14 April 2005 | David Arminas
Companies use contracts with recruitment agencies to hire only 50 per cent of temporary staff, according to new research by software company Ariba.
The remainder are hired via informal arrangements between managers and agencies. The quarterly procurement survey found 25 per cent of procurement directors said employees feel it is easier to pick up the phone to a familiar agency rather than use the internal process.
However, according to buyers, these findings are symptomatic of the lack of communication between HR and purchasing.
Steve Muddiman, vice-president for Europe, Middle East and Africa at Ariba, said: "It's all about relationship building. Procurement must show HR that it can help them to improve processes."
Sarah Wishart, senior consultant at recruitment firm Langley Search and Selection, and a former purchaser, agreed the two professions need to get closer: "Purchasing and HR must work more closely together to look at the total process and not just negotiation for recruitment agency contracts."
She added that the process for hiring temporary staff through HR had to be quick enough to make people want to use it.
Another issue is compliance, said Gill Robinson, head of resourcing services at Xchanging, an outsourced labour and recruitment firm.
People go off-contract because the contract does not allow them a choice of suppliers and there is too much paperwork involved, she explained.
"One way to drive compliance is to have a purchasing card as the only method of payment, useable only with contracted suppliers."