What Working with a Staffing Firm Is…and What It’s Not

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11 Jan 2022
5 min read

Working with a staffing firm may feel a bit like watching The Wizard of Oz. You know someone’s behind the curtain, but you’re not sure who they’re talking to, what they’re doing, or whether it’ll end up being in your best interests. 

Finding exceptional candidates to fill your company’s open roles can be a challenge. You may have considered a staffing firm but are cautious about taking the plunge. Maybe you don’t fully understand how they operate, or perhaps you’ve had a bad experience with one in the past.  

It’s vital for companies to understand the value staffing professionals bring to the table and the advantages they provide. It’s just as important to know what working with a staffing company doesn’t include. A 360-degree understanding helps you get the most out of partnering with a staffing agency. 

Today, we’re pulling back the curtain and offering up a clear picture about working with a staffing company. Here’s an explanation of what it is…and what it’s not. 

It IS: A great way to fill roles fast. 

Staffing experts typically have a mile-long list of top talent ready to work. Finding your perfect new team member is far easier when you choose from their list than attempting to build your own. 

Think of it as a dart board. Working with a staffing company is like moving several feet closer to the board, which helps you hit the bull’s eye easier. With a staffing firm’s deep pool of talent, you’ll hit the “bull’s eye” client faster. 

It’s NOT: A guarantee you’ll fill the role. 

While staffing firms offer you a much better chance of finding the person meant to fill your role, there are no guarantees you’ll 100% find the perfect person. After all, placing candidates takes a match up of the candidate, job description, intangible skills and company culture. Be leery of recruiters who say they can absolutely fill your role, because they may send you a candidate that’s not a great fit. 

It IS: A better path to top talent. 

Remember that list of contacts we mentioned? Staffing firms pre-vet the candidate’s qualifications, communication skills and experience. That way, you don’t have to deal with the messy task of weeding through resumes of job seekers who are unqualified for the role. You can focus your resources on viable candidates instead. 

It’s NOT: An equal playing field. 

Don’t make the mistake of assuming all staffing firms are the same. This is especially important if you’ve been burned by one in the past. Staffing companies vary wildly in their goals, experience, and pricing. It’s critical to look for a company that offers extensive experience and focuses on building relationships rather than a one-and-done approach. The individual staffing partner you work with should have experience in filling the type of role you’re hiring for, too. Some firms offer lots of experience and a customer-centric philosophy, while others don’t. Do your homework before hiring a staffing firm. 

It IS: An initial financial investment. 

When you see a staffing company’s fee, your eyes might bug out a little at the cost. It’s typically a percentage of the person’s annual salary. Don’t let this number deter you from working with a staffing company. The legwork they do on the front end alone is worth the price. Add to that the money you can potentially save in overtime (from the open position), and you probably more than make the investment up. And finally, what is a talented employee who contributes to the bottom line worth to your company? A lot. 

It’s NOT: More expensive to use a staffing firm than to handle hiring in-house. 

Either way you slice it, hiring takes resources. Advertising, deciding who to interview, paring down the candidates, checking their backgrounds, and then negotiating with them can get lengthy, expensive, and exhausting. When you factor the hours of those involved into the equation, staffing companies probably save you money!

Working with an experienced staffing agency can be a smart, cost-effective way to fill your open roles with highly-qualified candidates fast. A staffing partner can guide you through the hiring process and minimize the chances of making costly hiring mistakes. Employers that partner with reputable staffing agencies gain access to a long list of qualified, vetted candidates that may just include their next best hire.

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