How to Be a Savvy Staffing Service Consumer on the Perm Side

Posted by Cathy Reilly

05.22.18 How to Be a Savvy Staffing Service Consumer iStock-472347368 


Getting started with a staffing service can be fairly quick and easy. They are eager to have your business. You are eager for their product (qualified people for jobs). Because of this, the process
can start running away with itself. The staffing service is part of what is going to build your business, so perform your due diligence wisely. 

If there’s one thing I have learned working with staffing services for over twenty years, it’s that the client (i.e., Human Resources/Managers) needs to drive the process and not the other way around. Ask compelling questions to any staffing service you are considering. Find out about their business, authenticity, standards, behavior and results. A credible staffing service will be happy to answer all your questions, and then some. If already working with a staffing service, it’s never too late to find
out more if you need to.

Here are 25 questions to ask that will boost your staffing service savvy:

  1. Why is this staffing service distinguished over others?

  2. If the staffing service were to pledge five things to a client, what would these be?

  3. What is the one clear benefit they provide to clients?

  4. What industry and job levels does the staffing services possess expertise in? What qualifies them to be experts in that industry and why did they choose this industry?

  5. Where does the staffing service source job candidates from and what are their pre-screening methods?

  6. What is their typical response time for candidate requests and how do they communicate with their clients?

  7. What process do they have in place to ensure diversity in job candidates? How do they train their staff on this topic?

  8. How do they ensure against unconscious bias? How do they train on this topic?

  9. Where does the staffing service business expect to be in two years? Five years?

  10. How many clients does the staffing service have on the perm placement side?

  11. Are they an active member of the American Staffing Association (ASA)?

  12. How often does the staffing service visit their clients on-site and how do they
    keep current with their clients?

  13. What resources or learning materials do they provide to clients?

  14. What are their rates? Are they ever negotiable?

  15. How many full-time employees does the staffing service have?

  16. What is the average length of experience for staffing service reps placing permanent job candidates?

  17. How many clients does each rep handle?

  18. What is their internal rate of turnover? (Should be better than 40%).

  19. What recruiting tools and technology do they use?

  20. How do they increase their candidate pool to meet increases in demand?

  21. Explain the “after hours” coverage by the service.

  22. Describe one of the staffing service’s toughest job placement challenges.

  23. What type of satisfaction guarantee is there?

  24. What are some of the reasons their permanent placements aren’t successful?

  25. If unsuccessful with a permanent placement, what are the remedies?

Not only is it important to know who you are doing business with when it comes to a staffing service,
it is vital that they are aligned with your organization's hiring values and practices. For example, if your top priority is hiring more diverse employees, the staffing service must also be so aligned to deliver
for you. In essence, they are an extension of your hiring process.


Once you’ve secured your next new hire, let us help with onboarding them and beyond. Explore the possibilities of Onboardia and talk with our HR Consulting Team. Call us at 800-771-8610, visit us at or Schedule a Demo today.

Cathy A. Reilly is the CEO & Founder of Onboardia, Inc., HR software, HR Consultant and the author of “The Temp Factor: The Complete Guide to Temporary Employment”.

Topics: Recruiting & Hiring, Management, Human Resources, Staffing Services

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