Internet could help cut temporary staff spend

The £17.1
billion spent on temporary staff every year in the UK could be significantly
cut if firms exploited Internet technology, according to research by
recruitment specialist Reed Executive.

James Reed,
chief executive of Reed Executive, listed the benefits of using the Internet in
its survey of 10 blue-chip companies:

·       
Streamlined
administration

·       
Cost
savings

·       
Better
quality staff

·       
Less
“maverick buying” of staff.

“There are
also benefits from enhanced real-time management information,” said Reed, “as
HR managers can access much more accurate data on the use of temporary staff
much more quickly.”

Most firms
in the survey are at an early stage of using the Internet for procuring staff.
Oracle is working with Reed on a pilot project. Vance Kearney, vice-president
of HR at Oracle, said: “It means we will only get one bill for staff and we
know how many staff are being employed at any one time and where and when.”

Nick
Wildgoose, head of procurement at Virgin Travel Group, said it had introduced
an e-procurement system and now used electronic timesheets for temporary staff,
requisition and ordering. He said the firm was making savings in administration
costs.

Of the
firms using e-procurement, 75 per cent are being led by procurement managers
rather than HR managers, but Reed says this can create difficulties.

“The
problems companies seem to be facing are making HR concerns central to the
process, establishing quality measures, gaining input from HR and combining HR
expertise with IT and procurement needs.”

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