Stuart Gentle Publisher at Onrec

How is the way we work impacting recruiters?

James Smith, Head of UK Sales, Kefron looks at the impact the changing way we work is having on recruiters’ business functions and how automation can be an easy way to reduce work by up to 80%.

Over the past decade the way in which we work in the UK has evolved. A growing amount of companies want to reduce their risk by adopting less permanent based contracts and a more flexible approach to workers. Recent research supports this showing that there has been a 40% increase in agency workers in the last 10 years alone.

As a result, this has changed the recruitment industry as it moves away from its traditional model to cater for this growing type of employment.

The motivations behind this change stem from the 2007 recession as using temporary workers is often less cost and risk for companies, as well as an uncertain future whilst the UK prepares to leave the European Union. It’s not just the companies that prefer this method, many workers themselves see the benefits citing flexibility as a main advantage of contract work. This is becoming increasingly important amongst the likes of working mums as they strive for a greater work life balance.

What does it mean for recruitment companies

With a change in the working world it’s no doubt that it had an impact on the way recruiters operate as a business. They now have more monthly billing on the books as opposed to the traditional one or two per candidate and the effect of this means increased paperwork and administrative processes. Many recruiters will now have tens of thousands of monthly contractor invoices to process along with an increased need for data storage for candidates’ and contractors’ details. In addition, GDPR has meant that companies need to look at how they store their data in order to be compliant.

One business function, this change of contract type has affected, is Accounts Payable (AP) as teams often struggle to keep up with the increased workload and number of invoices that it brings. One way to help AP teams is to look at automated systems as they improve AP processing time, reduce errors and decrease workloads. Automated systems are also valuable across the whole business when it comes to securely storing and accessing candidates’ personal data and legal documents such as contracts, here we look at how they can help.

New Rules on Off-payroll workers

External pressures are on the horizon in the form of new legislation.  In May this year the Treasury proposed new rules on off-payroll work which means agencies could become responsible for identifying the correct contractor ‘employment’ status and deducting the correct tax accordingly.  A move expected to deliver up to £1.2bn annually in additional revenue to the tax coffers by 2023.  Having an automated invoice processing solution with a complete audit trail and secure record will aid compliance and reporting.  Management will also have full visibility of all stages of processing allowing greater oversight and control.

The paper problem

A staggering 57% of office workers currently spend an hour every day searching for documents alone and more time on filing and printing. Being unable to find paperwork is frustrating for workers but also creates a huge problem for productivity as it prevents that time being spent on ‘work’. Automated systems allow documents to be filed and located within seconds freeing up time for employees and streamlining processes.

Reduce errors

Manually captured data is time consuming and subsequently a slow process, and for the AP department this means delays in payments to suppliers. Manual input also increases the chance of human error which can result in incorrect information being input. An automated system means up to 90% of invoices will pass through touch-free so no more manual input or errors are possible ensuring a more efficient process.

Increase speed

The back log of invoices, as a result of the time involved in processing, means suppliers are more likely to re-send invoices to chase late payment. Often these invoices then get processed again creating duplicates and increasing workload. Automated systems eliminate duplicates completely and so prevent the same invoices going into the system twice.

Reduce costs

With automated systems freeing up time and increasing productivity in the overall process by up to 80% it means the AP team will be able to process more invoices in the same time which in turn keeps head count down. In addition, with automated processing across the business you’ll no longer need as much ink, toner and paper, all of which will contribute to high stationary costs.

Business is no longer confined to the office

A complaint we receive from customers is that payments can’t be processed when senior team members, with the authority to approve invoices, aren’t always in the office. A cloud based automated system allows users to securely access documents remotely across devices including smartphones, laptops or tablets, resulting in a reduction in invoice approval times. 

Secure data

Finally, with GDPR now in play it’s imperative that recruiters store personal data and contracts securely ensuring they are safe from security breaches, but also easy to locate and easy to delete if requested by individuals. Automated systems make this possible as data accessibility is much more straightforward. Make sure you look for a solution that has recognised security accreditation.

It’s hard to deny that digital transformation across the recruitment industry can bring many advantages and I would urge companies to investigate the solutions on offer and find the one that best fits their individual needs. For example Kefron’s AP automation service can manage the whole process or you can just choose certain elements to support your existing systems. Regardless of the level of support you require, the benefits of using automation will be seen almost instantly as you save money and time and eliminate errors and delayed payments, so make it a priority for 2019.

About Kefron UK

Kefron simplifies the document and information management world for our customers.  We work to understand our customers business processes so that we can take the pain out of paper, enabling customers to focus on what matters to them.  Our services range across the Document Life Cycle, including the latest cloud-based Document and Invoice Management and Process Automation Solutions, as well as services for confidential Data Capture and Document Destruction.   We have been managing sensitive documents and data for over 29 years and have four ISO Certificates to support our commitment to quality service.  Our professional team are skilled in their areas of expertise for delivering the right solution to our customers.  For more information see