As the saying goes, if you can’t stand the heat get out of the kitchen. But the truth is that the searing hot summer months are an opportunity to get in the business kitchen and start cooking up plans for the rest of the year.
There’s sometimes a summer lull for recruitment agencies, while contract workers take a well-earned break, and clients dial down operations for a few weeks before the winter rush. So what better time to focus on your business?
It’s easy to turn all your attention to attracting new clients when making your company growth plans, but your recruitment agency could make big financial gains by simply giving your back-office set-up some TLC. And these changes can make an impact to your bottom line almost immediately.
If you’re ready to get your back-office into better shape this summer, here are 6 sizzling hot ways to improve your internal operations…
One of the great challenges recruitment agencies face is dealing with contractor timesheets submitted in multiple formats. Depending on the client and the member of staff, you may be faced with processing information submitted across spreadsheets, emails, faxes – even handwritten notes.
The easiest way to deal with this is not to try and teach every person on your books to send timesheets the same way, but to find back-office software that can process submissions in any format. This will enable your workforce to continue sending paperwork in whatever way they feel comfortable, but make it easier for your staff to coordinate all their data.
Getting on top of timesheets is only the first challenge; many recruitment agencies then devote a lot of time to matching timesheets to your client invoices.
Investing in back-office automation tools can take the time and effort out of the invoicing process, as a good technology platform can turn timesheets into accurate invoices in less than 60 seconds. As well as getting invoices to your clients quicker so you can be paid more promptly, this also frees up your staff to focus on more valuable business development tasks.
It’s not just timesheets that are submitted in different formats – expense claims can also come through on all manner of digital and paper documents, and are often received separately to contractors’ time logs.
The best way to manage expenses effectively is to integrate them with contractor timesheets so they can be invoiced at the same time, but find a back-office software solution that also enables you to submit them separately.
This way, you can push through correctly formatted expense claims alongside timesheets, but if you’re struggling to get contractor expenses approved, you can invoice clients for time spent separately so it doesn’t impact your cash flow.
When you get a break from client communications, many recruitment agencies use this time to chase up contractor timesheets and expense claims. This can be a long and thankless task, which is totally avoidable if you find the right tools to automate follow-ups.
Back-office software will be able to chase hundreds of outstanding documents at the click of a button, to take the pain out of administrative chasing. Not only that, it will make sure paperwork is sent over more promptly, so that missing information doesn’t hold up your client billing process.
It’s not just contractors that can require a lot of nudging; many recruitment agencies find their clients need to be chased to ensure timely payments.
As with timesheets and expenses, recruitment back-office software can automate the follow-up process for outstanding invoices. By letting technology take control, staff spend significantly less time hunting down missed payments, and more time looking at where the next big business wins will come from.
When you’re at the coalface of a growing recruitment business, it’s sometimes difficult to see the bigger picture – and you don’t always have the tools to view your overall performance.
This is another area where back-office software for your recruitment agency can pay dividends, as many leading solutions also feature analytics dashboards. These dashboards will co-ordinate all your important management information, so you can see your agency’s key numbers in real-time, including gross margins and gross margin percentages.
From here, you will have the data evidence you need to prioritise areas for business development, and ultimately make better decisions for the growth of your recruitment agency.
Strike while the iron is hot: schedule a free back-office software demo to see how ETZ can cut your operational costs by up to 85% this summer.
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