Lesley: The Myths of a PSL/PSA

How many times have I heard a company say, they’ve got a PSL or PSA? Many people have no idea what that means. Let’s try and dispel any myths, read on…

First, choose your agency carefully, ensuring you know how they work, what they do for you, ensure you have a relationship built on trust, honesty and a service that’s right for your company. It’s a myth we’re all the same, investigate what they do, what their service looks like and how they plan to implement it. Do they add real value to your business and does the service match your expectations?

PSL (Preferred Supplier Listing)  

A listing is exactly what it says – A list of preferred recruitment agencies they like to use. This has no real limit – there could be 1, 20 or 100.

As a recruiter, it’s a great idea to set up a preferred supplier list (PSL) to protect your business. However, what’s in the small print?

Not only do they give you valuable insight into the workings of your supply chain, but it also allows you to ensure your providers are compliant; financially robust; and genuine employers of temporary workers.

Some use different PSL’s/Agencies for different disciplines within an organisation e.g. Engineers, Chemists, etc.

Myth 1 – There is no such thing as a PSL with exclusivity, the client can have as many agencies on the list as they like.

Myth 2 – A rolling PSL, this is an agreement with a termination clause (usually 1-3 months). It isn’t an exclusive agreement with no end.

Myth 3 – Once you sign a PSL agreement, ensure it has a clause, that if they can’t supply within a given timeframe, you can still use other agencies, it then reverts to the original agreement for the next vacancy. If you have more than one agency on your list, you have the right to speak to them all.

Myth 4 – Don’t be told any different, you can use more than one agent for a specific vacancy.

Myth 5 – Some might make you believe you’re trapped in a contract for the term of the agreement. This is not the case. Look out for a termination clause, all contracts can be obsolete, should the contract be breached or not performing. Never sign an agreement without a get out clause. If your recruitment process isn’t working, you need to act.

PSA (Preferred Supplier Agreement)

This can be for a fixed amount of time, usually, 12, 18 or 24 months. It can be an exclusive agreement or once again shared amongst multiple bodies.

This type of agreement should have a clause – if the agent can’t supply within a timeframe, they can enlist another agent’s services. This will then revert to the original agreement for the next vacancy.

Myth 1 – You’re not restricted to that agent if they can’t supply.

Myth 2 – You can’t have a backup agent (why ever not?)

What to look for:

  1. What their history with your business?
  2. Are they compliant? Remember, the government can fine up to £20,000 per illegal worker.
  3. Ascertain what their compliance policies are before you sign an agreement.
  4. Is your chosen agent, consistent and concise?
  5. Has the agent worked in your area, or with similar businesses?
  6. Have you already got trust, honesty and a good working relationship?
  7. Capability to supply all your locations
  8. Ensure you have regular meetings to make any adjustments to the agreement deemed necessary, to ensure the service is working for you.

If you’re a company who wishes to review their recruitment processes or to investigate a new or existing agreement, don’t hesitate to get in touch. We’re here to help!

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