Is this Armageddon - The end of “Set and Forget” as we know it?

For years now, the Recruitment and Staffing Industry has casually and nonchalantly approached client relationships in a “Set-and-Forget” manner.

Let me explain...

Managing a recruitment and staffing desk is a tough gig. It takes motivation, ravenous hunger, and resilience to get ahead. But what happens when a recruiter finally gets a client signed on or a candidate placed? They set… and forget - thinking that, having done everything right the first time, things will run smoothly. And so off they go looking for the next sale, only to apply the same methods and tactics.

Yes, it is a busy role and we get can get caught up with hitting targets and chasing dollars that we might easily forget to pay close attention to what is happening with our long-term temporary assignments, our weekly bread and butter.

These are our long-standing contractors in temp jobs... regular income, guaranteed revenue, so we simply set and forget…

Set and Forget Approach: A Poor and Lazy Tactic

The “Set and Forget” approach is very much under scrutiny at the moment, is this the end of the world as some of us know it?

A client is won - champagne is popped open. A candidate is placed - we bang the drum and make some noise. The contract is running smoothly and we tend to forget that temp is actually our employee, not the clients’! This reflects a poor side of our industry; and it’s about time that something be done about it.  

More often now, we are seeing a continued rise in the need and use of long-term casuals. With this comes the mandatory practice of offering or transitioning casual staff in to full time permanent roles. So, the question is, “is this dynamic here to stay? And if not, what will it look like in the future?”

set and forget

WorkPac Pty Ltd vs Skene Case

As you may have seen, the Workpac Vs Skene Case, and other workplace and industrial activity happening in the Australian market, is really starting to hit home.

In the case of WorkPac Pty Ltd vs Skene, casual Truck Driver, Skene, was terminated with a mere hour's notice, which was presumed to be in line with the terms of a casual employment contract. Skene challenged this and sued Workpac. The Federal Court delivered a judgment, which has resulted in sweeping ramifications across the employment market.

“The decision of the Federal Court to award a casual employee all of the entitlements of a permanent employee opens up a Pandora’s Box of complexity and uncertainty for employers and will cripple employment opportunities for thousands of Australians,” said NSW Business Chamber Chief Executive Officer, Stephen Cartwright.

I absolutely concur with Stephen and other business industry leaders that are leading the discussions with Canberra.

Is the Set and Forget Approach Finally Over?

I’m quite certain it will be. It is inevitable that for many industries, that this will be the case. Nevertheless, the requirement to manage and monitor compliance more closely is an absolute given and if it’s not on your radar now then it should be after you read this!

How to Ensure You Are Fully Equipped to Support these Changes

  1. Use a technology provider that understands your needs

Technology companies that support our industry must respond quickly and develop stronger focus on compliance, which assist in this matter. We cannot rely simply on our ability to remember things any longer.

With any engagement, providing the correct information to your candidate right from the very start is critical. And while very important, this is just one piece of the puzzle.

It needs to be reminded to all of us that it is a key criterion for any industrial inspectorate’s brief to look for the evidence of engagement. Client engagement must always be clear and business terms need to be reviewed immediately, in order to insure you are meeting these changes.

Our newest feature innovation at™ includes an important tool that generates Employment Contracts or Notice Offer Letters, which will help businesses get this right.

  1. Provide in-house coaching for your consultants

The continued coaching of consultants on client and candidate engagement and continuous management methods remains extremely important right now.

Eradicate the set and forget mentality and allow more time for consultants to have more in depth conversations with placed candidates and clients about the nature of the work’s availability.

A real fact-finding exercise, an objective assessment, in order to continually determine the assignment’s compliance with The Fair Work Act.

In the case stated above: WorkPac vs Skene, the Federal Court stated:

“It is also necessary to bear in mind that employment arrangements may change during the course of an employment. What is agreed to at the commencement of an employment is relevant to the characterisation process, but an employment which commences as casual employment may become full-time or part-time because its characteristics have come to reflect those of an on-going part-time or full-time employment.”

Do not make the mistake of adopting the “they’ll be right mentality”, because the likelihood is that, they won’t be.™

As can be expected, there is wide-swept nervousness around this judgement and quite rightly so. I see 2019 as bringing more clarity around this matter, forcing our industry to really think about the way we engage with clients and candidates moving forward.

Recently, during one of my engagements with a potential client for™, a question was raised regarding the capability of our system in terms of setting parameters around building a buffer into client’s rates that will not support Return to Work activities. Such an example was that of a candidate sustaining an injury at a host employer’s site.

I understand, of course, that in some industrial workplaces; it is difficult to offer suitable duties for candidates who have sustained workplace injuries and/or disabilities - but this client was supplying a government department.

This example truly highlights the importance of each party understanding their relationship obligations and more importantly, the obligation of looking after their workforce.

At™, we continue to drive and align our technology to accommodate any such changes with a robust yet flexible workforce management solution. And while I’m pleased to say that I am confident that our system is built to accommodate all types of overhead recovers, it surprises me to hear that agencies are supplying staff to client sites, where there seems to be an apparent disconnect in the supply partnership.

To find out more visit or contact us on 1800 732 832

  • Fast quick accurate quotations to your potential clients
  • The ability for all of your team to quote accurately
  • Contractors, temporary workers, full time or fixed term employees are paid correctly every time! (subject to accurate timesheet interpretation)
  • Clients are invoiced accurately (subject to accurate timesheet interpretation)
  • Invoices are paid quicker due to the limitation of human error intervention
  • Reduction in legal/litigation fees in recovery of unpaid monies to your company