The decision to hire a staffing agency is usually an easy one. Saving time and money on your recruiting and staffing needs is not a hard decision to make.
But when it comes to choosing the right agency, the decision might be a little tougher. What things should you look for in an agency? What red flags should you avoid?
Choosing an agency isn’t an exact science, but you want to be confident that the one you choose is the best staffing agency to meet the needs of your company. Here are a few things to consider:
General staffing agencies can staff for just about any business or industry out there. They can find candidates with some, usually limited, experience in the any given field and can usually get candidates in an average amount of time.
But when you are working with a staffing agency, you expect to select from the best candidates for the position and you want the job filled quickly. Agencies that focus on select industries will give you the best shot at top talent.
Here’s why – these niche agencies know your industry. They belong to the trade groups, they network in the area, they speak the language. They can quickly identify even passive candidates for roles within the industry.
Having that inside information saves time in filling the position and also guarantees that the candidate will have the right skills, experience and knowledge.
Turning over the Relationship
There’s nothing worse than forming a great relationship with a business or a vendor representative, only to find that the rep has moved on to bigger and better things.
Your relationship with your recruiter is an important one. Building the relationship will help to ensure that the agency understands your needs and your business.
No company can avoid turnover and in some cases turnover is good. But before you enter into a relationship with a staffing agency, you’ll want to ask some questions about their own internal turnover.
If you find that the turnover rate is high, at or above about 15%, you might want to consider another agency.
You wouldn’t hire a company that is known for its poor customer service, would you? The same applies for hiring a staffing agency.
Find out if the agency participates in client satisfaction surveys and compare the results to their competitors.
If they don’t participate, that should tell you something. You can always ask for reference but keep in mind that these are clients hand-picked by the agency. Of course they will pick the ones that like them.
You can tell a lot about a company based on the attitudes and insights of its employees. Employee engagement and commitment is the cornerstone of a successful business.
It may be difficult to gauge how committed agency “employees” are since they don’t work directly for the agency. But that’s where employee satisfaction and engagement surveys come in.
Ask the staffing agency for their most recent employee satisfaction surveys to understand how the agency manages their employees and their employees respond.
Learn Something New
Working with a staffing company means that you have expert recruiters and staffers at your fingertips. And they should be just that, experts.
Your recruiter should be able to tell you about the trends in hiring in your industry. They should be able to give you insight into what kinds of candidates you should expect to hire. They should be giving you useful information about compensation in your industry.
You should expect to learn something new from the agency, even in the early part of process before you hire the firm.
You want a good relationship with your staffing agency. That means that you hold some of the responsibility in making it a good relationship.
Find out from the agency what their expectations of you are during the recruitment and staffing process. Will they expect to speak with you daily or weekly? How much time and information will they need to get started?
Working with a staffing agency should be about building a great relationship so that your positions are filled quickly and easily. Take the time to do your homework on the agency, ask questions, and make sure that you’re hiring the best agency for your staffing needs.