Unitemps questions and answers

Faq Items

Why is LJMU establishing its own student recruitment agency?

Through this new venture, students and recent graduates will be able to access flexible employment opportunities both within LJMU and, in time, working with external clients across the Liverpool City Region. As such, Unitemps will contribute to two pillars within our Strategic Plan: to be a pioneering modern civic university, making a positive intervention that will improve connectivity between degree-level talent and local business; and to provide an outstanding student experience, through increasing opportunities for paid work experience, in support of their study, that stand to progress our students’ confidence, employability skills and future career prospects. Given the large number of our students who need to work part-time in support of their studies and our strong strategic commitment to employability, Unitemps offers us a platform from which we can be proactive and positively intervene in the Liverpool City Region student & graduate labour market.

What other benefits are there to using Unitemps?


  • Online Services
  • Management Accounting
  • Strict Tier 4 compliance
  • 20% VAT savings on Temporary Workforce
  • Considerable reduced margin compared to external recruiters
  • Temporary part-time paid opportunities in support of study
  • Better pay, in many instances, and greater flexibility
  • Full 360-degree employability and career development service
  • Upskilling opportunities

Why have we chosen a franchise model?

The Unitemps franchise was created in 1997 by the University of Warwick and the network now operates in 18 universities across the UK and Australia. Unitemps’ USP as a student-centred, socially conscious concept was a natural draw and joining the network allows us access to a wide range of tried & tested templates, systems and ongoing expertise that we would otherwise need to create from scratch.

Will we be handing all of a recruitment process over to Unitemps or is there scope for us to be involved in, say, decision making?

Unitemps is here to support you as internal clients, responsive to your preferences and needs, and there is scope to tailor that support in discussion with you. Already in early discussions, everything has been sketched out from departments continuing to run established recruitment processes before handing over decisions to Unitemps to carry out the contracting and payroll, to departments asking Unitemps to manage the filling of vacancies from start to finish. As Unitemps becomes more established, we expect colleagues will become increasingly comfortable for more of the process to be taken on by Unitemps on their behalf

Are we still paying commission if we’re using our own recruitment agency?

Commission will be paid to Unitemps at a rate of 8%. A proportion of this is paid to Warwick Enterprises (the initiators of the Unitemps network) under the terms of our franchise agreement, with the remainder being retained to ensure that Unitemps at Liverpool John Moore University remains viable. Spend is retained within the university, contributing to the wider sustainability of LJMU. 8% is competitive compared to the charging rate of external agencies and VAT is not payable on temporary assignments through Unitemps. The significant savings we expect to generate from keeping temporary student & graduate recruitment in-house was an important part of the business case for establishing Unitemps (as well as aligning with the wider cross-university Efficiency & Improvement Programme we are collectively embarked upon). Also part of the logic was the releasing of specialist staff within Professional Services departments and Faculties from the administrative burden that comes from contracting, coordinating and paying temporary workers, thus allowing them to focus on higher-level tasks that stand to make a bigger difference to LJMU.

How do I engage temporary staff through Unitemps?

Assuming Unitemps is the correct route for filling the role and you have approval from the relevant budget holder (see next question) contact the team on 0151 231 8888 or e-mail Unitemps@ljmu.ac.uk (Branch Manager is Marnie Blackman-Cook). As of December, students and colleagues can also call in at Byrom Street Careers Zone by appointment. The Unitemps team (through Job Evaluation) can work with you to draw up and cost a role descriptor if your needs are not already captured within our Unitemps role descriptors.

I have a full time requirement for a temporary role- can I source this through Unitemps?

In order to protect students’ potential for academic success, all roles engaging students are to be capped at 20 hours per week during term time, with the exception of sandwich year placements/ year-long internships. Out of term time, you can engage students full time and graduates can be engaged full time all year round. You should consider the use of two or more part time assignments to meet your needs if 20 hours per week is not sufficient to engage students

What approval must hiring managers have in place before engaging staff through Unitemps?

Written approval* (this can be via email with the booking form attached) must be obtained from your School/ Service Director or Head as budget holder. This approval must be sent to the Unitemps Branch Manager in order to initiate the recruitment process. In Faculty Offices and all schools within APS and BLW, approval can also be given by the Head of Operations.
*PAF approval must continue to be obtained for Student Advocates, Sports Casuals, Residential Assistants & Internships/ Student Placements prior to engagement.

What if the role I am seeking requires specialist skills?

We expect a large number of LJMU students and recent graduates to register for work through Unitemps, many of whom will have prior work experience & training. Hiring managers are asked to advertise via Unitemps in the first instance. If Unitemps has been unable to source a solution from within its candidate pool within ten working days, hiring managers have the option of using external agencies on our framework.

What if the post I am looking to fill is temporary but above Grade 5?

Hiring managers are welcome to approach Unitemps to see whether they can satisfy your needs. You have the latitude, however, to proceed directly to external agencies on our framework.

Can I use Unitemps to populate a permanent post?

Within the university, Unitemps will provide temporary recruitment solutions only (as detailed in the guidance for managers). New or replacement posts will continue to be approved via the PAF process and recruited following the LJMU Recruitment Procedure.

At what point does a temporary post become a fixed-term post?

Posts of more than 12 weeks in duration are considered to be fixed term posts and approval to proceed should be sought via the PAF process and recruited following the LJMU Recruitment Procedure. There is the latitude for a short extension, should there be unforeseen requirements (and subject to further approval) but this cannot exceed 16 weeks in total.