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Choosing the right staffing agency to work with can be a time-consuming task and you don’t want to waste time and money working with an agency that does not meet your needs or expectations.

As an engineering and IT staffing agency with years of experience we know things you should look out for hopefully, these tips and information will help you when making your final choice for establishing a staffing agency partner.

Determine your business needs

Before engaging a staffing agency to start a search make sure you know exactly what you need. Will you need someone to work on a short contract, contract-to-hire, or are you wanting to hire someone on a direct-hire basis? 

What is your budget? Hiring someone directly on a full-time basis through an agency usually costs a lump sum fee based on the first year’s salary.

Many employers don’t realize the benefits of a contract-to-hire where you pay as you go with the ability to end the contract at any time if something is not working out. 

By hiring on a contract-to-hire basis you have more time to evaluate the candidate over a period of months and they have time to make sure the company is a long term fit for them as well.

Do your research on potential agencies

When deciding on a staffing firm you want to find one that works in your industry and niche.

An accounting staffing agency will not have access to the best engineering talent and nor will an engineering staffing agency have an extensive database of the best accountants on the employment market.

Evaluate the cost of services and contracts

While cost is important in any business choosing an agency simply because they are the cheapest can be a big mistake and cost you more in the long run. 

Be wary of any staffing firm that is offering terms that seem too good to be true and are way outside the norm as there is a good chance they are cutting corners which could result in you receiving bad candidates that have not been fully screened. 

If you are using a temp agency for temp/contract or contract-to-hire services make sure and get a copy of their “certificate of insurance” also known as the COI.

Also, watch out for temp to perm contracts that tack on extra fees after the contract is over with. If you are hiring on a contract to hire basis find an agency that offers a no conversion fee after the contract length is completed.

Understand the agencies recruitment process

What is the staffing firm’s process for finding, engaging, and attracting candidates to your openings?

What recruiting tools and resources are at their disposal? How many years have they spent networking and building their candidate talent pool?

What type of positions have they been working on lately?

What is their track record?

How does the agency source their talent?

Recruiting is more than just posting a position on a job board and filtering through the candidates that apply.

Job boards are just one tool among many in a recruiters tool belt, the best recruiters are also on networking sites, attending business events, participating in user groups, gathering referrals and have access to candidates that never apply to job boards. 

Top staffing firms spend years developing their internal database of candidates to help employers find talent quickly and efficiently.

They understand where to find and engage the best talent whether it’s using the latest AI recruiting software or using social media for recruitment.

How does the agency screen candidates?

Can you trust the resumes you’re getting?

Does the agency screen the candidate thoroughly, checking references from the last 2-3 managers, verifying dates of employment, eligibility for rehire, skill set, workplace attitude, interpersonal skills, and general knowledge of the position.

You want to ask these questions to avoid staffing agencies that do limited screening or none at all by just pointing and clicking “send resume”, partner with an agency that values the service they provide, and the candidates they present to you.

How long does it take to present qualified candidates?

This is a question to ask and get an idea of when you should start seeing candidates in your inbox.

Be aware that most of the time it is going to depend on the type of career opening for example if you’re searching for an IT help desk associate that should most likely require less time to find than a high-level software engineer.

It is important to set a time table to make sure that you receive a candidate in the time frame you need. Depending on the position it could take just a few hours, days, or perhaps weeks.

Do you work with one point of contact?

Ideally, you want to work with an staffing agency that will provide you with one point of contact from start to finish.

Working with a full desk recruiter is usually the best option as they are not only speaking with you but engaging and recruiting candidates directly on your behalf making sure nothing gets lost in translation.

Seek an agency that treats candidates with respect

The staffing agency works as an extension of your human resources department.

The agency is representing you by presenting your opportunity to prospective candidates. It’s important that both parties have a similar alignment of values to ensure successful candidate placement and longevity.

Work with an agency that values your business

Find an agency that looks out for your long term interests, this applies when they are supplying short term contract employees as well, many times people you hire on as temps turn into great long term employees. 

Working with too big of an agency and you run the risk of being overlooked when you truly need talent quickly, though quality staffing agencies come in all sizes you want to find the one that gives you the attention you deserve.

In closing find a great staffing agency that will strive to provide you the best candidates possible with the long term goal of forming a mutually beneficial partnership.

Tired of the endless stream of unqualified resumes filling your inbox? Reach out to the recruiting team at Apollo Technical Today.

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