Historically, Cambridgeshire County Council (CCC) and Northamptonshire County Council (NCC) spent a combined total of circa £25m per annum on agency staff. This was a result of high agency fees, non-negotiable salaries and candidates who didn’t have the relevant experience to work in the public sector.
The councils set out three primary objectives to deliver:
To achieve greater influence over the quality and pay of agency workers
To achieve financial savings by reducing agency costs
To achieve a continued supply of agency workers
The councils’ procurement team took up the challenge to deliver the primary objectives outlined and discovered Opus People Solutions.
The joint venture was established to recruit temporary and interim workers on behalf of the two councils. The councils receive the value of Opus’ methodology, systems and experience, whilst enabling a greater influence and control over agency fees and workers’ pay.
As part of the governance arrangements put in place, each council in the partnership has a seat on the board of Directors. This allows an input into business strategy, complete transparency of all financial and operational performance and an avenue for the councils to influence decision making.
We currently have dedicated recruitment teams for each contract who are able to understand the unique recruitment needs of each council. Our consultants work closely with the hiring managers in each location to develop long-standing working relationships and ensure suitable candidates are placed in their roles.
Since we went live within each council, we have increased the number of candidates placed directly, rather than via external recruitment agencies.
In the first four years of the partnership the councils realised savings of over £3m through the joint venture and over the same period the organisations had a combined temporary recruitment spend reduction of c£5m.