How Employers Should Work With a Staffing Agency
There are thousands of staffing agencies in the market and when it comes to finding the right candidate for your job opportunity it is important to work with the right staffing agency that will save you time and costs.
Be clear about your needs when working with staffing agencies. Great staffing organizations want to find the best employees possible for your company. Communicate plainly and directly about your job opening, your company’s goals, and the type of candidate you want for the position.
When an employer works with a staffing agency it’s important to follow these 11 tips to maximize your experience with the staffing agency you choose.
1. Define the skills and opportunity
When working with a staffing agency you should take the time to define the skills, personality type, goals, and objective for the position.
Explain your company culture and values so the recruiter can get an understanding of the type of candidate you seek.
2. Know Your Options
Make sure you have a good understanding of all the services the staffing firm provides. They may offer contract, contract-to-hire, or direct hire services.
Most staffing agencies can also payroll a candidate you find if you just want to try them out on contract before extending a long term offer.
3. Make sure the budget is approved
Nothing is more frustrating for you or the staffing agency than when after a candidate has been identified, you have interviewed the candidate and are ready to make an offer, upper management decides they do not want to pay the fees associated with using the staffing firm.
4. Be upfront about your budget for the position.
Time after time employers using IT staffing agencies give vague answers and open-ended ranges for salary and hourly pay rates. Employers are often shy about giving the exact number they wish to pay but they shouldn’t be.
It’s understandable an employer may feel the agency will only send candidates at the top of the pay range they give, however, a good agency’s goal is to find you the best candidates available, they will not rule out a candidate that comes in under your budget just to make more money.
Often times what happens is that they identify a candidate that requires a higher pay range than you give them and you miss out on that candidate even though you would have paid what they wanted.
The more information you give the staffing agency the better candidate the recruiter should be able to provide.
5. Make sure the position is ready to be filled
It may seem like a good idea to contact an engineering staffing agency and have them start sending you candidates when the position is 5 or 6 months away from kicking off.
The problem is any candidates they send you now will most likely not be on the market by the time you are ready to hire. This wastes your time and the recruiter’s time.
If you want to get ahead of the position that is fine but usually a good staffing agency should be able to find you candidates for a role in a matter of days or weeks, not months unless it’s particularly hard to fill position or executive-level position.
6. Give a precise job requirements
For example, don’t just tell the staffing agency I need a mechanical engineer that’s way too vague.
It’s important to give the staffing firm the exact requirements you must have as well as ones that would be nice to have. This will save time when filling the role.
7. Be patient when expecting resumes
It can take time to find candidates, especially for high-level technical roles. Set expectations and a timeline with the recruiter upfront so they can allocate the appropriate recruiting resources toward the role.
8. Don’t wait for the perfect candidate
If a candidate has 90% of what you are looking for making them an offer, many times employers wait around for a perfect candidate that checks off all the boxes which never comes.
Meanwhile, they have interviewed 5 candidates that could have done the job and are now gone, having accepted positions with other companies.
Don’t be that company.
9. Communicate quickly and effectively
When working with IT recruiters it is important to keep the lines of communication open. Give them details about the work environment, benefits package, and what makes your company unique.
Additionally, the faster you give feedback to the recruiter you’re working with on candidates whether they are a fit or have missed the mark the better.
Lack of communication is one of the big reasons a staffing agency may move on to other positions where the hiring managers are more engaged and respectful of the recruiter’s time and energy.
If a staffing firm can’t get feedback on candidates they submit then it’s impossible for them to dial in their search and find the candidate you need.
10. Be honest and direct
If you have interviewed several candidates and do not like them for one reason or another you need to tell the recruiter why. Don’t ignore the recruiter for days or weeks leaving them and the candidates guessing.
Honesty is the best policy when talking with recruiters, it won’t hurt their feelings if you feel a candidate is lacking a particular skill set you need, and they will let the candidate know they’re not a fit tactfully.
11. Stay in close contact after the hire is made.
If you have brought on a contractor through a staffing firm it’s essential to keep each other informed.
It’s important for the client to give honest feedback quickly and promptly.
Is the contractor doing well or are there any challenges? If they are doing well, great. If not what can be done to fix the situation.
So how do employers choose a staffing agency?
1 . Work with a specialist not a generalist
When searching for a staffing agency its ideal to find one that fits the type of roles you’re recruiting for.
You shouldn’t engage an engineering staffing agency to find an accountant just as you would not contact an accounting recruiter to find you a software developer.
A good technical staffing agency has spent years talking to engineering & IT talent building up their talent pools giving them access to candidates a general staffing agency just won’t know.
2. Find an agency that is easy to work with
You want to work with an agency that makes you feel comfortable and stays engaged.
Do they ask the right questions when taking the job order? Do they follow up after submitting candidates? Do they stay engaged after a candidate has been placed? Do they provide excellent customer service?
3. A dedicated point of contact
You want to work with one point of contact from start to finish. If you are dealing with multiple people expressing what you are looking for can get lost in translation.
Ideally, you will want to find a full desk recruiter who will work with you every step of the way until you find the right candidate for the position.
4. Look at the agencies current job openings
This should give you an idea of the types of positions they are currently working on.
If you see they are looking for several candidates similar to the position you are looking to fill, it should be a good indicator that they have a good feel of the talent available for that type of position.
5. Ask how the staffing agency accesses and screen candidates.
You want to find an agency that doesn’t cut corners. They shouldn’t be floating resumes over to you without the candidate’s knowledge which happens too often.
The agency should be speaking with the candidate and thoroughly screening them for the skills and abilities needed for your position.
They need to make sure the candidate has proper employment eligibility/immigration status.
The recruiter should be checking references with former managers and supervisors before submitting a candidate to you.
Looking to engage a staffing firm for engineering or IT talent ? Reach out to our technical staffing agency for help.