Recruitment company Harvey Nash is offering clients new software tools free of charge to add value to its recruitment service and take some of the mystery out of the hiring process.
One web-based tool, the Assignment Tracking System, allows customers to track the progress of recruitment campaigns for permanent staff.
Another, the Contract Management System, offers real-time management information about the contractors on clients' books, including how much they cost and project details.
Contractors themselves can also access the system to update information, submit timesheets online and check their earnings.
Harvey Nash group marketing director Paul Smith said the tools had been developed in response to ongoing financial pressures across the IT sector and the need for recruiters to demonstrate the value they bring to the hiring process.
"Recruitment and headhunting have tended to be a bit of a black art - how was the shortlist put together and who has been interviewed? Recruitment companies charge a big fee but no-one really know what goes on.
"With these tools for the first time clients can see exactly what they're paying for. Recruitment rates are tight; we're paid against what we deliver," he said.
"That's one of the reasons for the software. It allows clients to work much more closely with us and allows us to reduce our overall costs."
Meanwhile Harvey Nash's offshore development operation in Vietnam represents the next stage in its resourcing offerings and will start to push the service in the UK with immediate effect.
Harvey Nash Offshore, acquired 18 months ago, focuses on Microsoft, e-business, integration and reverse engineering work in the sub-£500,000 category.
It has already worked on development projects for companies including Vodafone and Venda (a joint venture between BT, Microsoft and Intel).
Smith explained that the service is between 50 and 70 per cent cheaper than UK-based offerings.
"Software development is an extension of resourcing," he said.
"We charge on a fixed rate or daily rate basis. We're still a resourcing company but it's about how we deliver these resources."
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