Recruitment Insights

Striking a balance: Managing perm and temp recruitment

July 13, 2023
Striking a balance: Managing permanent and temporary recruitment

Navigating the demands of permanent and temporary recruitment requires somewhat of a balancing act, with varying client and candidate expectations to handle.

As the demand for contract and temporary recruitment rises globally, this challenge becomes increasingly relevant. Building a dual desk recruitment firm involves managing distinct expectations from clients and candidates, depending on whether the employment is permanent or temporary. With the right strategy, it’s possible to manage these challenges, optimise operations, and position your recruitment business for growth and long-term success.

This blog covers some key insights on managing a dual desk recruitment business. Here, you will find strategies for navigating the differing expectations, tackling financial considerations, and implementing effective strategies tailored for both temporary and permanent recruitment.

What characteristics make a great dual desk recruiter?

Dual desk recruitment firms need adaptability, strong communication skills, and an understanding of the recruitment market to manage client relationships effectively.

Temp recruiting requires the ability to cater to the fluidity and urgency of client needs. For example, your recruiters need a knack for quick decision-making and building large networks to source potential candidates. Temporary recruitment firms should also stay abreast of market trends, manage quick turnaround times and adjust priorities quickly.

On the other hand, permanent recruiters often focus more on long-term strategy and candidate fit. Patience, persistence, and a deep understanding of industry-specific qualifications and competencies are invaluable. Permanent recruiters must be proficient in conducting comprehensive interviews and assessments to ensure that candidates align with a company’s culture and long-term goals.

Delivering permanent and temporary recruitment to clients

Managing permanent and temporary recruitment requires your team to communicate effectively with clients about their needs and prioritise accordingly. For example, your client might require staff for permanent and temporary roles, but they urgently need someone to fill the temp position. You would need to prioritise sourcing and placement for the temporary role due to its immediate nature without dropping the permanent recruitment process.

Effective communication forms the backbone of this process. Regular interactions with your client ensure you stay updated on any changes in their requirements. For example, if the permanent role also becomes urgent, you will need to move fast on finding someone to fill that position. Building a diverse talent pool of temp and perm candidates will enable you to address these priorities.

Balancing the expectations of temp and perm candidates

Candidate expectations for permanent and temporary roles vary significantly. Permanent roles often come with an expectation of stability, career progression, and long-term security. Conversely, candidates for temporary roles often anticipate flexibility and diverse experience. They might also see temporary roles as stepping stones to permanent employment.

Managing and aligning these expectations is crucial to successful recruitment. Firstly, it is essential to understand the candidates’ career goals, skill sets, and individual circumstances to match them with suitable roles. For permanent roles, recruiters should focus on long-term career prospects and organisational culture fit. For temporary roles, you will need to emphasise flexibility, variety, and possible opportunities for skills development.

Communication plays a pivotal role in this process. Both permanent and temporary recruiters need to articulate the roles’ nature, terms, and conditions accurately. Moreover, recruiters should remain open, available, and responsive to candidates’ queries, providing honest feedback and clear explanations.

Managing cash flow in dual desk recruitment

Contracts and seasonal fluctuations can reduce client demand during certain periods, even as overheads such as staff salaries persist. So, accurate cash flow forecasting can empower your recruitment firm to prepare for and navigate potential cash flow gaps.

Technology solutions, like payroll and accounting software, can help you with cash flow management, especially with the complexities associated with payroll for temporary recruitment. Technology becomes especially useful in managing the nuances of fluctuating work hours, diverse pay rates, and adherence to employment laws.

As a dual desk recruiting firm, you will need to monitor cash flow to maintain financial health while offering both services. Regular invoicing and prompt follow-ups on payments can also aid in ensuring steady cash flow. Keeping sufficient reserves to cushion against unexpected financial fluctuations is also beneficial.

Scaling your dual desk recruitment firm

Scaling a recruitment business that offers both temporary and permanent services presents a unique set of challenges and opportunities. The diverse demands of both types of recruitment can stretch resources and impact service delivery if not well-managed.

Your business model should evolve to meet changing needs and challenges. This could mean expanding the recruitment team to handle increased demand, offering additional consulting or talent management services, or investing in advanced recruitment software to streamline processes. Regularly evaluating business performance, market trends, and client feedback will enable you to find valuable insights into how you can best adapt.


With these strategies, your recruitment agency can better handle the different needs of permanent and temporary recruitment. By regularly adjusting and improving your methods, you will become better at balancing the needs of a dual desk recruitment firm and setting up your business for lasting success.

Balancing different timelines, managing candidate expectations, and meeting client needs is a strategic process. By consistently applying these principles, you can deliver recruitment solutions that drive your clients’ businesses and satisfy candidates.

Why choose APositive’s Invoice Finance solution?

We designed our Invoice Finance solution to address the unique difficulties that permanent and temporary recruitment businesses face. We offer you access to much-needed funding, enabling you to pay your candidates and staff promptly, so you can focus on finding the right placements for your clients.

Our Invoice Finance solution allows you to access the funds stuck in unpaid invoices without the typical wait of 60 to 90 days. With our Invoice Finance solution, you could gain access to your cash the same day you raise your invoices, subject to certain criteria.

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