How do you expand your flexible workforce as a temporary employment agency?

As a labour intermediary, one of the aspects of your work is growing your flex pool. What should you pay attention to?

Do you run a temporary staffing or intermediary agency but don't have a flex pool yet? And are you still unsure whether to start one? Then check out these four reasons to see why nowadays you really can't do without it. Once you place candidates on a flexible basis with clients, you'll receive more requests. So it's high time to further expand your flex pool.

How do you do that?

1. Expand your offerings

When you're just starting with your flex pool, it's wise to choose a specific niche. Namely, a specific industry and area of work. After all, the more variables you add - for example, roles or geographical locations - the harder it becomes to match supply and demand. It's simply more challenging to provide a Level 3 Caregiver in Amsterdam while simultaneously having a Level 5 Caregiver available in Leeuwarden. Getting supply and demand to work is the trickiest part. That's why we recommend starting small and adding variables later. Once you have a flex pool with a large group of flexible workers and satisfied clients, you're on the right track and can expand the number of variables.

2. Do you always want to guarantee 100% delivery?

Clients often send their requests to multiple agencies at once, increasing the chance of filling a service. For you as an agency, this is tricky. You have to approach people, and if someone responds positively, you still have to wait and see if the assignment is yours or if someone else beats you to it. You can try to obtain exclusivity, so, for example, you have a two-week head start over your competition. But do you always want to guarantee 100% delivery, or is it wiser to be a bit more cautious?

We know the owner of an agency who consciously aims for 80%. He has a deal with an institution giving him a three-week head start over his competitors. Yet, he "only" fills 80% of the services for that institution. He fills the remaining 20% elsewhere. His reasoning: "Once they're used to me filling 100% at that institution, they'll expect it every time. To keep those expectations clear and let them know I can't always fill everything, I choose to stick with that 80%." So, ask yourself: do I want to bend over backward to achieve that 100% every time, or does a lower percentage suit me better?

3. Make agreements

Try to make agreements with clients. They don't always have to be exclusive agreements, giving you a head start over the competition. It can also be an agreement on the number of people to be provided in a certain period. For example, we have an intermediary agency client with a year contract with a client where they will provide candidates weekly. This gives the agency time to find these candidates and possibly train them, and the flexible workers have a bit more job security. On a weekly basis, they're still all separate services, but in the long term, you can see it as a fixed pool for that particular client. These types of deals give you time to recruit and to recoup your costs.


4. Prevent turnover

Once you've built up a nice pool of valuable flexible workers, you naturally don't want them to disappear through the back door. By giving positive feedback and expressing your appreciation, you increase the involvement of the flexible workers. Even though flexibility is the new buzzword, flexible workers also want to be proud of their work and be motivated to do it. Therefore, provide sincere appreciation, a sense of autonomy, and the feeling of added value. If you manage your flex pool well, you'll get involvement in return, from your flexible workers and thereby also from the clients.

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