Morgan Sindall Rail & Electrification Improvements

Morgan Sindall is a major provider of multidisciplinary projects in the high speed and underground rail sectors with expertise in station building and modernisation, network infrastructure and overhead line electrification.


Morgan Sindall has long used agency labour for their staffing needs across many of their departments and projects. Having conducted a thorough analysis in 2016, it was found that on average, 26 agencies were being engaged across the business at any one time. As is often the case in these scenarios, each agency had their own rates, terms and different levels of talent reach, both geographically and discipline wise. Unsurprisingly, the company found this method of engaging agency labour compromised the safety culture and inevitably resulted in excessive costs.

It was found that over 80% of reported safety occurrences at work didn’t only involve Morgan Sindall employees but that agency labour was often identified as a factor in these incidents. PPE supply from agencies had been generally poor with differing standards across the suppliers. Furthermore, and perhaps most importantly, there was no standard method for agency staff to report safety occurrences. When agency labour was hired, their average exposure to Morgan Sindall’s representative was often less than one hour before their start time. With each agency having their own methods and procedures, confusion was sometimes the net result. With 26 agencies being utilised, the quality was inconsistent and haphazard. Developing a reliable talent pool of site and management labour that could be depended upon for their current and future projects was proving to be elusive.

Finally, the lack of transparency and visibility of rates were taking their toll financially, and timesheets being hand signed and then being delivered at different times to different sites were taking their toll logistically.

A Recruitment Solution That Works

Morgan Sindall's Rail & Electrification team had two key objectives; reduce safety occurrences and impose cost & operational control with enhanced reporting capability.  After investigating a number of options and potential partners, Socium was selected.

Working together, the number of labour suppliers went from 26 to 5 and a full cloud based platform was implemented to consolidate all the information and workflows. Socium manages and reports on the labour suppliers’ performance, statutory compliance, accreditations and insurance. The resultant benefits, both financial and operational, became evident within months.

All agency labour is now procured from a single source, new hires are provided with bespoke documentation packs (unique by site) covering all aspects of the job role, specific site details, all HSQE requirements and high-quality PPE. A reporting system within Socium was developed to allow all agency workers to report any safety occurrences they witnessed easily and to do so anonymously if they so wished. The results were startling. Morgan Sindall saw not just a marked improvement in safety performance but also a workforce that was becoming more engaged in safety initiatives and their effective application.

Socium tracks and reports on competencies, compliance, certification and working hours. By using one system to control all administration, Morgan Sindall can now post vacancies, screen, interview & onboard candidates with each step being recorded. Complete visibility means costs are instantly allocated to relevant projects. This has greatly improved their forecasting accuracy on resource spend.

The Result - Morgan Sindall has enjoyed a 20% reduction on agency spend, a much-improved safety culture and management teams having to spend less time on recruitment associated tasks.