Had these problems with agencies before? Here’s how we solve it…

I’m sure you can all agree that no partnership between businesses will be complete plain sailing, issues and problems are always going to arise, especially when an individuals actions can be completely out of our control.

We understand the frustration companies feel when they aren’t receiving the service they expect from their labour provider, however Essential are always seeking improvement to these common issues, especially now that we are employee owners and responsible for the future growth and success of the business.

Here’s how we are working on some common problems companies face…


1. Quality of Workers/Workers not trained properly 


In a recent survey from the Association of Labour Providers, ‘What Clients Want – Labour User Survey Results April 2022’, found that 73% of the businesses surveyed said that their labour provider needed to improve the quality of their workers.

How Essential ensure we’re providing the best quality workers we can:


1. Job Shadows

Our Consultants perform job shadows of your roles, this ensures:

  • We describe the role duties accurately to candidates
  • We can manage the expectations of the candidate
  • We know what skills and experience to look for in candidates
  • We can identify candidates with the right attitude towards the role
  • We understand the impact of getting the role duties wrong
  • We understand the environment we are recruiting for


2. Induction Assistance


Our Consultants assist with the candidate’s induction to ensure workers are inducted properly. Our client induction program can be tailored to accommodate your individual requirements.

We perform these inductions because:

  • It minimises the risk of accidents; we make sure the candidates have been inducted on health & safety and manual handling as well as knowing your company policies, procedures, rules & regulations, accident reporting procedure and fire procedure to reduce the risk of accidents occurring in the workplace
  • It increases production; by ensuring that our candidates have been properly inducted on the job role and duties, as well as highlighting the importance of the role duties being performed wrong, the candidate will increase productivity within the role


2. Unreliable staff


Reliability of staff is probably the biggest challenge that agencies face, and it’s an issue that you can’t guarantee you can eradicate completely. However, we completely understand your frustrations as you are relying on those workers to keep your business running.


From the first initial point of contact with the candidate, we provide the following:

  • More in-depth interviewing process. We are being more in-depth in candidate interviews about the candidate’s work history
  • Cutting out remote registrations wherever possible to prioritise face to face registrations
  • We provide tours for the candidate to walk around the site and decide if it’s for them before starting
  • We send a confirmation of assignment; this provides candidates with documents after the registration process which covers the individual client’s sites and ensures they know which department to arrive in and who to report to
  • We will be onsite to check the candidate in on their first day. We will also make contact mid way through and after the candidate’s shift to ensure they are settling in as expected.


One main focus that we are prioritising on at Essential is building stronger relationships with our candidates, to reduce the rate at which they are not showing up to work. We believe the stronger the relationship and the more our candidates feel appreciated and valued by us, the more likely they are to be reliable.


Different ways we build relationships with our candidates include:

  • Providing regular onsite check ins to create a familiar face and check candidates are settling in well and enjoying their work
  • We can hold ‘Staff Surgeries’ onsite to speak confidentially with candidates to address any queries or problems arising that may be affecting them in the workplace
  • We’ve started delving into the cause of the candidate not attending work, asking how we can help and honing in on the consequences of not showing
  • Every month we hold a Temp of the Month competition where candidates who deserve recognition for their hard work and dedication are put forward for nomination and the winner receives a £50 voucher of their choice
  • Every year we take part in Mental Health Awareness Week, involving our staff, clients and candidates. In 2022, we created a portal on our website with useful links and resources people can use if they feel they are in need of help or guidance and went on visits throughout the week to promote the portal to our clients and candidates
  • We celebrate our workers who have received permanent contracts from their work placements by dropping off a certificate of permanent employment and a box of chocolates to say a massive well done! We will then share their temp to perm photo on our Facebook page to encourage people to realise that they will be rewarded for working hard and being reliable
  • We like to show our candidates little tokens of extra appreciation as we do really appreciate those who are so reliable and work very hard in their jobs. This has included dropping off birthday cards, hiring ice cream trucks, donating Easter Eggs, treating workers to lunch and much more!
  • We provide feedback forms to new starters, current employees and leavers to gain feedback on their experience of working within your company so we can identify the areas that people like and don’t like about the job/environment, as well as common issues that may be causing people to leave


3.  Unfulfilled bookings


Get frustrated at the lack of bookings being fulfilled by your labour provider? I’m sure many businesses who use agencies can relate.

