Engage adopted by top UK smart infrastructure solutions company Costain Group PLC

Nov 28, 2018

Costain is an innovative and highly successful smart infrastructure solutions company with a turnover in 2017 of over £1.7bn. Engage was chosen to supply Costain’s UK operations with a Vendor Management System (VMS) to deliver improvements to the supply chain management of its UK contingent workforce.



Like most major engineering firms, Costain has a significant contingent workforce sourced through a roster of agency suppliers. It had identified the following issues with the way in which these workers were engaged and the costs managed.

  • Tracking of spend on temporary personnel could be more accurate and more flexible, ideally with reporting by location, sector, project and role
  • There was a need for better visibility of comparative rates, agency margins comparisons and planned assignment durations
  • Costain wanted better enforcement of its own terms of business for hire of staff.
  • Improved reporting and management of employment and tax compliance, including and IR35 implications
  • More efficient and consistent processing of timesheets
  • Clearer controls and consistency of cost allocation



Engage offered a supplier (recruitment agency) funded VMS for temporary workers providing the following functionality on a single integrated platform:

  • Vacancy creation
  • Online timesheets
  • Automated invoice calculation and handling
  • Real-time reporting



Following a six-month pilot Costain was able to verify the following benefits to the business:

  • Achievement of real time visibility of all temporary workers, their location, conditions, and costs
  • Transparency and accountability throughout the hiring and invoicing processes
  • Organisational best practices facilitated through approvals and automated notifications
  • Better visibility of expense claims provided an insight into worker’s travel patterns and highlighted where potential wellbeing issues may arise
  • No negative impact on the relationship between each Recruitment Agency and Costain
  • Creation of a fair but more competitive trading with their chosen agencies
  • All at zero cost to Costain


Costain and Engage are now working together to roll-out use of the platform across a wide range of UK projects and sites.


“Costain was looking for a fair and transparent methodology or process to manage our professional contingency labour workforce.

We were conscious that we needed a more efficient way to record, monitor and understand the trends, market forces and national variances that affect the temporary and contractor market.

The controls and understanding of what, when and how we procured temporary staff have become increasing important to the business as we strive for continuous improvement and lean efficiencies within our organisation.

Having reviewed numerous options and products, we decided to trial Engage and I’m delighted to say that following that initial trial, Engage have proved that with their unique set of benefits and bespoke features, we have selected the right provider. We are now rolling it out across other projects and sites through 2018-19.”


Michaela Poust FIRP

Head of Recruitment, Costain Group PLC