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Retailers urged not to discount temporary recruitment
Matthew Sanders CEO

Those put off by demands for equal pay for agency workers could find themselves in real financial danger if they recruit too many permanent staff too quickly with slow market growth, risk and uncertainty forecast for the year.


Retailers urged not to discount temporary recruitment

Thats the view from de Poel, who manage the supply of agency staff to Sainsbury’s, the Co-op and Peacocks, and believe temporary staff will continue to be “extremely valuable” in helping retailers respond to shifts and dips. They suggest temporary recruitment is an effective and inexpensive means of bringing more young people into the industry, with temp to perm arrangements offering real opportunities for retailers to source graduates.

Their views come shortly after Asda announced its decision to pay agency worker’s the same as permanent staff in preparation for the European AWD, due to take effect next year.

Matthew Sanders, Chief Executive of de Poel, said: “We have no doubt that there are discussions going on within the retail sector at the moment looking at whether or not companies should switch their focus from temporary to permanent employment as a means of improving their recruitment strategies – especially with all the controversy over the AWD.

“And yet, whilst we can see the benefits of more permanent staff in creating a more stable workforce, companies need to remember that we are not out of the woods yet, and temporary agency labour is going to be extremely valuable in helping companies respond to peaks and troughs in the market.”

He added: “Critically, temporary working is an effective and low-cost strategy for improving retail’s reputation as a good career choice and aiding the influx of young graduates into the sector – something retailers have been trying to do for a long time.

“If anything, we think they should invest more into their temporary agency labour. As well as taking a more strategic approach to procurement and operations, they need to start swatting up on the AWD, because whether we like it not, temporary labour in the retail sector is never going to be altogether unavoidable and the AWD is going to happen.”

On April 27th, de Poel will be speaking at the Retail HR Summit 2010 to discuss these issues in more depth with some of the industry’s biggest players, including Clinton Cards, Marks and Spencer’s, New Look and Thorntons.

They will be hosting their own seminar that same week (26th April) approaching the issues surrounding the Agency Workers Directive.
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