Prior to starting my company Onboardia, Inc., my work in human resources included years of working with staffing services. I found that many of my colleagues had a love/hate relationship with them and we spent many lunchtime breaks in the cafeteria debating the good, the bad and the ugly.
There are many benefits to working with a staffing service, one primarily is not having to source candidates yourself. I learned very quickly that the best way to approach this working relationship, was simply developing a framework and a list of must-haves that I must have any time I considered working with a new staffing service. They still are:
- A business partnership. Your staffing service is much more than a “job order filler” when the need arises, and if you view them this way it will stifle your success. In fact they are an important part of your HR resources and there is a need to work with them effectively. Take the time to invest in building a relationship for the longer-term and you will see that a mutually beneficial partnership forms. By establishing a connection, there develops an understanding around expectations and deliverables of job candidates. They understand you and you understand them. Ultimately, what’s important to you as their customer becomes important to them. It will begin to feel like an extension of your internal team.
Tip: Learn from your staffing service. They have a wealth of information about the workforce and the employment landscape. Be sure to tap into their knowledge and use it to develop your staffing strategies. When the partnership is established a number of benefits uncover themselves beyond the sourcing of candidates.
- Face time. When considering a new staffing service, start the process with an interview meeting that’s face to face with their contact or team. Before answering their questions, drive the meeting by asking your questions first. This way you learn as much as possible about them up front to determine if they’re an effective fit, which will maximize everyone’s time.
If their answers are exactly what you’re looking for, allow them to ask questions and learn more about your staffing needs. Include a brief tour so that they get an insider’s glimpse of your operation.
Tip: Whichever service you select, be sure to meet from time to time to keep strengthening their understanding of your needs and to review what results they’ve delivered.
- A strong grasp of the culture. For a staffing service to be truly effective in their placements and support, they must have clear intelligence of your company’s personality, company values and why employees are successful there. This type of insider’s information cannot be found on your website. Your staffing rep can only understand by the information you provide them, therefore be sure to include cultural aspects of your company in your discussions with them.
Tip: While your staffing service needs to understand cultural aspects of your company, it’s extremely important to consider the movement away from hiring for “cultural fit”, which may be limiting diversity. The idea is to hire employees that can enhance your culture vs. having to match it.
- Up to date technology. We live in a web-based world and your staffing service not only needs to be easy to work with, they must be working as timely, broadly and effectively in the job candidate market for you. That means they’re using today’s technology, which shows they’re forward thinking, staying relevant and delivering a richly diverse and talented pool of candidates.
According to the Entelo 2018 Recruiting Trends Report, up to 62% of companies are planning on spending money towards AI recruiting software, so technology continues to grow in the recruiting space.
Areas like job postings, placing job orders, video interviewing, reviewing resumes, testing and assessments, artificial intelligence, reporting and analytics are all areas developing rapidly. It’s important that your staffing service is saving time and increasing their efficiency through investing in modern systems. Ask them what systems they use.
Tip: Having mobile abilities with recruiting apps will be key in 2018, since many job candidates are searching while on the move and millennials are wired for a tech process.
- Low turnover. Just like any business, there is going to be staff turnover. This includes staffing services, and in fact, turnover can be fairly high. Recruiters are challenged to bring in the job candidates, sell a product that can change their mind, and deliver the numbers. It’s a stressful, competitive, and fast paced field filled with rejection and unexpected turns.
Ask your staffing service about their turnover rate so you understand what to expect and to avoid situations where there’s a revolving door. With steady turnover, it will cost you time in re-educating the rep each time you’ve been assigned someone new. It will also have an impact on building a successful rapport and knowledge building.
Tip: Speak with your staffing service about having a secondary rep assigned to your account as a backup so that if the primary contact is gone, you still have someone very knowledgeable about your company and your hiring criteria.
Cathy A. Reilly is the author of The Temp Factor: The Complete Guidebook to Temporary Employment, and CEO of Onboardia, HR software for onboarding and training new hires, temps and remote employees. Contact me to discuss how we can help, Schedule a Demo, or for consultation. Onboardia, built by an HR Professional for HR Professionals.