By Edward Winterton, Bibby Financial Services’ recruitment finance specialist

Today’s recruiters are more up against it than ever as they continue to operate in a faster and more competitive marketplace. As the cloud of global recession continues to hang over the industry, this article offers advice on the true value of outsourcing back office functions.

Earlier this year, Bibby Financial Services launched the first ever Business Factors Index in order to reveal key findings about small businesses and to better understand the challenges facing a broad range of industries, including recruitment.

When asked how they were faring in the recession, one in three (30 per cent) owners and managers in the recruitment industry described the current market as ‘tough’ and are either only just surviving or having to make cuts to rationalise operations.

With this is mind, it has never been more important that recruitment firms work to keep costs under control and use their time as resourcefully as possible to focus on existing and prospective clients.

We all know that good credit management is essential for any business, and that cash flow difficulties can be avoided by issuing invoices and chasing customer payment on time, and by putting in place an effective accounts management system. We also know that payroll is a time-consuming task and can drain up to two whole days from the middle of the working week for many recruiters. It’s an all-too-familiar story: Tuesdays are devoted to the chasing-up of missing or late timesheets while Wednesdays are traditionally reserved for BACS payment arrangements.

With time and money of the essence, outsourcing back office functions such as chasing late payments and freeing up vital cash flow can make all the difference between boom and bust. Firms can continue to pay for essentials such as staff wages and materials while freeing up valuable management time.

Specialist recruitment finance packages, such as those offered by Bibby Financial Services, incorporate invoicing, funding, collection and payroll services which allow businesses to retain an immediate and ongoing supply of working capital, as well as ease some of the time pressures that they face. Such products help recruiters reclaim these two invaluable mid-week sales days by chasing all outstanding timesheets, as well as invoices, to ensure the whole payroll process it is completed in half the time.

When it comes to the true value of outsourcing back office functions the message is clear — ultimately recruiters are the experts in their own field and by allowing a financier such as Bibby Financial Services to look after their finances, they can go back to what they do best — driving business onwards and upwards.

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