1. Do they have a business premises?
HMRC suggest that if you visit a recruitment agency and they have a furnished office that seems operational, they are more likely to be legitimate. Rogue agencies tend not to have a permanent base.
2. Are they VAT registered?
Again, the guidance from HMRC is to only deal with agencies that are VAT registered. It demonstrates they are committed to a long term business rather than anything unethical.
3. How does their charge rate compare to others?
If an agency is way under the average by a massive differential, alarm bells should win. The national minimum wage (NMW) is there to ensure a level playing field for all. A genuine charge rate consists of the rate of pay plus employer’s NI and holiday pay. On top of this the agency has to make a profit – which is their service charge. If it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.
4. Do they have 24 hour availability?
No business can afford to pay for temporary staff to do nothing. So during the night shift if there is a power failure, a machine break down or anything else that brings productivity to a halt, can you contact the agency to remove temps from site and stop the hours being charged?
5. Do they have written testimonials?
Most agencies have been going for a while, so you are unlikely to be their first customer. So for any credibility, they should be able to demonstrate great service via testimonials on company letterhead as evidence. If they cannot, why not?……………………… Just a few little tips to help you. With thousands of agencies in the market, it is hard to know who to trust. Do your research (online it is quick and easy – there is no excuse!) and look at the differences. We all remember Morecambe Bay and the bad press that gave the industry. Make sure you are only in the headlines for the right reasons!