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NHS Staffing Agencies Under Attack

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Were NHS staffing agencies riding a wave that’s come crashing down or are they convenient scape goats?

The government just announced measures to clamp down on “rip-off” staffing agencies used by the NHS. The agreements made between the agencies and the NHS will have been made transparently in a clear contract and in response to an actual need. Were the costs genuinely too high and if so why did they agree them?

Jeremy Hunt’s accusations against staffing agencies this week speaks to every single recruiter in the UK. Recruiters sometimes get a tough press, often accused of trying to put a round peg in a square hole, harassing managers up and down the country, interrupting candidates during their working day. Sometimes it feels like they just don’t get it - and then have the cheek to charge! With all that negative publicity it's a wonder they manage to tie their own shoe laces.

Agencies charge for their service like any business. Given the increasingly competitive market, recruitment margins are tighter than ever. They have to work harder for their money and they have to be far more savvy, keeping up with the latest trends, knowing their market inside and out and somehow finding the time to actually source candidates for their expecting clients. Finding the right people, building a database of targeted, well-qualified staff can be a mammoth investment both in time and money. So are Jeremy Hunt’s accusations that agencies are a "rip-off" justified? Or are his comments simply an easy ploy to distract us from the actual cause – ineffective workforce planning?

Laurie West

Recruiter connecting content & social talent with agencies & brands

0207 014 5976