Is bigger “better” when you’re looking to work with a recruitment agency?

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Is bigger “better” when you’re looking to work with a recruitment agency?

In truth, there’s no way to answer this question both simply and accurately…

In theory, a larger organisation has broader reach and possibly greater depth-of-talent, but the corollary to this is that they quite likely also have higher overheads (therefore charge more), possibly a more ‘mass-production’ outlook and higher tolerance for a “hit & miss” approach.

Another layer of complexity needs to be added where you are out-sourcing the supply of casual personnel to support the peaks and troughs of your core operation. The complexity of employment law and the myriad associated regulations means there are many more things that can go wrong. In addition, if the agency you use doesn’t comply with all of the laws, you can be held jointly liable for any breach as vicariously responsible for non-compliance with employment terms and conditions.

In practice, it is likely that a larger organisation will have the capacity to have developed – and continually update – the complex systems that are now required. These encompass correct Award interpretation – including penalties & allowances, superannuation, payroll tax, workers compensation insurance and – importantly – performance management. Certainly it is more likely that a small agency will struggle to comply with the ever-changing laws and regulations, so a larger agency may be best in this context.

However, a very large agency may well take a “churn & burn” approach to the supply of casuals – and never really get to know their people – or their clients – as a result. If you’re a large employer and large customer, it’s more likely you’ll have someone allocated to your account, but if your requirement isn’t significant, you may well be treated as just another ‘number’. Certainly the hallmark of small and medium-sized agencies tends to be that they know both their casual team and their clients a lot better – and do a better job of supplying good ‘fit’ as a result.

Finally, there’s the growing amount of reports and compliance requirements that every business is facing. In this context, it is more likely that a larger agency will have the systems and resources to make it possible for them to provide you with the data you require, in the format you require it. The total cost of outsourcing some of your casual personnel requirements can be greatly impacted by this capacity – or lack thereof.

So where do we fit in all of this? Smack bang in the middle really.. We’re large enough to have bespoke systems, reporting and regulatory capacity – and small enough to place a high premium on building personal relationships with all of our clients and all of our Brigade. We’ve been around long enough to have traversed good times – and bad – with most of our clients, many of whom we’ve worked with for decades. We are also champions of the safety, needs & expectations of our several hundred casual employees.

Long story short.. There’s no ‘right’ answer to the question. If you are receiving good service, are confident that you are not exposed to risk by outsourcing to your agency, and you get great people with a good fit most of the time, you’re probably onto a good thing!