Google “staffing agencies” and you’ll get 1.29 billion results (or thereabouts). If you limit your search to “staffing agencies near me,” you’ll slash the field but still be left with 39.8 million results to sort through.
Unfortunately, there are lots of people who call themselves recruiters or who purport to have staffing agencies. But not all staffing firms are equal. As a busy hiring manager with positions to fill, you need a professional hiring partner that puts your needs and timeline first.
So exactly how do you winnow the wheat from the chaff? To help narrow the field, consider these seven points:
1. Do they have expertise hiring in your market sector?
When looking to partner with a staffing agency, you don’t want to spend a lot of time getting them up to speed on your market sector. You want someone that can hit the ground running. Look for hiring firms that have a proven track record in your sector. Your staffing partner should understand the overall job requirements you’re looking for and have in-depth knowledge of the particular set of skills the position requires. Don’t be afraid to ask for references not only from companies within your market, but similarly sized enterprises, as well.
2. What’s their process for screening candidates?
Time is money, so when a potential hire appears in your inbox, you expect them to be qualified and ready to work. You don’t want to weed through a ton of potential resumes before settling on a few to interview further. You are hiring a staffing agency to do the leg work for you so before partnering, be sure you fully understand their vetting process.
While Insight Global will gladly customize their screening process to suit your needs, regardless, they always conduct a minimum of two professional phone interviews to verify a candidate’s background, determine what they are looking for, and where they excel. All candidates are also asked to come into one of Insight Global’s 51 office locations so they can meet with the candidate face to face and get a better sense of the person and their personality. Personal refences are also conducted, including full criminal background checks and education verification. Finally, the Insight Global account manager will walk the candidate through the position, the organization itself and its initiatives, all within a tight timeframe of 24 hours to 48 hours.
3. Is the agency up on current hiring and recruiting trends and how they affect your business?
You want to know that whomever you partner with can provide market insight on such subjects as competitive hourly rates and salaries, new job-search technologies and what clients in similar spaces or market areas are looking for in terms of talent and skills. If this information is important to you, look for staffing agencies that are experts in the industry and have a strong and diverse client base as this affords them additional insight. You want to be sure the salary and benefits you are offering in exchange for a particular set of skills are competitive with the market, especially during times of low unemployment when demand for talent is high.
4. What will they require from you? How will you work together to get results?
It’s vital that whichever company you engage has an in-depth understanding of the skillset you’re trying to source and the uniqueness of your organization and company, as well. Staffing agencies, such as Insight Global, place hundreds? thousands? of candidates across the country each year, so as a hiring manager you need to be prepared to have in-depth conversations about what you are looking for beyond what’s on paper. Your company has a personality all its own, and whoever you hire ultimately needs to fit into that work culture.
5. What happens in the event of a bad placement?
The answer to this is key. Any professional staffing agency will be hoping to work with you on more than a one-off placement so making sure both you and the new hire are happy is essential. A good working relationship involves numerous variables, and it’s important that your staffing partner work to quickly resolve whatever issues arise. Ultimately a contract employee is employed by the staffing agency and so reflective of them.
6. What can you do in addition to staffing?
Large staffing firms such as Insight Global offer a full range of services that extend beyond the staffing umbrella, including direct placement, search functions, payroll processing and outsourcing, where they will take over the human resources and talent acquisition of a company. Depending on your needs, you may want to partner with a staffing agency that offers comprehensive managed services from project and portfolio management to training services.
7. How does the staffing agency care for its contract employees?
A secure contract employee will be happier and more productive and that means a better outcome for you. At Insight Global everyone matters. Contract employees are an extension of corporate staff and are treated as such. Insight Global has a contractor relations division within the company that is solely dedicated to the support and care of its contractors to make sure they attract and retain the right people. All contract employees are employed on a W2 basis and receive full medical coverage, including vision and dental. Additionally, they negotiate PTO, travel and job-related expense reimbursement.