In today’s connected world, most would argue that technology makes attracting and sourcing candidates much easier and faster. We can promote vacancies, build online networks, raise brand awareness and generally be in front of our target audiences within just a couple of clicks. So far, so good.

However, once we’ve initially engaged with candidates, the processes that support the application and deployment process are for the majority not fully automated, online, or even built for purpose, meaning the customer experience is not always a positive one. Enter the "black hole" syndrome. In more cases than we as an industry care to admit, a candidate applies for a job and never hears back.

Whilst we have access to more people than ever before, how do we know which of these are active or passive job-seekers at any given time? Who is available to work this or next week with the best fit for a particular role? The worker and agency both suffer by not having a easy way of communicating this real-time availability. Much of the consultant’s working week is spent calling around to determine who is available, or sending bulk SMS messages to applicants disappointing all bar the first to respond with a lack of work, and/or a lack of a reply. And if they do get lucky, the timesheet and payment experience can in itself damage the experience further, as it’s often driven by paper-based processes with room for human error.

Automated infrastructures and resulting CRMs designed to support the recruitment process have largely been developed to emulate historic paper-based procedures. This are often cumbersome and not necessarily time-efficient, solving the same problem to a point without seeking out new and better outcomes. Serving the contingent side of the business, most workforce software is oriented to large MSP players and contracts, such as VMS systems that serve a specific purpose in management of multi-vendor relationships. Meanwhile, software designed to help an agency manage their temporary workforce, such as rostering, on-line timesheets, payments and reporting, has been created as bolt-on modules to legacy systems. These look to fix isolated issues, rather than considering a holistic view of what would improve every stage of the process for all concerned.

So what if there was a way to engineer your interactions and services in a way that aligned the needs of all your customers – that’s candidates, clients and staff - with your business desires? A way of reducing operating costs and improving consultants’ productivity, freeing them to focus on business development, whilst enhancing the candidate and client experience?

By tapping into cultural change and behaviours - the ubiquity of mobile devices, the social sharing mentality - Facebook, Foursquare, et al - plus other technological advances such as biometrics and geo-tagging, a new solution can be imagined. With 97% of people never more than an arm’s length from their phone and the universal popularity of the selfie, the TempBuddy app was developed to give recruiters unparalleled access to their worker pool and real-time information. One-click technology allows workers to advise on their availability so consultants know who is available, when and where.

Once pay rates and rules are uploaded to the agency portal, data captured translates into digital timesheets, automating and driving the pay and bill process. No onerous weekly timesheet chasing for the candidate, client or agency. No room for error with per second billing accuracy.

Smart technology used smartly. Recruiters can deploy rated workers from their existing pool, keeping them in employment. The client’s needs are met swiftly with the best available workers. It’s a virtuous win-win-win circle.

Fundamentally though, this is only made possible because the whole process is re-imagined with the (in increasingly short supply) candidate's needs and behaviours placed equal to those of both the agency and employer. Now let's be honest, that is radical thinking in recruitment, and most definitely from a technology perspective.


Roderick Smyth is a serial entrepreneur with a successful track record in building ground-breaking technology start-ups for the recruitment industry. With over 20 years' experience leading software companies, his latest venture, TempBuddy, seeks to change people's lives for the better by making flexible work easier and more rewarding. As a business leader who started life as a developer, in Tempbuddy he has created an award-winning intuitive workforce management platform that gets the best people to the right place at the right time, paid promptly and accurately using smart mobile technology.