Choosing to use outside help is sometimes the wrong answer. Sometimes it’s because it is simply NOT the right solution. Other times this error might be because you’ve chosen the wrong partner. Don’t rush in without having a good understanding of what services you are getting, what action is required of you, and what you are paying in return.
Not every employer or business model is a great match to use the services of a temporary staffing agency. The most common complaints among those who regularly rely on temporary staffing agencies for workers is… well, variation in the reliability of employees! When a worker isn’t motivated or driven to keep a job, they are unlikely to prioritize your business needs above their own personal interests. You may experience some folks who come in late or stop showing up at all. Similarly, few individuals make a career out of working for staffing agencies. Rather, they do this as a stop-gap measure to bring in some money while they wait for “the one.” As a result, you may find individuals ducking out of your job to go on an interview for a permanent role outside of the staffing company. Either way, these unplanned absences can take a toll on productivity, and so your staffing agency needs to help you understand whether you are selecting appropriate roles for their help.
If you have roles that can only be filled by a handful of folks with a very particular set of skills, you’ll likely struggle to find a good match with a staffing agency. Similarly, if the work that you do includes handling sensitive information where folks would need a security or other clearance, or where employees are required to sign a whole slew of non-disclosures, or if the work encompasses a very high degree of physicality to complete the job, temporary staffing may not be the right solution. Instead, the staffing-and-recruiting agency might best help by serving as an external direct-hire / permanent placement recruiter, working confidentially to find the right candidate while you remain focused on your other priorities ‘behind the scenes.’
What it all boils down to is that, before you sign up with a temporary staffing agency, you will need to really dig deep on whether they have the capacity and capability to meet the unique needs of **your** organization. If you believe they are up to the task, be sure to talk to them about what processes and procedures they have in place to keep their temporary staff motivated and how they manage performance on their end. Make sure that you get what you pay for!
Key questions to ask when selecting a staffing agency
- What industries, roles, or organization types does the agency specialize in?
- What types of staffing services and flexible options do they provide?
- How do they handle the sourcing, screening and selection process?
- How much of my involvement will be required in their recruitment or evaluation process?
- How large (and strong) is the agency’s talent pool?
- What do they know about your business?
- What will the staffing agency do to help onboard and orient new employees?
- How does the agency handle poor placements?
- Who will be my key point of contact?
- What is the fee structure?
- What truly differentiates you from other staffing agencies?
Ultimately, it’s important that you choose an agency that demonstrates a high level of professionalism and an ability to meet your unique needs. After vetting them, you should have a good feel for their capability, their reputation, and their personality. They will be recruiting, hiring, and initially training the people who will work on your behalf, and so they should be attentive, inquisitive, and collaborative when dealing with you.