Banner Default Image

Transforming Temporary Recruitment Across a New Region

In 2022, Opus was selected as the strategic partner for West Midlands Employers (WME) to implement and deliver WMTemps, an innovative regional solution aimed at addressing critical workforce challenges for West Midlands Councils regarding the provision of temporary workers.

Despite not having previously operated in the region, Opus successfully rolled out the WMTemps service to over 20% of councils in the West Midlands within 18 months and achieved many successes.


The Challenge:

Introducing a new temporary recruitment model in an already competitive market

Launched in 2022, WMTemps was designed to offer a unique regional resourcing solution for local authorities in the West Midlands. The objective was to revolutionise their approach to recruiting and managing temporary staff, with a particular focus on:

  • Stabilising the permanent workforce

  • Transitioning more temporary positions to permanent status

  • Enhancing access to high-quality temporary workers when required.

  • Reducing the reliance on multiple suppliers to simplify the temporary recruitment process both for councils and temporary workers themselves.

Despite Opus being a newcomer to the West Midlands region, WME selected us as their partner based on our proven track record of delivering successful solutions for public sector clients across various counties and our shared commitment to improve quality and reduce reliance on agency workers.

Building a robust supply chain was key. We take a collaborative and partnership approach with our suppliers. We also share WME’s commitment to invest back into the public sector to create positive change and support local communities.

Our primary challenge involved raising the awareness of WMTemps framework and Opus as a recruitment provider in the region and reassure councils of its benefits as a new service in order to effectively attract and implement with new councils.

The Solution:

Following the WMTemps launch, our leadership team invested significant time to allow for in-person visits to the West Midlands as well as virtual discussions with WME and key figures from councils across the region. This included sharing information about the service and its objectives through WME's local channels, participation at events, and garnering national coverage through articles in The MJ and LGA First. We also exhibited at key conferences such as the PPMA and LGA to amplify awareness.

Our robust implementation process, featuring a dedicated Programme Manager and project team, facilitated the swift launch of WMTemps, with six councils signing up within just over a year. These councils included Wyre Forest, Bromsgrove & Redditch, Walsall, Telford & Wrekin, and Rugby (sixth council launching March 2024).

 Since launch, we have actively engaged with candidates in the region through various channels, including our website, job boards, council clients' channels, WMJobs mailouts, and participation at local career fairs.

We felt it was incredibly important for Opus to have a physical presence in the region and in 2023 we introduced our West Midlands-based recruitment team. Led by our Head of West Midlands, Ben Dixon, this team works closely with councils and candidates in the region to understand their unique requirements.

The Results:

Within the first 18 months WMTemps being launched, six West Midlands councils joined, representing 22% of the total market share. Our streamlined team and process enabled us to handle implementations seamlessly, even managing two simultaneous launches.

Our clients across the West Midlands have already witnessed tangible improvements, with one council experiencing savings from day one due to our effective supply chain management. In this council, 60% of agencies they previously used off contract were already on our supply chain and by launch our team had successfully ensured all agency suppliers had been brought on contract.

By collaborating closely with the councils, our teams in the West Midlands have comprehensively understood workforce priorities, contributing to the stabilisation of their workforce. One quarter (25%) of placements made in the region in the past year have been converted to permanent positions by the councils, aligning with broader workforce goals.

The anticipated savings from these six councils alone, utilising the WMTemps service, are expected to reach £8 million over the next five years. This figure will only continue to increase as more authorities continue to join over the coming years, with a potential for the region to save up to £75million which can be reinvested into the region if all councils were to join.

For more information on WMTemps and how it is helping West Midlands Local Authorities tackle key workforce challenges, click here.