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The federal Government, through the Department of Finance continues to add to the 2023 – 2027 recruitment panel, People Panel Phase 2 – Labour Hire Services, with further additions notified last month.

Among the 17 businesses added to the panel the most well-known are Aurec, Ashley Services, Bluefin Resources, Ignite, Robert Walters, Talent International, AWX, and HorizonOne.

Among the 107 suppliers listed for a term expiring on 30 June 2027 are a number of businesses that I was not familiar with.

Amongst the 107 suppliers listed are businesses that are definitely not commercial recruitment businesses, they simply provide their employees on a labour-hire basis (i.e. hourly or daily rate) to government clients. This is in contrast to consultancies that operate on a statement of work (SOW) basis i.e. services are provided on a project or outcomes basis. All the high profile consultancies operate on a SOW basis (e.g KPMG, McKinsey, PWC etc).

The non-recruiters who ‘body-shop’ their employees via the People Panel Phase 2 are businesses such as Allygroup “We provide flexible resourcing, consulting and legal project management to in-house legal departments” and Blueshift Consulting “a leader in fisheries and aquaculture consultancy services”.

The line between recruitment businesses and consultancies seems unclear. Regardless, I hope the Department of Finance ensures all successful tenderers possess the necessary labour hire licence.

After checking out each of the 107 suppliers I found the addition of the following successful tendering recruitment agencies quirky for the reasons I outline.

Australian Strategic Property Advisers via their entity Jive Resourcing Solutions has four employees, none of whom have any recruitment sector experience although the Jive website states “We are a locally owned, Canberra-based business staffed by resources who have highly specialised experience in developing, managing and supplying contingent labour forces to clients.” If this is true it’s certainly not highlighted in their website bios or in their respective LinkedIn profiles.

CBR Recruitment – only established in January 2021, this Canberra-based business has five employees, and it appears only two of them are recruiters, including the owner/MD. Their website only lists three jobs, of which only one is a government job (temporary scribe)

Corrobee Talent: “At Corroboree Talent we provide contingent labour hire staff to fill ICT roles across private and public sectors.” On LinkedIn only three recruiters are listed as working at Corroboree Talent and there are no current vacancies listed.

Effective People  seems much more an HR consultancy than a recruitment agency although it is authorised to recruit across all of the panel’s specialism and in all states and territories: It lists two employees, including one specialist recruiter.

Kowalski Recruitmentis an innovative Canberra-based Recruitment and Human Resources company” which appears to have only the owner working in the business. There are four government vacancies listed on their website (a reminder of how websites looked in 2002)

Makwara Solutions is “an Indigenous-owned consultancy and payroll services business” with a Facebook page, but no local website. There is only one person, director Michael Honan, listed as an Australian employee on Linkedin. Their US website says “…. we offer data governance solutions that promote transparency, accountability, and regulatory compliance while enabling data-driven decision-making.” No, I don’t know what that means, either.

Montagu Group “specialise in the provision of IT, Digital, Accounting & Finance labour hire as well as permanent resource placement to a wide range of organisations and industries” and was established in 2020. The two co-founders, Suki Stander and Adele McNiff, appear to have recently gone their separate ways with McNiff’s LinkedIn profile indicating she left the business earlier this year. According to LinkedIn, the business has Stander and one other employee. None of the six vacancies listed on their website appears to be for a Federal Government client.

Palisades Australia “is a professional services company specialising in Human Resource Consulting and Advisory, Information Technology Consulting and Program Services”. It has been operating for less than two years, has three directors and no other employees. It’s possibly the most generic website of its type I have ever read eg “We help companies reinvent their operations to provide tangible business outcomes, including improved productivity and customer experiences.”

Recruitment Sortedan IT recruitment company that puts people and trust at the forefront of what we do” does not have a functioning website and appears to have two employees with about four years recruitment experience between them.

RNTT Pty. Ltd. is a confusing panel member. There is no business trading under that name. Rexco People appears to be a trading name of RNTT “The organisation has been managing the supply of permanent and casual employees for a diverse range of clients from major business and industry sectors throughout Australia including manufacturing, mining, engineering, construction, production and supporting administration. There is no mention of government work on the Rexco website.

One thing is clear from the time I spent going down the list of suppliers – there are plenty of smaller agencies successfully tendering for Federal Government business.

What I don’t know (and the government doesn’t say) is the extent to which there are differences in pricing across the tenderers. If you have any information about your experience, whether successful or unsuccessful in tendering for the People Panel Phase 2 – Labour Hire Services that you would like to share with me confidentiality then please get in touch.

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“locally owned” I guess that depends on your current locality!

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