combined temporary and permanent recruitment service can be run through one piece of software, making compliance much easier!

Having temporary and permanent recruitment in one system also drives efficiencies, such as prioritising permanent recruitment over temporary hiring.  Single systems can then generate combined data and management information to give an accurate picture of recruitment spend and an overview of how well you’re meeting objectives.  The best way to reduce spend is to stop using so many temps, so understanding where they are and why they are being used then is critical.

Temporary and permanent recruitment reports

Recruitment report

One set of management information also makes it easier to benchmark important measures such as % of temporary spend per home or service against the permanent spend.


Latest trends

Having a fractured focus, with a financial oversight on temporary recruitment and an HR oversight on permanent recruitment can sometimes be a symptom of either a lack of internal capacity or lack of experience in driving a combined service.  In this instance outsourcing may be a consideration.

The current market has seen more demand in this area recently with several tenders being released for a combined (Temporary and Permanent) recruitment partner who can deliver a MSP and permanent recruitment model.

Cohesion evidence suggests that the best results in terms of quality, efficiency and ROI are now being delivered by these combined models, overseen by HR.

According to a survey conducted by the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC) in December 2016 – almost half of UK employers are expecting a skills shortage when recruiting in 2017.

With the above being noted – recruiters are having to rethink their strategies in order to attract the seemingly ‘hard to come by’ candidates.

So, we’ve pulled together our top 3 tips on recruiting during a skills shortage:

1. Recruit for values

Tackling the skills shortage isn’t entirely about attracting and recruiting candidates who already have the skills you need. In many cases – it can be more beneficial to hire candidates whose skills are transferable to your organisation, and have the potential and ability to pick up and learn the skills you’re missing.

Values-based recruitment is a recruitment method that’s used extensively in the Care sector (an industry that sits very high on the skills shortage scale). However, the idea also applies to recruitment across all sectors. It’s an approach adopted to help attract and select inexperienced candidates (not necessarily at entry-level; the lack of experience could just be in your sector), whose personal values and behaviours align with those of your organisation.

2. Invest in Future Talent

Graduates, School-Leavers and Apprentices all fall within the remit of Future Talent, and recruiting them can be a strong method of future-proofing your skills and filling your gaps.

Future Talent want to learn, meaning you can teach them any of the skills that you want and need them to have to become a valuable asset to your organisation. Not only this, but further investing in your Future Talent with ‘buddying schemes’ gives them time with your experienced employees, who can share their knowledge.

3. Increase your Online Presence

Technology is improving leaps and bounds every single year, and will continue to for the foreseeable future.

These improvements have provided recruiters with more tools than ever to reach out to and engage with their candidates – your talent pool is bigger than it ever has been. Increasing your online presence and taking advantage of all online platforms will put you directly into contact with the candidates that you want to speak to, whilst building awareness around your employer brand.

Shout about who you are online – your candidates will hear you.

To give you the best possible chance of filling all of your vacancies with the skills you need – you should look to implement a number of different recruitment methods. Sticking to what you’ve always done can be dangerous.

It’s important to remember that, especially during a skills shortage, you don’t always need to recruit employees with years of experience, because experience doesn’t always demonstrate skills or ability. But, at the same time, you don’t want to be solely recruiting inexperienced candidates who don’t have the potential to learn what you need.

In a previous blog, we talked about what a Neutral Vendor Managed Service model is. Now you know what it is – you need to know why it’s so good.

The way a Neutral Vendor is delivered can vary between providers. However, the variance comes in the process – not in the benefits. It’s a well-known fact that using a Neutral Vendor Managed Service provider, instead of agencies, will reduce your costs.

Download our eBook to find out how to manage your temporary workforce to ensure maximum productivity!

So, I’m going to discuss some of the other, lesser-known benefits:

Always receive the best candidates

In the previous blog, we discussed the differences between each Managed Service model. One of the key benefits of a Neutral Vendor Managed Service model is that it creates a healthy competition between all agencies involved.

As a result, all agencies will put their best candidates forward because they know that they aren’t guaranteed to have theirs chosen.

Reduce your risk

Every supplier working under a Neutral Vendor Managed Service model should be signed to consistent service levels, and submit to regular audits to ensure they’re meeting the necessary compliance standards.

You should never be at risk of receiving temporary staff from a supplier who doesn’t meet the compliance standards.

Solutions made-to-order

There is no one-size-fits-all approach for temporary staffing. Different companies will have different goals, different workflows, and different volumes of temporary staff that they require.

