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Five Top Ways to Grow Your Temp Desk

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With the rise of the gig economy and industry demand for temporary workers increasing year-on-year since 2013, business analysts such as IBISWorld are predicting that revenue for temporary recruiters in Australia will grow steadily as the trend towards flexible workforces continues. For this reason, many agencies are trying to grow their temp desks in order to capitalise on the opportunities that this market provides.

For consultancies that have typically been reliant on revenue from permanent placements, the potential to redeploy temporary candidates on repeated engagements means it can create a steady stream of revenue, something which can potentially buffer agencies from economic downturns. What are the top tips every agency needs to know about when it comes to growing your temp desk?

1) Differentiate Yourself

The temp sector is highly competitive because agencies are increasingly recognising the steady stream of revenue that can be generated in the current market. This means your agency must look for ways to stand out from your competitors. The old adage of needing a ‘mile-deep, inch wide’ approach is one that will enable you to carve out a niche and cut out the competition. Ensure recruiters are asking clients and candidates alike about competitors: which ones are good, and what are they doing differently? What are their weaknesses, and how can your agency turn this to its own advantage?

2) Increase the Quality of the Candidates in Your Talent Pool

There are several key ways to boost your pool of both temporary and permanent candidates. However, many recruiters overlook a rich source of temps: their own database of skilled permanent job-seekers. It sounds like a contradiction, but it’s surprising how many talented candidates opt for permanent work simply because they aren’t aware of the benefits that temp contracts can bring.

Ensure that recruiters are really selling the pluses. Contract work can offer excellent flexibility, often providing candidates with more control over days and hours worked, as well as locations. It’s suited to people that wish to develop their skills and widen their networks by working for a range of employers. Finally, temp assignments can turn into permanent ones, so it’s worth presenting them to candidates as a perfect way to see if a role is for them without locking them into the longer notice periods which are more common with permanent work.

3) Fill Temp Posts Before Rivals Do

Timescales to deliver temps are much shorter. The placing needs to be quick and effective, and the best way is to make sure that when a client calls to notify you of an opening, you are able to tell them that you have a suitable candidate who is ready to start. For this reason, it’s vital that your list of available temps is absolutely up to date. Train your candidates to keep you informed about their availability – daily for those who aren’t currently placed- and update your list as this information comes in. That way you will be in a position to fill the role over the phone when a client calls, rather than promising to get back to them.

4) Ensure the Infrastructure is Sound

The fast pace of temp recruitment, together with the number of documents such as references and timesheets needed, means that it can be admin heavy. It’s vital for the temp desk to have efficient systems and processes in place which are straight-forward for clients and candidates. Slow turn-around, misplaced forms and complex procedures will drive away business, so take advantage of the technology available to streamline contingent workforce management and automate as much as you can. Sending electronic forms for reference requests which are then tracked automatically will speed up an otherwise laborious process.

5) Spread the Word

Make sure you tell people about your capabilities as a temp provider. Inform your database of candidates, clients and prospects, giving examples of successful matches where possible. Target your marketing by identifying the job boards and other platforms you should be advertising on, and spread the word through as many channels as possible. Remember that word of mouth recommendations are key, so by offering an outstanding candidate experience, you’ll not only increase the chances of existing temps returning to you for redeployment, but also the likelihood of them recommending you to their peers.


To learn more about how to increase your redeployment rates and boost the number of temps returning to you for their next position. Check out Ready to Redeploy: Tips to Get the Most out of Your Candidate Pool