How to buy

Updated: 30 Sep 2020

Tools, templates and resources

FAQs - general information

How do I engage staff under the scheme?

Agencies can invite and assess supplier proposals using eQuote or by contacting their preferred suppliers directly.

eQuote is a NSW Government agency pathway to find registered suppliers on the scheme.  It can be used to obtain a quotation and raise a purchase order. eQuote training is available to assist buyers.

Agencies should use the customer order form and rate calculator XLSX, 61 KB for all engagements.

What job categories are covered under the scheme?

Information about the job categories and descriptions is available in the annexure 6 of the scheme rules PDF, 1129 KB.

The categories for transport and education and disability care workers (other) are also available under the scheme.

Frontline staff (for example teachers, nurses etc) are excluded from the scheme.

There is flexibility within the scheme to expand or remove the categories and role types. Agencies are encouraged to advise NSW Procurement of any new job categories required.

What if the supplier I want to use is not on the scheme?

Agencies should encourage their preferred suppliers to apply for the Contingent Workforce Scheme.

Suppliers can apply on eTendering.

Is there a minimum or maximum period of hire?

It is generally accepted that the minimum period of hire is 4 hours, but this needs to be agreed with the supplier prior to engaging a contractor.

It is suggested that contractors are not engaged for longer than 6 months.

What if I want to extend or renew an order? What supplier margin should apply?

For assignments that are longer than 12 months (either via extension or original assignment, regardless of which prior contract/arrangement the contingent worker was placed under) - a maximum of 5.14% of contingent worker normal pay rate (normal time base rate plus superannuation) applies.

Payroll fees will be fixed at 5.14% of contingent worker normal time pay rate.

Contractors introduced to suppliers by agencies will attract the reduced fee of 5.14% of pay rate.

How can a contingent worker become a permanent employee under this scheme?

Where employment is the result of a merit selection process, even if this occurs within the first 12 months of the contingent worker's original start date in that role, the supplier will not be entitled to payment of temporary to permanent placement fees.

If a contingent worker starts employment with the customer within 12 months of the original start date in that role, the supplier will be entitled to charge the agency:

  • 0-90 days: 7.05% of salary package
  • 91-180 days: 5.25% of salary package
  • 181-270 days: 3.50% of salary package
  • 271-365 days: 1.75% of salary package
  • More than 365 days: no fee

Who is responsible for paying meals, overtime and travel costs?

Any additional conditions relating to the work assignment such as overtime, special hours or travel requirements should be included in the customer order form and rate calculator  XLSX, 61 KB.

The supplier will invoice the agency for these agreed extras at cost.

Does the scheme have provisions for suspension or removal?

Performance will be managed via key performance indicators, which are listed in the scheme rules for suppliers.

Agencies are encouraged to resolve issues directly with suppliers. Where these can’t be resolved, they can escalate the issue to NSW Procurement.

Agencies can also submit a supplier performance report  DOCX, 713.39 KB for each engagement where the performance of or services provided by the supplier are considered to be unsatisfactory.

NSW Procurement will be conducting an annual ‘hiring manager satisfaction’ survey to measure satisfaction levels.

Do management fees apply to the scheme?

No. Management fees do not apply under the scheme.

FAQs- managed service providers (MSPs)

How do I engage an MSP?

An MSP should be engaged across the whole agency, not for smaller departments unless you are managing a large bulk recruitment exercise which you need support for.

Therefore it will be a decision that your HR or procurement areas need to manage for you. Contact them with your requirements.

How much does it cost the agency?

Each supplier has submitted their own pricing, which is dependent on the spend under management and the level of service your agency wants. You need to agree on the service level agreement (SLA) before a firm price can be agreed.

As a guide, it was a requirement that a maximum price of 2.5% of spend would apply. Pricing is based on a sliding scale discount: the larger your agency’s spend, the lower the percentage applied.

Separate pricing has been agreed for one-off bulk recruitment exercises. This pricing is a flat fee.

Talk to your procurement team for more information.

How much does it cost scheme suppliers?

There is no cost to scheme suppliers to work with the MSP.

What do I need to consider when engaging an MSP?

Ensure there is a collaborative relationship/partnership.

Roles and responsibilities need to be clearly defined from the onset.

The MSP needs to take the time to understand the hiring managers and promote the benefits of the solution.

The need to minimise leakage through transparency and robust reporting.

Ensure SLAs are firm and parties know exactly what is expected.

Ensure extensive stakeholder engagement throughout the entire process.

How long does it take for an MSP to implement the VMS?

The estimated timeframe is 90 days to implement the VMS however this depends on your level of readiness for the project.

The MSP will work through your discovery phase and will assist with embedding best practice workflows to drive efficiencies faster.

What does MSP vendor neutrality mean?

Vendor neutrality means that if your preferred MSP is also a supplier of contingent workers, they have agreed to transition their workers to another supplier.

The MSP will never be a recruitment competitor within your agency.

The MSP can never “manage” their own workers in your agency.

Will the MSP provide selection and assessment methodologies?

Agencies are not mandated to use an MSP.

If an agency engages an MSP, the agency will decide the level of service they want from the MSP.

How do the VMS and MSP components work under the Contingent Workforce Strategy?

The VMS and MSP are services which support the contingent workforce strategy.

MSPs enable agencies to have a single interface between many suppliers.

Will suppliers retain ownership of their contingent workers?

Yes. The VMS is the technology and the MSP is the advisor. Contingent workers remain employees of the scheme suppliers.

Some agencies tend to refer to suppliers with a well-recognised brand rather than researching the market to identify other capable suppliers.

Your MSP will do the research and will assist you to identify small to medium enterprises (SMEs) with the requisite capability and expertise to meet your requirements.

What is the interaction between MSPs and the scheme suppliers?

MSPs can only source from prequalified suppliers.

When your agency engages an MSP, that MSP acts on your behalf and the scheme suppliers are required to engage with the MSP.

All transactions happen via the VMS so that there is complete visibility of the recruitment process.

How do the VMS and MSP provide innovation for SMEs?

The VMS and MSP support agencies in providing more opportunities for SMEs to do business with government.

The VMS reporting function gives agencies visibility of their spend patterns.

The MSP analyses these patterns and help agencies to identify trends or improve their use of SMEs.