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  • Writer's pictureJohn Macedo

Why you Need Labour Hire, and how to minimize the labour hire cost

Updated: May 27, 2022

There are many reasons why you may need to use labour hire services in Sydney.

A lot of them have to do with labour management.

This post will give you clarity about why to use a labour hire company and minimize the labour hire cost, and give you some insight on how to build a great construction team.

✳️ Labour hire in a nutshell:

Labour hire companies that provide employment services and they supply other companies with temporary workers in exchange for a fee. In our case (Spades Labour Hire), we're focused on the construction industry

Project managers often use labour hire agencies as a way to outsource the recruitment and get their construction projects moving faster by using a casual workforce and minimising the labour cost.

It also allows the project managers to focus on core aspects of the business, and deliver quality work on the construction site.

✳️ Problems Labour Hire solves:

Managing the hiring in the construction industry can be a hassle to handle, no matter how experienced you are. In case you don't know yet, here are the workforce problems a labour hire company solves (in short):

Finding the right staff.

  • A Labour Hire company knows all the best practices to advertise roles online and through their network.

  • A Labour Hire can find a construction worker with the right skills for your project.

  • A Labour Hire should have RELIABLE construction workers that are available for casual jobs.

  • A Labour hire should deploy workers that have WORK ETHIC and can handle hard work.

  • Running background checks evaluating a worker's knowledge and efficiency.

  • Onboarding processes (including interviewing) to filter out bad apples.

  • Labour cost is minimum as the workers are casual and not permanent, and charged an hourly rate.

Managing staff

  • A Labour Hire can manage payroll for your workforce and minimize payroll tax, maximizing state revenue.

  • Keeping up with the building and construction industry safe, providing personal protective equipment, and handling all the paperwork.

  • A Labour Hire should have a full set of construction insurances, such as public liability insurance and workers compensation insurance.

  • Labour Hire should be keeping track of visas, work contracts, superannuation payments, allowances, sick days, etc... of all employees.

  • Help project managers in the allocation process for their construction project.

Keeping staff motivated

  • General human resources, occupational health and employees well being.

  • Financial incentives and other methods to keep motivation high.

  • Providing employees with feedback and regular company updates.

If you are a lone project manager (or just starting out in the construction industry), building a team by yourself can be tricky.

Some even give up and end up doing all the work themselves.

As you can see above, the labour hire company assumes the role of the employer while you can focus on the execution of the project.

▶️ If you're not sure if it's a good idea yet, here is the breakdown of the WHY having someone managing your staff is important.

It will justify why you may need Labour Hire in Sydney!


The construction market in Sydney is notorious for its ups and downs. Not only due to weather changes on a weekly basis, but the overall seasonality of the market.

Your company may have a LOT of jobs in the pipeline one month and not enough in the next.

It may be the case that you want good workers, but do not want to invest your time in searching for them every time, since you don't know for how long you will need them.

If you have ever tried this yourself, you have probably come to the realization that this can be a difficult task for just about anyone. Finding a GOOD worker as a whole can be time consuming and difficult for project managers.

Here's an example:

If you're in the building and construction industry and you need general labourers, you (roughly) have two options.

✳️ One:

Go through the hiring process yourself. It usually goes as follows:

• Post the open job role in many places, both offline and online such as Indeed, Seek, Facebook and so on.

• Interview the general labourers that come your way and actually sign up for the job position. This can be done both through the phone and both in the physical world when they inevitably arrive once approved.

• Include a referral search before posting the job, in case your workers know anyone, and a reference check for the candidates themselves if you are really interested in finding someone of a higher quality level.

✳️ Two:

Hire a Labour Hire company that understands your business and can supply skilled workers in time.

Not all Labour Hire companies are the same. Make sure the one you pick will be able to supply workers. Here are a few items that you should consider when selecting your labour supplier:

• Make sure your construction Labour Supplier is sending you Interested/Committed staff that fit the role.

• They must REALLY understand your business and what skills are needed in the type of trade you're in.

• Your Labour Hire Company should have a great relationship with their workers as well as with you.

• Check if the cost/benefit is paying off also considering subjective items like stress, re-work and communication.


Anyone with a manager title knows the difficulties of keeping a team ongoing and not losing them to the competition.

👉 When it comes to construction work, you will know if you have chosen the right person after at least a week of working together.

The main reason why a labour hire company makes sense, in this case, is due to the fact that you do not have to go through the entire process, can just go straight to starting work together based on the vouch the labour hire company made for that worker.

▶️ What if the work dries out?