One thing that makes Essential Recruitment different is that we are honest and won’t promise you the world. We can’t guarantee that we can fill EVERY booking, but we will try our absolute hardest to.


How are we working on improving this?

  • Rotating bookings between Consultants to get a fresh perspective
  • Sharing clients and candidates with neighbouring branches who also recruit across local areas to the site
  • Constantly coming up with innovative ideas to recruit through our ThinkTank sessions
  • Working directly with our clients to assess pay rates, create video content, offering a perm option & much more
  • Building relationships and setting up weekly meetings with local job centres, as well as attending local recruitment fairs
  • Not letting candidates go! If they are interested in a booking we’ve filled we will work with them to see where else we can place them
  • Running polls to gain market information and working with the client to see where we can improve the attraction of the vacancy


4. Can’t get hold of your agency for urgencies


Have you been in a situation where you’ve just had a change to your demand for services or some of your agency staff haven’t shown for their shift and you need to contact your labour provider immediately for support but they aren’t available?


At Essential we provide a 24/7 call out service because:

  • Even though we operate from 8am – 5pm between Monday to Friday, we understand that a lot of our clients operate 24/7
  • We are available to contact our agency workers who may have walked off site or not showed to their shift to find out why and see if we can find a last minute replacement


5. Not seeing continuous improvement


Have you been using your labour provider for a while now but you’re not actually seeing much improvement in regards to reliability and calibre of staff?


  • At Essential we provide regular service reviews with our clients to ensure we are constantly meeting the needs of our clients, building stronger relationships and keeping our clients updated with the performance of their requirements


  • We use KPI’s to set targets and goals to work towards for continuous improvement that best suit your requirements. These can include:
    • Shift fulfilment
    • Staff turnover
    • Quality of workforce
    • No. of timesheets
    • Non conformances


6. Need available candidates immediately


We can imagine you’ve come across a situation many times where you’ve either been let down by staff or receive an increase in demand for your services and now you need staff quick! Many agencies can struggle to find candidates last minute, especially if candidates interested in the position they have a notice period at their current employment, need to be registered or require an induction before they start.


Where can we find staff at such short notice, to get candidates to you as quick as possible?


Pre-registered candidates

We have job seekers available on our system that we can reach out to at short notice, often by calling through the database, sending texts out directly to the candidates or emailing out to the database.


Our pre-registered are readily available as they have been:

  • Pre-screened
  • Referenced checked
  • Compliance checked


Social media presence

At Essential we own and manage 23 job groups across Facebook with over 125,000 members, where we can post straight away if we receive a sudden new booking or backfill.

This is a benefit because we own the group meaning we don’t have to wait for our posts to be accepted as it will be posted straight away and we avoid our posts being potentially declined in other groups we don’t manage. This means we can reach thousands of job seekers in the local areas at short notice.


7. A lack of relationship


One thing we often hear when we’ve taken on new business is that the company lacked a relationship with their previous labour provider. At Essential we focus on building strong relationships with our clients, this is one reason why many of our clients have chosen us as their first point of contact or we’ve been given sole supply over the other agencies they use, as we have built that rapport with them.


To focus on building strong relationships with you, we action the following:

  • We provide a regular onsite presence so we can create a familiar face, address any issues onsite and get to know you and your operations on a deeper level
  • We wanted to help our clients raise charity funds for their favourite charity, so in 2021 we started giving our clients the opportunity to donate £100 from our fundraising pot as part of our monthly charity donation
  • Every quarter we will arrange a service review to ensure you are happy with our service and we are meeting your expectations


Read more on our blog…



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