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The importance of... control - Part 2

Posted on 16/05/2017 by Jon Milton in Category Managed Services

Last week I spoke about how technology can put the customer in control, especially when managing contingent labour. Systems need to be adaptive and provide hiring managers with the flexibility they need, for example by allowing them to have direct contact with recruitment agencies when needed.

Local choice, central control

We believe that the future of systems based requisitioning has to include the ability for the line manager to engage directly with an agency supplier where circumstances dictate. Clearly in some circumstances direct engagement is not necessary, for example where there is an abundance of resource available from the supply market and your requirements are relatively straightforward and easily translatable in an electronic form; however, there are a number of situations where direct contact is imperative.

For example, if you do not have regular access to a PC in your day job, asking you to take time out of your day to place an order online could be construed as an imposition. This situation is exacerbated if you need contingent staff at short notice. Historically managed service models have adopted ‘work around’ arrangements where the hiring manager is able to talk directly to its preferred agency to make the booking, but still requires them to place their order online, filling out the order form retrospectively. In the latest version our own system we have introduced a simple piece of re-engineering which removes this admin burden, removing any need for order placement on-line whilst still capturing details of the booking. The only required systems input is for time-sheet review, and even here the system is optimised for tablet, minimising the effort required. At a central level however all key information is captured to ensure governance and to produce detailed MI. 

At the other end of the spectrum, if you are recruiting for a senior or specialist technical position it is reasonable to assume that you should place an order online, as most hiring managers in these circumstances do have access to a PC, but unreasonable to prevent direct access to key agencies. This is because there are relatively few candidates available to fill these roles and it may be difficult to find a 100% match. The roles need to be qualified with agencies so that the agencies can advise the hiring manager of the type of candidate available at that time; the hiring manager can then evaluate available skills against required and also consider the personal attributes of the candidate in relation to their organisation. Senior roles can also carry sensitivities which the hiring manager may feel uncomfortable expressing in electronic format. We believe that technology should enable these conversations rather than place restraints on them; by simply giving hiring managers contact details and quality ratings of approved agencies by category so that if they want to speak to them they can. 

The future – computer says ‘yes’

As discussed above, requisition to pay systems have traditionally focussed on driving efficiency and centralisation but this has in some circumstances been at the expense of the end user. The Little Britain sketch ‘Computer says no’ served to highlight this, and point out the frustrations that this systems inflexibility can cause. It is our belief that systems should be adaptive to the needs of the end user whilst providing robust central governance, and that systems should work around the user rather than expecting the user to work around them. The future then, is one where ‘computer says yes’ and one which we certainly look forward to.

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