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Enabling the Future of Work™

Response to Proposed Changes: EU Migration to the UK in 2021

By Staffline

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On Wednesday 19th February 2020, the Government announced the new points-based approach to UK immigration.

As of 31st January 2020, the UK is no longer part of the European Union (EU) and consequently, free movement to the UK has become a focus of government policy.

From January 2021, EU and non-EU citizens will be treated equally in relation to immigration to the UK, and free movement will be replaced with the UK’s ‘points-based system’ – designed to offer preferred entry to the most highly-skilled workers and students.

The Government will not introduce a general low-skilled or temporary work route, therefore removing the possibility for low-skilled workers to work in the UK.


We are confident that the programme of action we instigated more than two years ago means we are uniquely well placed to successfully navigate a tightening labour market.

Staffline is the UK’s biggest recruiter, deploying up to 60,000 workers a day across a wide variety of industry sectors.

Anticipating a tightening of the labour market from as far back as 2017, Staffline has been pursuing a clear strategy in that period to cement its market position. This includes collective investments of over £6.5m in digital and employee management solutions with the consequence that we remain unquestionably the trusted market leader and largest single destination for blue collar workers and employers to connect across the UK.

With an unparalleled sector database of both candidates and workers seeking shifts daily, we are in pole position to be able to immediately deliver resource to our clients whenever and wherever they require it.

Key Areas of Investment: Attraction

Advanced digital solutions help us stay well ahead of the competition. In 2019, we introduced Flin the Staffline Chatbot. This AI recruitment assistant makes it easier for thousands of candidates to use our platforms simultaneously to apply for jobs.

Flin has literally hundreds of thousands of conversations with our candidates at any one time, filling large vacancy volumes in record time and ensuring the flexibility to deploy resources at a moment’s notice. Flin creates an environment where candidates can take themselves through the initial application process, including booking themselves into an interview.

Our website uses the very latest SEO techniques to ensure maximum exposure of our job vacancies across all digital channels. This, coupled with our size and scale, means that when using Google or Bing for a job search, we are the leading vacancy source – meaning that our posts are consistently place at the top of major search engines. The result is that our website (www.staffline.co.uk) is now the UK’s largest blue-collar job site. It receives 85,000 visits per month, an 85% increase in traffic against 2018 volumes with over 40% more monthly visitors than our nearest competitor.

As well as boasting the UK’s largest blue-collar jobs website, Staffline successfully partners with all major job boards, enabling us to stand out amongst other recruiters. Staffline drives almost 50% more traffic from referring sites such as Indeed than its closest competitors.

These significant advantages in candidate attraction are amplified by Staffline’s leadership in candidate retention. We now have a unique database of over 1 million blue-collar candidates & workers - a threefold increase on 2018 figures. Britain’s temporary labour industry employs approximately 1.6 million workers. By the end of 2020, Staffline confidently expects to have candidate files for the vast majority.

Key Areas of Investment: Resource Flexibility

In January 2018, Staffline launched its new mission statement, ‘Putting the Customer at the Heart of Everything We Do’.

According to a YouGov survey (2017), flexible working opportunities are a key driver for the future success of work in the UK, with 89% of employees considering it a key motivator for their productivity. In April 2019, Staffline implemented a regionalised model, increasing flexibility for our workers and clients and providing a more localised service from Staffline teams.

In April 2019, Staffline implemented a regionalised model, increasing flexibility for our workers and clients through providing a more localised service from their respective Staffline teams.

Our Customer Experience Managers support the digitisation of our labour pools encouraging regular work, flexibility and enhancing experience. Technology enablement, combined with the regionalisation of our business allows workers to move between assignments, helping to accommodate seasonal peaks and troughs. These measures have led to industry leading retention – on average, a Staffline worker remains with our organisation for 37 weeks, against an industry average of less than half that at 18 weeks. Offering consistent flexibility to our clients and workers demands size and scale. As the UK’s biggest recruiter, Staffline is very much in the best place to deliver this.

Using our Experience Management Platform, we analyse key touchpoint data from our workers. The results indicate how important flexibility is - 95% of our workers prefer opportunities to work more hours across different sites, when and where they want, to suit their lifestyles. Staffline is one of the only providers to offer in-depth ‘experience management’, using data to understand workers’ needs and continuously striving to improve worker experience.

Key Areas of Investment: Retention through Worker Engagement

Have Your Say (HYS), our industry-leading Experience Management Programme, collects and analyses worker feedback with a focus on continuous improvement.

Using short surveys sent to workers’ smartphones at key assignment milestones, we learn exactly what people think of their workplace. Through our digital platforms, this valuable feedback becomes actionable information, allowing Staffline and our clients to implement the correct strategic changes. 

