The birth of ‘labour as a service’ and its vital place in the temporary staffing world

The number of self-employed people in the UK has risen by 45% since 2001, with more than 15% of the UK labour force classed as self-employed in 2017. This can create new challenges.   Tom Pickersgill, founder and CEO, Broadstone explains how 'labour as a service' applying AI can consolidate the whole recruitment process. The birth of ‘labour as a service’ and its vital place in the temporary staffing world image

‘Labour as a service’: the need

The number of self-employed people in the UK has risen by 45% since 2001, with more than 15% of the UK labour force classed as self-employed in 2017. Since 2010, there has been a 25% increase in non-employer businesses within the UK’s private sector, a greater and faster rate of employment growth than other private sector SMEs, suggests data from the ONS.

This has increased the need for efficient and effective temporary staffing solutions. Historically, this has been a people-driven business with huge resources and large operational teams. Agent-employer relationships mark the success of an agency, and often define who will be employed rather than job seeker ability and experience alone.

But times have changed, with job seekers demanding a fluid, frictionless and less fragmented approach to temporary work and agencies’ margins facing substantial reductions with rising rents and wages.

People looking for temporary, flexible work no longer want to go searching jobs boards or trekking to a high street recruiter. They want a smarter way of working that puts them in control and means they can find work, cover shifts and get paid in a much more streamlined and efficient way.

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Technology that’s reinventing temporary recruitment

For the first time, technology exists that can consolidate the whole recruitment process and bring this level of flexibility to the modern job seeker and employer.

We call this ‘Labour as-a-Service’ – LaaS – and it’s truly revolutionising this antiquated sector.

By replacing the human aspect of recruitment with technology such as artificial intelligence, gamification and machine learning, labour-as-a-service is removing the lengthy and costly processes and ingrained bias associated with people-driven recruitment.

Technology that integrates with existing workforce management tools is empowering shift managers to significantly streamline and automate their processes, and means they no longer need to rely on agencies to find and match workers to them. This is especially important for work that requires an immediate candidate.

For example, ‘labour as a service’ platforms that integrate with scheduling systems will highlight gaps in rotas and automatically locate and match suitable candidates from the worker community to fill those shifts.

No long lists of phone calls to make, no price beating, no human bias.

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‘labour as a service’ – the missing piece in temporary recruitment?

While accessing experienced and verified candidates for immediate short-term work has always been a major challenge facing the temporary recruitment space, digitisation through ‘labour as a service’ will make these concerns redundant.

‘Labour as a service’ solutions that integrate with sector-specific workforce management tools are allowing technology, rather than people, to drive temporary staffing. By working directly with the solutions organisations are already using day-to-day, a seamless but incredibly powerful enhancement provides the frictionless journey that’s in so much demand. From connecting devices and apps to providing a clear and transparent transaction, flexible temporary work positions are quickly filled without the high level of people-power that has plagued the industry for so long.

Arguably, this digital approach has been the missing piece in temporary staffing, however, increasing numbers of employers and job seekers continue to demand tech-driven processes that drive efficiencies and meet the demands of the instant work space.

For Broadstone, there’s an extra layer to our LaaS offering; we are tackling and democratising highly regulated sectors such as security, events, facilities management and logistics. While this presents its own compliance challenges, the continuing development of emerging technologies means digitisation and automation across temporary recruitment will become more and more relevant.

So innovative is this approach, it’s a movement that has got investors talking, with several workforce management tools now being superfunded.

Just like Deliveroo, Uber and Just Eat have digitised their sectors, it’s time for LaaS to become the go-to strategy for all who employ temporary staff.

Broadstone’s Labour-as-a-Service temporary staffing platform leverages Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning to match security jobseekers with fair and flexible temporary work opportunities with some of the UK’s largest security employers.  Broadstone operates within the highly regulated industries sectors, including security. 

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