Your Neutral Vendor Managed Service provider should analyse all of the above, and design your solution to fit exactly what you need. Not only this, but your solution should be completely transparent to you – you should know exactly what’s going on, every step of the way.

Consistent procurement

You should never be in a situation where you need temporary staff, and don’t receive them. Because a Neutral Vendor Managed Service goes out to market to a number of different agencies, there should always be ample opportunity to source suitable candidates.

This takes the pressure off of your permanent staff, because they won’t have to work excessive hours. This also contributes to morale and work ethic.

There are a number of benefits associated with a Neutral Vendor Managed Service model, on top of the massive cost-savings. These should all be taken into consideration when you’re deciding how it would be best to deal with your temporary staffing needs.

Take a look at the solutions we’ve provided for some of our clients:


Managed Services is a concept that was implemented in temporary recruitment over 15 years ago, in the form of a Master Vendor model.

A Master Vendor model meant that one single recruitment agency was the provider of all temporary members of staff. Since then, Managed Services has adapted to the changes in the market and temporary solutions – a Neutral Vendor Managed Service model being one of its adaptations.

Download our eBook to find out how to manage your temporary workforce to ensure maximum productivity!

So, what is a Neutral Vendor Managed Service?

A Neutral Vendor is just that – a neutral, unbiased provider of temporary staff.

Let me put this into the context of Cohesion’s Neutral Vendor model:

A client would come to us with their temporary roles. Utilising our own Preferred Suppliers List (PSL), and also integrating any local or trusted agencies you are keen to use, they are thoroughly audited to ensure they comply with all rules and regulations. Once we have spoken with the hiring manager and identified the requirements for the temporary position, we would notify all agencies on our PSL of the vacancies, and each would put their best candidates forward. We then screen the profile of each candidate, and ensure the most relevant candidates are passed to the manager.

When you work with a Neutral Vendor Managed Services Provider, you are also working with all of the best agencies with the highest quality candidates, without having to commit too much time.

Why is a Neutral Vendor Managed Service useful?

First and foremost, you will always receive the best candidates possible. As a Neutral Vendor model raises the vacancies with a number of agencies, they’re in indirect competition with one another to fill as many of the vacancies as possible with their candidates. This means that they will only send their strongest candidates available.

Secondly, we will ensure that all agencies and agency staff are fully compliant with all temporary worker legislation. As part of a Neutral Vendor Managed Service, audits of agency suppliers will be carried out regularly. All agencies who don’t pass the audit would be suspended until they become fully compliant. We also ensure that all candidates are compliant with Agency Worker Regulations (AWR).

The Neutral Vendor Managed Services team is a single point of contact for you. We will be in direct contact with the agencies on your behalf, freeing up the managers time to focus on their day to day job and not have to listen to agencies selling their candidates and services.

Once the role has been raised, the candidates will be screened and passed to the hiring manager. All they would need to do is confirm who they would like to see and when. Once the interviews have been completed, the team will then submit any feedback to the agencies, including any offers.

Finally, you would have access to a fully-integrated online system. This should record all temporary vacancies to allow full visibility of all temporary workers within the business, including the financial implications. You should never be kept in the dark, or unaware of your current situation.

Are there any other Managed Services models?

Besides the Neutral Vendor and Master models, there is also the Tiered model.

The Tiered model is used more often by agencies as opposed to by RPO’s. For example:

A client would raise all of their roles with one agency. This agency would then fill as many of the roles as they could with their own candidates, regardless of quality. If they are unable to fill the position themselves, they will then reach out to other agencies to fill the small amount of roles that are left.

This model is often used at the detriment of candidate quality and also can cause delays in filling urgent roles.

So, a NVMS Provider would speak to ALL agencies to source our candidates?

Given the fact that there are hundreds of agencies – we don’t speak to every single one. We decide, based upon your requirements, which ones will be able to provide you with the highest-quality temporary workers, or any agencies you may favour.

For example:

  • Spectrum Housing, a niche housing group, require candidates with specific skills and capabilities. As a result, we use around 10 agencies to supply their candidates.
  • Fremantle Trust, a much larger Social Care organisation, require a greater range of candidates. As a result, we use around 30 agencies to source and supply their temporary staff.

To conclude – a Neutral Vendor Managed Service is an unbiased, neutral provider of your temporary workforce. By using such a service, you will have access to the best candidates from each agency, without having to contact them yourselves. You can save yourself time and money, whilst being confident in your temporary staff.

Clients often approach our temporary managed service specialists with the question “how can I reduce agency spend?”

