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Essential Questions To Ask An Agency Before Hiring A Temporary Worker

27th June 2017

Using a recruitment agency should be an efficient way of hiring temporary staff, whether you are looking to fill a short-term need urgently or require an agency worker who may become a permanent member of staff in the future under a temp to perm arrangement.

Whatever your reason for hiring a temporary worker it's important that you find an agency which works well for your business and gives you peace of mind that best recruitment practice is being followed. As part of your agency due diligence we'd recommend asking these questions:

What are your service charges?

Let's be honest – this is at the top of your priority list. Temps get paid for their time based on an hourly rate so it is important to confirm the number of hours that the temporary worker will work for you each week. In addition to this rate of pay the agency has to take in to consideration a range of statutory costs such as national insurance, agency worker regulations, pension and holiday pay as well as its business margin, which is why the rate you pay is always higher than the rate of pay the agency worker receives. So that there are no surprises ensure that you agree the rate you'll pay before the recruitment consultant begins working on your assignment.

What process for selecting the candidates is followed?

One reason for engaging an agency is so you don't have to deal with the time consuming advertising and CV screening process. In answer to this question you should expect the agency to explain:

  • The methods used to source candidates.
  • How relevant candidates are identified for your specific role. This is really important and as well as hearing about skills matching and sector knowledge you should gain reassurance that the agency really knows the background of the candidate having undertaken, as a minimum, candidate interviews and reference checking.
  • The number of short-listed candidate CVs you should expect to receive.
  • How interviews between you and the candidate are arranged.
  • A time-frame for completing your recruitment.

Have you placed candidates in a similar role?

By gaining information on the agency's track record you'll understand how suitable they are to manage your recruitment. Gaining specific examples will also give you the chance to follow up for recommendations – we all take confidence from another person's good experience.

How is the temp paid?

Another common reason for engaging an agency is you don't have to worry about how the temporary worker is paid – you just have to ensure their agency time sheet is signed. Your agency should take care of all legal obligations including payment, holiday accrual, working time and agency worker rights administration.

Are you a member of a professional organisation?

This verifies the agency's credibility. The Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC) is the professional body for UK recruitment businesses, representing 82% of the recruitment market place.

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