Freelance Professional Staff Should Be More Than Just a Flexible Workforce - 23/01/2018

WANTED! Clients and Professionals Looking for a Meaningful Partnership!


"Must have GWOs and be able to mobilise in the next 24 hours for 3-4 week cable project based in UK waters." 'How often do you see these words in an advertisement?' asks Emma Campbell, business manager at Atlas Professionals. In this article, she explores how recruiters know who is the right individual for the right job, and how often the clients really get the right individual.

Let’s consider this - is the fastest response the right response? Every day we see recruitment businesses posting advertisements online and on social media quoting URGENT, MUST HAVE, MOBILISE NOW! Of course, this often results in clients reaping the rewards of utilising a flexible workforce and having the skills when they need them.

How do recruiters know who the right individual for the right job is? And how often do the clients really get the right individual?

Reactive Recruitment

With 20 years of experience working within the recruitment industry, Atlas business manager Emma Campbell has worked across a variety of sectors and has dealt with her fair share of diversity when it comes to talking about culture, strategy and how clients work.

“The offshore industry is one of the most challenging sectors I have worked in to date. With the pressure of compliance coupled with a competitive marketplace and complexities of travel, logistics, taxation and certifications, there is a constant need to be able to react to our clients’ and professionals’ needs quickly. This is requested with limited information. Job descriptions are fantastic but they are a list of wants and needs rather than the facts around what or who can solve the problem.”

So How Can We Unravel this Puzzle?

“There has long been a preconception by clients of the recruitment industry that it is fairly irrelevant or unnecessary to share detailed information about the business culture, projects, team and fit. Therefore, comments such as “we just need someone with XYZ skills and an ABC certificate for a couple of weeks” or “the line manager doesn’t have time to speak to you so I am doing it for him” are commonplace when we are conducting our daily business.

Emma Campbell.
Emma Campbell.

“All clients have to go on is a CV, which is uploaded onto an online system. A service that deals with people is delivered completely online with little human interaction, so how effective is this process?”

“When this method is used, the feedback comes through as follows: ‘Great candidate good experience but just doesn’t fit in.’ The solution is to work in partnership with your provider and allow your partners to work closely with project leaders. When the time comes to select a candidate we can assure that they have the right skills and experience, they fit into the manager’s team and they have an understanding of the company culture.”

“Although online processing slightly retracts from the human element, we need to embrace digitalisation to improve productivity and ensure those future partnerships with our clients.”

How to Deal with Feedback

“Recruitment businesses can be criticised by their contractors or candidates for the fact that the feedback they have received does not have the detailed information they would like. After all, the client has filled the position, the problem is solved and they are very happy with the service. Candidates are left in the dark and have no reason as to why they were not chosen for the project.

“Bad reviews are shared everywhere and now with social media, this means that there has never been such an important time to ensure you maintain positive relationships and gain ‘good reviews’.

Working in partnership is important for recruitment and human resources.
Working in partnership is important for recruitment and human resources.

“Communication will always be key when dealing with people and we all know reputations take years to build but moments to destroy. Working with your suppliers as a partner will give you the opportunity to agree upon a feedback regime and manage the expectations of your workforce.

“In summary my recipe for a successful partnership where clients and professionals can realise the true value of having a recruitment partner are:

  • Share information – what are the projects? Where are the projects? What is the schedule? What could go wrong? It’s all relevant.
  • Let recruiters act as your consultant – they have often spent some hours on the phone or in person with the client or perspective contractor/employee and they may have some valuable information you need to know.
  • Let the recruiter have access to the people they can help. Who are the project leaders? What do they look for when recruiting on their project? What don’t they want to see? Having an open forum is a great way to launch recruitment campaigns and really let your partners understand the team and the requirement.
  • Clients and recruiters offer feedback – get a five-star rating every time!
  • Make the process 3 dimensional - CVs are great but nothing replaces human contact when dealing with people. Remember without the people, everyone loses.

“Work with your chosen provider, let them get close, make them a true partner and realise the value of a flexible, compliant and appropriately skilled workforce that shares the values of your organisation.”

Last updated: 16/06/2019