The most significant contributor to a company’s success is its people, and finding good talent holds the key to winning in today’s competitive world. The pursuit of top talent is a wearisome undertaking for companies since the market is volatile and the hiring process has become more complex than ever. It is a time, energy and money drainer, which is why it is best outsourced to experts in the field—the staffing agencies.
A staffing agency is an organisation that does all the legwork needed to fulfil short-term hiring needs of a company with temporary, freelance, part-time or contract workers. Besides, it serves as a middleman between the company and the candidate or worker.
A staffing agency can help to find the right-fit for any job category (temporary staff for short-term, a candidate on a trial basis or a direct hire), in any industry (healthcare, IT or banking) and for any role (accountant, scientist, programmer, nurse or even a CEO).
With organisations embracing the lean business model, hiring managers are increasingly turning to alternate hiring categories (part-time, temporary and freelancing) to fill their labour gaps. Plus, the percentage of quality talent seeking flexibility in terms of employment is growing.
Staffing agencies are helping companies to address this requirement quickly and efficiently. Listed below are some advantages of partnering with a staffing agency:
It is not hard to advertise openings on job portals. The difficult part is poring over the avalanche of resumes, followed by the long and arduous process of repeated sieving till the right match is found. It is prudent to turn to a staffing agency since it has a ready pool of specialised talent that can be quickly deployed and adjusted to meet an organisation’s specific project requirements. This saves pre-screening time for hiring managers who can focus on interviewing only the candidates whom they consider a good fit.
Both, companies and talent, are increasingly seeking flexibility when it comes to hiring and being employed, respectively. It is the age of gig workers. However, hiring temporary staff also means that recruiting is an ongoing activity. Thanks to staffing agencies, adjusting the workforce to the ups and downs of business demands has become a possibility.
Employers are bound by many legalities: taxes, insurance coverage, labour laws, etc. There are also financial and operational impediments, such as when someone is dismissed or resigns unexpectedly. Many of these liabilities are already factored in by the staffing agency and it is usually ready with a solution to the problem. In the case of temporary staff, the staffing agencies are considered their employers. In other words, the temporary staff are on the agency’s payroll—not the company’s. The agency takes full responsibility for them.
Often, the terms “cost-saving” and “cost-effectiveness” are considered interchangeable. However, there is a difference—while the former focusses on cutting costs, the latter emphasises getting the most value for the money spent. High-performing candidate placement, good retention rates amongst hires, shortest time-to-hire, continuous candidate engagement and saved training costs are a few of the benefits that make using staffing agencies cost-effective.Do your homework
“Information is the oxygen of the modern age. It steps through the walls topped by barbed wire, it waits across the electrified borders” — Ronald Reagan
The benefits of teaming up with a staffing agency are, no doubt, many. But, given that there is a glut, choosing the most suitable one also poses a challenge. So, we have compiled a list of seven questions that you must ask yourself when you hunt for a staffing agency:1. Does it get your brand’s drift?
A staffing agency is like an extension of your company. It is, therefore, essential that it understands your business well and grasps the reputation that is at stake. The industry’s perception of your firm depends much on what the staffing agency absorbs and markets. Since it represents your organisation, it must be able to answer candidate questions about your company.2. What is its core experience?
The term “core experience” here encompasses these: industries, roles, job-levels and job categories.
In short, can it fulfil your specific hiring needs? Companies check candidate experience for filling vacancies. They must do the same in the case of potential collaborators too. After all, it is going to be a long-standing partnership between the two.3. What is its track record?
Checking backgrounds is as crucial for staffing agencies as it is for potential hires. Check how long the staffing agency has been in the market, and examine its brand and reputation. Also, verify its track record for hiring volumes, retention rates amongst its candidates, timelines for hiring, and, most importantly, its candidate experience rating (remember that the agency is an extension of your brand and the first point of contact for candidates). A decision as crucial as partnering with a staffing agency must not be done blind-folded.4. How is its recruitment process and onboarding?
As the saying goes, “Means are as important as the end.” It is critical to consider how the agency sources, who it talks to, how it launches referrals, and how candidates feel about the agency’s recruiting process. After all, without the right approach, success is short-lived.5. What is unique about it?
Here, “unique” does not mean something no one else can offer; it means something that resonates in a unique way with you as an employer. It may be costing matters, the way the agency conducts its business, the fact that it offers a diverse and inclusive talent pool or its additional staffing services such as training and onboarding support, compliance, payroll services, etc.6. Is it ably backed by the right tools?
Staffing agencies need to conduct assessments and interviews to funnel applicants. Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, these activities have happened in virtual mode, and that trend has not entirely returned to traditional ways. Technological tools such as online assessments, virtual interviews and proctoring are absolutely essential for holding tests and interviews virtually and efficiently. Make sure that the staffing agency has the technology backing that is needed.7. How motivated and committed is the team?
It takes a dedicated and happy team to find the right hire for your organisation. A lapse here can compromise candidate quality severely—an undesirable situation. To check this, find out whether the agency makes the time for on-site visits and engages with hiring managers. This is a great way for it to understand the organisation's staffing needs.
When you have worked out all the ifs and buts and zeroed in on a staffing agency, it is time to start using their services. The process typically involves these steps:
At the risk of sounding cliched, it must be mentioned that the world is competitive and the marketplace dynamic, with new and specialised roles emerging every now and then. Identifying the right staffing company for your business may require some trial and error and consume a lot of time, but the effort and wait are worth it.
A commonly held misconception is that staffing agencies are expensive. Why pay recruiting fees to an agency when you can hire someone to do the job? It is short-sighted and foolish to shun staffing agencies on the grounds of recruiting fees alone. The value they provide and the cost reduction their contributions facilitate far exceed the fee that they charge. It is important to understand that spending a few hundreds now will save a couple of thousands in the long run.
Staffing agencies are also misjudged for the quality of manpower that they supply. Some companies believe that candidates who turn to staffing agencies do so because they are not so competitive and are unemployable elsewhere. They could not be more off the mark. In reality, the temporary staff that agencies provide are often overqualified for the jobs that they do. They choose temp jobs for reasons such as work-time flexibility when they are in-between jobs or to get field experience.Be prepared for hits and misses
Once you have found a staffing agency that is best-suited for you, stick to it and take steps to build trust, credibility and transparency.
Devise a feedback mechanism that is mutually beneficial. On your part, discussing the performance of people placed through the agency can help the staffing agency representative with future talent searches for your organisation.
Ensure there are no surprises on both sides. Be aligned with the process so that matching skills and knowledge with the required job roles becomes an easy activity.
Be clear and open about your requirements—demand-based staffing solutions for unexpected needs or traditional staffing solutions for regular needs.
Only by making staffing services successful can you focus on your business goals and get your teams to achieve them.
By partnering with Careernet, you can be assured of instant services to meet your time-bound project requirement with specialised, high-quality talent.
Please note that Careernet does not practice charging a placement fee from any job seeker across profiles. Word of caution to the fraudulent news and information, if anyone demands any kind of charges from you, in the name of Careernet Consulting.