Here is where the magic happens. When you're engaged with a labour hire company they can reallocate your preferred staff to different construction projects while you get your next one ready.

This way you will always have a great construction team available when that big project comes in.

✳️ Pro tip 1 #:

You need to ask the labour hire company how fast they can deploy workers in this case and how long they have been with them, how well they know them, what the worker’s strengths and weaknesses are, things of that nature.

✳️ Pro tip 2 #:

Field feedback is the best way through which you can tell if a worker is doing a good job or not. What you do not want is when a labour hire company does not know what their workers are like and sends you new recruits without much notice that can potentially postpone your deadline due to the slow building process of the project you are currently working on.

▶️ Keep in mind that the time may come that you won't have enough work for a specific worker.

In this case, you may ask your labour supplier to employ him somewhere else and relocate him to YOU when the time comes (this is the best of both worlds).

This way you won't lose touch with good workers that you invested time training and, above all, you won't lose your workers to your competitors. The worst case scenario is you training a worker that ends up in "enemy hands".


We all know the cash flow challenges within the construction industry.

Things get expensive and at times you might need someone to hold you back until the next stage of the project is fully completed. You need to ensure that what you are getting paid is correct, as well as what you are paying other employees.

▶️ Here are the three MAIN problems a Labour Hire company can take of your hands.:

✳️ One: your worker's times get better managed

You need to choose the correct time clock for construction applications, such as clock-in-and-out as systems or r GPS-enabled time clocks.

A labour hire company should ensure that the work hours are tracked correctly and track the timesheets properly so you know how the hours will be confirmed and how you will access your timesheets in the future.

With clear times, well-written contracts and management you should have few issues with this. At Spades, we have developed our own application that tracks the workers through GPS and collects the digital signatures of the supervisors. As such, we can add everything linked to the invoice, and the hours are never miscalculated as a result.

✳️ Two: The payroll effort.

You need to understand the many layers of payroll processing, break down the basics of certified payroll requirements, and understand the prevailing wages and their importance as well as allowances, leaves, etc.

A Labour Hire company will lift this work off your hands. We had clients in the past that moved their workers to our books specifically for this reason.

✳️ Three: The cash flow.

Simply said: sometimes is a good idea to have another company pay your workers until you hit the next stage of the project. Construction companies have to be cash efficient. You can negotiate with your labour hire company pay terms. This way they can keep every worker paid and happy until the funds for the next stages of your projects get secured.

Explore the curse of Knowledge and how it impacts your Labour productivity and your overall profit.

Remember: TRUST IS KEY 🤝

If you are a construction manager you know how much you rely on the work ethic of your crew.

▶️The labour hire company you choose needs to communicate well, stick to their words and have integrity throughout every step of their communication (with you and with the workers).

When you hire someone from a labour hire company that keeps track of your crew for you, you can confirm that you have a record of what you have ordered and what you have actually gotten as a result of that order.

Your supplier should also do the housekeeping and keep workers happy. Never forget to assess your supplier's communication by asking their workers how they are treating them.

Besides that, there are several legalities that a construction company should be aware of when hiring through a labour-hire company.

Here are some key things to keep in mind:

The labour-hire company is responsible for the workers' safety and insurance. The company you are hiring from should have Public Liability, Workers Compensation and Professional Indemnity insurances in place. If something goes wrong and one of the workers gets injured on site or causes property damage, these policies will protect you from being prosecuted. Always make sure your Labour Hire is covered!


If you are the kind of person who is simply not a people’s prsoprsonn, or just does not want to deal with the hassle of onboarding new people, managing their payroll and just generally having to find quality workers, that can be difficult and tedious, hiring a labour hire company such as Spades might be the perfect solution for you.


Are you looking for a labour hire company in Sydney, New South Wales, South Australia or Western Australia to help you with all of this? Try Spades and never look back.

​👉🏻If you are looking for skilled or general labourers, be it for short term or long term projects, we can provide you with skilled and fully vetted labour hire so you do not have to worry about anything, leave the hiring labour to us.

This is because we provide a wide range of services to the Sydney construction industry with a focus on real people, with real experience. As such, we can ensure that you always have the right labourer for the job at the right time, with competitive labour hire rates.

A well-trained staff that meets the demands of your projects and company is paramount.

➡️The best part about a labour company is that when you're not too busy, you do not have to pay for labour you do not need and will not use. Labour hire agencies such as Spades offer the benefit of being non-committal. You can increase or decrease your workforce as per requirement, and you do not have to keep employees on board for a long time if you do not need them.

Learn more about how to make the most out of your employees as well as the latest labour hire news by checking our labour hire blog!


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