HOW TO CHOOSE A STAFFING AGENCY (2021)
Choosing the right staffing agency to work with can be a time-consuming task and you don’t want to waste time and money working with an agency that does not meet your staffing needs or expectations.
As an engineering and IT staffing agency with years of experience, we know the things you should evaluate and look out for.
Hopefully, these tips and information will help you when making your final choice for establishing a staffing agency partner.
Evaluate your staffing needs
Before engaging with a staffing agency to start a search, make sure you know exactly what your hiring needs are. Will you need someone to work on a short contract, contract-to-hire, or are you wanting to hire someone on a direct-hire basis?
What is your budget? Hiring someone directly on a full-time basis through an agency usually costs a lump sum fixed percentage fee based on the first year’s salary.
Many employers don’t realize the benefits of a contract-to-hire where you pay as you go with the ability to end the contract at any time if something is not working out.
By using a temp agency to hire on a contract-to-hire basis you have more time to evaluate the candidate over a period of months and they have time to make sure the company is a long term fit for them as well.
Do your research on potential staffing agencies
When evaluating a staffing company, you want to find one that has a deep understanding of your industry and niche while having a strategic approach to engaging quality candidates.
An accounting staffing agency will not have access to the best engineering talent and nor will an engineering staffing agency have an extensive database of the best accountants on the employment market.
Evaluate the cost of services and contracts
While costs are important in any business, choosing an agency simply because they are the cheapest can be a big mistake and cost you more in the long run.
Be wary of anyone in the staffing industry that is offering terms that seem too good to be true and are way outside the norm as there is a good chance they are cutting corners when searching for temporary employees which could result in you receiving bad candidates that have not been fully screened.
If you are using a temp staffing agency for temp/contract or contract-to-hire services make sure and get a copy of their “certificate of insurance” also known as the COI.
Also, watch out for temp-to-perm contracts that tack on extra fees after the contract is over with. If you are hiring on a contract-to-hire basis, find an agency that offers a no conversion fee after the contract length is completed.
Understanding the agency’s recruitment process
What is the staffing firm’s selection process for finding, engaging, and attracting candidates to your openings?
What recruiting tools and resources are at their disposal? How many years have they spent networking and building their candidate talent pool?
What type of positions have they been working on lately?
What is their track record?
How does the staffing agency source its talent?
Recruiting is more than just posting a position on a job board and filtering through the candidates that apply.
Job boards are just one tool among many in a recruiters tool belt, the best recruiters are also on networking sites, attending business events, participating in user groups, gathering referrals and have access to candidates that never apply to job boards.
Top staffing services spend years developing their own internal database of candidates to help employers find talent quickly and efficiently.
They understand where to find and engage the best talent whether it’s using the latest AI recruiting software or using social media for recruitment.
How does the staffing agency screen candidates?
Can you trust the resumes you’re getting?
Does the staffing partner screen the candidate thoroughly, checking references from the last 2-3 managers, verifying dates of employment, eligibility for rehire, skill set, workplace attitude, interpersonal skills, company culture and general knowledge of the position.
You may want to ask these questions to avoid staffing agencies that do limited screening or none at all by just pointing and clicking “send resume”, partner with an agency that values the service they provide and the candidates they present to you.
How long does it take to present qualified candidates?
This is a question to ask and get an idea of when you should start seeing candidates in your inbox.
Be aware that most of the time it is going to depend on the type of career opening, for example if you’re searching for an IT help desk associate that should most likely require less time to find than a high-level software engineer.
It is important to set a time table to make sure that you receive a candidate in the time frame you need. Depending on the position it could take just a few hours, days, or perhaps weeks.
Do you work with one point of contact?
Ideally, you want to work with a staffing agency that will provide you with one point of contact from start to finish.
Working with a full desk experienced recruiter is usually the best option as they are not only speaking with you but engaging and recruiting candidates directly on your behalf making sure nothing gets lost in translation.
Seek an agency that treats candidates with respect
The staffing agency works as an extension of your human resources department.
The agency is representing you by presenting your opportunity to prospective candidates. It’s important that both parties have a similar alignment of values to ensure successful candidate placement and longevity.
Work with an agency that values your business
Find an agency that looks out for your long term interests, this applies when they are supplying short term contract employees as well as working on permanent positions. Often times people you hire on as temps turn into great long term employees.
Working with an agency that’s too big and you run the risk of being overlooked when you truly need talent quickly, though quality staffing agencies come in all sizes you want to find the one that gives you the attention you deserve.
In closing, find a great staffing agency that will strive to provide you with the best candidates possible with the long term goal of forming a mutually beneficial partnership.
Tired of the endless stream of unqualified resumes filling your inbox? Reach out to the recruiting team, contact us for more information.