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Staff Shortages are Worsened by a Broken Temporary Recruitment Process

Both the public and private sectors are struggling to recruit, but new digital temporary staff platforms could provide key help, says Andrew Johnston of TempRocket in this article he’s written this for us as part of our Blog Carnival series.

If you Google ‘staff shortages’, guess what sectors dominate the results? Well, first and foremost it’s healthcare. “Staff shortages are putting lives at risk,“ reports the Belfast Telegraph. Meanwhile The Sun signals a potential crisis on the horizon: “Staff shortages in the NHS risk becoming a ‘national emergency.”

Scroll past the healthcare stories, and another public sector area pops up – education. Teacher shortages are highlighted in a recently published teacher ‘census’ by the UK Government, which reveals the difficulties schools are facing recruiting permanent staff and the increasing reliance on temps.

This underlines the importance of temporary staff to the public sector, but currently this is coming at a major cost. Recent NHS data revealed that the organisation is spending £480 million a year on temporary staffing from private agencies, and this is despite trusts having made significant reductions in agency staff. However, the staff shortages would suggest that the NHS should really be using more temps rather than less.

What’s more, staff shortages are beginning to bite for Britain’s employers across the board, because of low unemployment and less migration from the EU, the Financial Times reported recently. So this is a major problem for UK business in general, not just the public sector, and one that can be alleviated by recruiting temporary staff. But again there’s an issue in terms of how expensive this can be.

This is also compounded by the fact that the entire temporary recruitment process is crushingly inefficient. It is frustrating for both hirers and contractors, who would benefit from much better visibility, connectivity and communication between all parties – and on a global scale – rather than the current disconnected and disparate nature of the sector.

Currently, the best solution for both parties is a temp agency, but the service can come with a significant price tag, particularly if you’re recruiting for public sector staff. Plus there are so many agencies in the market that it’s difficult to know which to choose. This often results in hirers taking time and effort registering with several, then trying to keep tabs on them all.

Hirers need better direct access to temporary workers so as not to be tied to using agencies. And this access needs to be delivered quickly and easily, with the necessary details at hirers’ fingertips to ensure they can make the best possible appointment. If they want to pass the process over to an agency, but feel it is charging too much for a candidate, they should be able to challenge the cost, and another agency should be able to come in with a keener offer.

Although the growth of job sites has taken recruitment online, the industry has hardly been transformed by the digital revolution. There’s a huge opportunity for online disruptors to shake up the sector like those that have transformed travel, transport, property and retail, to streamline the temporary recruitment process and create a more connected, efficient and cost effective solution for hirers. 

About the author:

Andrew Johnston is a self-made entrepreneur and the founder of online temporary recruitment platform TempRocket, which he started to develop in 2016 when he noticed a gap in the market for a digital solution to help hirers, recruitment agencies and contractors work better together.

He brings over 20 years’ experience running his own businesses, supporting others and mentoring budding entrepreneurs with innovative ideas from inception to market. Previous companies he has founded include Red Pencil, a specialist telco recruitment agency that secured the only contract ever issued to supply senior management and director level placements into British Telecom, and in the last nine years, he has founded and grown ePayMe, one of the UK’s largest outsource payroll providers to temporary recruitment agencies and freelance workers.

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