The results?

- The collection of 2,826,200 experiential data points
- A total of 217,400 responses in less than 24 months
- Large-scale improvement in retention (24% reduction in week 4 attrition for new starters and an 86% increase in NPS from March ‘18)
- Increased happiness rating (73% of our workers submitted a maximum happiness score)
- Continuous site & facility improvements across the UK
- A happier and more engaged worker with a longer tenure and delivers higher productivity
- Allowing our workers to have a voice and make a difference

In addition to retaining our workers through HYS, Staffline are actively promoting the EU Settled Status Scheme through worker communications, external partnerships and OnSite support sessions.

Key Areas of Investment: New Sources of Workers

We access the widest range of candidates by targeting previously untapped talent pools.

Working closely with PeoplePlus, a Staffline company, we have further strengthened our candidate search parameters to include those who may not have been recently or previously active in the labour market.

PeoplePlus provides apprenticeships, skills training for the unemployed and prison education services at an unprecedented scale across the UK. Working in partnership with our sister company has given us unparalleled access to a network of accredited training providers, skills funding resources and work-ready candidates through the Intelligent Routeway Framework (IRF) which Peopleplus has created. This unique network aligns the elements of national and devolved skills funding, training provider expertise and highly motivated candidates. It uses forecasted labour market data to move candidates closer to the labour market through training against known recruitment requirements so that they are ‘job ready’ from day one of a placement. Our work through the IRF framework allows us to further augment our candidate recruitment and fine tune our service to offer the widest range of relevant candidates at a hyper-local level.

As the leading independent provider of education and training services in prisons, PeoplePlus also helps us tap into a diverse and accessible workforce of ex-offenders who want to change their lives through employment. 11 million people in the UK have a criminal record (15% of the population), yet 75% of employers are reluctant to recruit from this group. There is a substantial opportunity to recruit from trained candidates who are enthusiastic to work, thus supporting better social outcomes and clients’ ‘responsible employer’ or similar CSR-led objectives.

Key Areas of Investment: Workforce Compliance

Staffline’s unique technology offering goes further than attraction and experience. We have implemented an industry-first technology that has completely revolutionised the way in which we ensure that each worker has a Right to Work in the UK.

Scan Check Start reads the biometric data stored within the embedded passport chip (which has been digitally encoded by the Government) and then compares the passport holder image taken at registration to secure fail-safe Right to Work (RTW) acceptance, instantly from the Home Office.

This new technology keeps us and our clients compliant, avoids the potential for material fines from the Home Office and helps us identify victims of Modern Slavery [96 victims in 2019].


Staffline has been preparing for a tightening labour market since 2017. Consequently, we are confident in our readiness to further stretch our lead over competitors no matter the post-Brexit market challenges.

Our business model and strategy have been revised and refined with the explicit objective of ensuring that we are insulated from labour market contraction and can continue to deliver larger volumes of blue-collar workers to businesses across the UK than any other recruitment provider.

Thanks to our unparalled investment in technology and communications, we have an unrivalled and still growing database of eligible workers and the means to engage and mobilse them. Our customer-oriented philosophy and world-leading Experience Management tools mean that our worker satisfaction and retention rates are by far the highest in the sector.

We will continue to invest in both our technology and experience solutions and make sure that we remain the trusted market leader and the single largest destination for blue-collar workers and employers to connect across the UK.


To find out how your company can benefit from our understanding, contact Staffline today.

Get in Touch


An Overview of Staffline:

Established in 1986, Staffline is now the UK’s largest recruiter and workforce provider, delivering OnSite workforce solutions to leading brands. We work in partnership with clients and candidates, meeting business needs and matching people with opportunities.

We specialise in large-scale recruitment, providing teams to help businesses succeed. Our support is flexible to meet changing demands.

We make the world of work simple, helping companies to find the right people and perform at their best. Our service and pricing are bespoke, and we offer complete protection on compliance and ethical standards.

Our OnSite services support a range of sectors including agriculture, food production, logistics, transport, manufacturing and the automotive sector. We’re based at over 400 sites nationwide and find work for over 60,000 people each day.

Our new technologies include the AI chat bot, delivering ‘always on’ communication, the Universe platform, a game-changing candidate interface, and industry-leading customer experience management programme ‘Have your Say’. These innovations drive our customer-centric approach. We lead where others follow.

The Staffline Group also includes leading public service provider PeoplePlus - which helps tens of thousands of unemployed and disadvantaged people find work each year.

Find out more at: www.staffline.co.uk

by Staffline

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