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4 Trends Set to Disrupt the Temporary Recruitment Sector in 2019


Digital disruption, blockchain and potential chaos in education… Andrew Johnston, Founder of TempRocket, reveals the four key trends set to transform the temporary recruitment industry in 2019.

This year marked a watershed for temporary recruitment, with the first real technology disruptors appearing on the scene as well as organisations across the board turning to temps due a lack of permanent candidates. So what will 2019 bring?

Frustration and confusion in education

With schools currently experiencing a teacher recruitment crisis, they are heavily reliant on temporary staff. But supply teachers procured through agencies come with a cost of up to 20% of their salaries if taken on permanently. The Crown Commercial Service (CCS), which helps to save public sector money, has been applied to education to make it cheaper and easier to recruit full-time teachers. It aims to do this by forcing agencies to charge a school nothing for recruiting a supply teacher to a permanent role if they have been working for the establishment for three months or more.

This sounds great in practice for schools, but because it has not been universally applied, some will adopt it while others won’t. This means agencies will be reluctant to share their best temps with schools signed up to the framework for fear of losing them to a permanent role without compensation. Meanwhile, those establishments that do become CCS affiliated will only be able to use agencies signed up to the framework. As a result, next year schools will become frustrated with a lack of choice and quality, while general confusion will reign in terms of whether to sign up or not. So nice idea, poor execution.

The return of payment outsourcing

Until temps were stopped from claiming travel and subsistence costs against tax in 2016, many agencies outsourced their temporary staff payments to specialist companies. This practice rapidly declined as agencies encouraged their temporary staff to go on their books for fear of having to pay them more as compensation for the change in legislation.

However, two years down the line agencies are waking up to the fact that this was a false economy due to the additional liabilities they face by making temps PAYE. One example is that if a temp goes off sick, they have to cover them like they would a member of their agency staff. However, if their pay is outsourced, they are only liable if they are placed, and then only until the end of the contract. This realisation has meant that they are starting to make a U-turn and outsourcing temp payments again. Next year will see a flood in payment management returning to specialist outsourcing companies.

The rise of temporary recruitment platforms

This year saw the first proper digital disruptors emerge onto the recruitment scene in the form of online temporary staff platforms, and 2019 will see more hirers, contractors and agencies using them to accelerate the temp recruitment process and broaden their reach. This will be driven by the problems organisations are facing in filling permanent vacancies, and the situation is likely to worsen rather than resolve, making fast and efficient access to temps hugely important.

The best temporary recruitment platforms bring hirers, contractors AND agencies together in one place on a national and even global level. They are an excellent shop window for contractors, hirers can choose between making direct contact with temps or using agencies, and agencies can use the platforms to extend their geographical reach. The most advanced platforms also enable hirers to challenge an agency’s fee if they feel it is too high, enabling another to step in with a keener offer. Ultimately they help to bring together a hitherto disconnected industry for everyone’s benefit, and their influence will grow in 2019.

The introduction of blockchain

The recruitment process requires lengthy data verification of candidates for each appointment. The quicker staff turnover in temporary recruitment makes this even more arduous and time consuming as hirers check everything from educational qualifications and work experience, including consulting referees, to carrying out key background checks for criminal records and the presence on offender registers. It has also become extremely difficult to accurately verify that what appears on someone’s resumé is correct. In fact, many have claimed that the whole CV-focused process is flawed. This has resulted in a growing call for the use of blockchain in recruitment.

Blockchain provides an encrypted network of blocks where individuals and companies can share information securely thereby enabling recruiters to verify employee data including educational performance and career achievements. A growing list of educational institutions are beginning to provide their certificates on the blockchain. This will assist employers in verifying the qualifications of short-listed candidates. Instead of contacting those institutions attended by each pre-qualified candidate, employers will source this information from the blockchain network, making the process quicker and less costly. It’s only a matter of time before this is extended to other key criteria, making recruitment quicker, more accurate and safer, which is particularly important in the temp sphere.

What with growing demand for temps, potential chaos in education, new digital platforms and the promise of blockchain, 2019 looks like being a very interesting year for temporary recruitment!