Depending on the size of your business this is no mean feat, you need to adopt a strategic approach and get everyone on board. It may seem like an unmanageable task, but I assure you, it isn’t. There are many ways you can reduce agency spend – all you have to do is look.

Here are 6 steps on how to reduce agency spend:

1. Visibility is key 

Getting to the root of the problem is where you need to start. A data discovery exercise is a great way of doing this. Gather internal data and talk to your employees and your suppliers. By surveying all of your stakeholders you’ll gain visibility over what commission and pay rates are in place across the organisation. Chances are that they’re very varied.

2. Set commission rates 

Have set commission rates that you will use across the organisation. This will not only save money on agency spend, it will increase visibility.

3. Standardise pay rates 

Many organisations do not do this and it’s a simple step to take when it comes to reducing agency spend. Why should one administrator be on £8ph and another be on £12ph for doing the same job? Clear rates must be set! A benchmarking exercise will allow you to know what the market rates are for a particular worker, set the rate and don’t budge!

4. Be ready to negotiate

You and your staff will need to negotiate new rates with suppliers. Ensure that whoever is dealing with agencies has the ability to challenge and ensure that agreed commission and pay rates are stuck to. This is extremely important.


Strong negotiation skills are imperative when dealing with agencies

5. Only use temps when it’s essential

One person has called in sick, they are likely to be off for 2-3 days, do you really need to call in a temporary worker? Is there someone else on the team who can help out? Instill a culture whereby your employees are really questioning whether or not that they need to spend money on getting someone else in.  

6. Consolidated invoices

If you’re working a Managed Service Provider (MSP) you should be able to request one consolidated invoice- this will save you time and cost on processing a number of invoices at any one time.

Taking these steps will help you to reduce agency spend. We often carry out data discovery exercises for clients whether they would like to outsource their recruitment to us or not.

We offer to carry out data discovery exercises, producing powerful data and making recommendations so that HR teams can come up with a DIY solution. However, those who have outsourced their recruitment to us (permanent or temporary) have saved money on agency spend.

We saved St Mungo’s £830k in the first two years of the contract, halved Midway Care’s agency use in the first six months of our partnership and the savings we made for Metropolitan Housing equated to over £3M within the first 5 years of working with them.

To find out more about getting the most out of your temporary workers and how Cohesion can assist you with this, call Lee Burman now on 0121 713 6956

Or download our Temporary Managed Services ebook.



Getting the most of your temporary workforce by keeping them motivated

They are a specialist, flexible part of your team and can save you time by acting as extra resource. Employers who get temporary recruitment right can enjoy the many benefits that temporary workers have to offer.

But how do you motivate them? Read on for our six tips on how to motivate temporary workers.

1. You want enthusiasm and energy
Skills are hugely important, but don’t forget to put a focus on culture. Does the candidate have the right attitude? Will they fit in with the team? These steps don’t mean you’re outright motivating the employee in question, but you’re setting yourself up for a much easier ride by getting the hire right.

2. Get them on-board
Whether hiring temporary or permanent employees, a good recruitment process should involve on-boarding. Plan ahead- create the right workspace and ensure your new employee feels welcome. When it comes to on-boarding, it’s the little things that can make a big difference- find out what they like and leave a new-starter pack on their desk full of goodies.

ready desk

Prepare the desk of your temporary worker- it’s a small task, but it will make a big difference

3. Ensure they’re involved
Buddy up your temporary workers with full-time, permanent staff. Make sure this is someone who’s an efficient trainer and can monitor performance but doesn’t mind popping out for a drink and helping them to integrate in to the team and build relationships.

4. Offer support
Try and match tasks with skills sets- give each worker guidance and be ready to answer questions. Being supportive and willing to help will ensure that your employees are engaged which will results in maximum productivity and satisfaction.

5. Give them the opportunity to learn
Many temporary workers want to learn, offering them the opportunity to pick up new knowledge and skills will help them in the long run and is a strong motivator for coming to work.

6. Say thank you
Yep, it’s pretty simple. Let them know they’re appreciated and don’t let being busy get in the way of that. Maximum appreciation equals maximum output.

Well, there we have it, our 6 top tips on how to motivate temporary employees.

Cohesion specialise in temporary recruitment and work with clients to improve their processes and ensure their workers are engaged.

We can help to improve the quality of temps who transfer on to permanent contract whilst ensuring your PSL is competitive. Read some of our case studies here.

To find out more about getting the most out of your temporary workers and how Cohesion can assist you with this, call Adam Baldry now on 0121 713 6956
Written by Hannah Ratcliff, Marketing Executive