A great staffing agency is one of the most valuable resources that a business can have. A bad staffing agency can rapidly and dramatically sabotage a company’s ability to function. But it can be hard to know what separates a good staffing agency from a bad staffing agency.
And even if you do know the difference between them, there’s still the chance that you’re using the staffing agency in a way that doesn’t really make the most of the resources available to you. Staffing agencies charge a premium for their hires, and that makes it in your best interest to be as smart as possible with the staffing agencies you do business with.
Find the Right Partner
The process of identifying and scouting talent can vary wildly depending on the field that your business operates in. Finding a staffing agency that specializes in your field or has a department that specializes in your field is a good start to picking the right agency.
But you’ll get the best results by simply talking to your representative with the agency. A staffing agency isn’t exactly a partner. They serve you, and it’s in your best interest to find someone who’s suited specifically to your needs. The quality of the staffing agency you hire will determine the quality of the staff they bring in on your behalf.
Use Their Experience
If you’re the type of entrepreneur who likes meticulous control over your business, you may have some very specific assumptions about who exactly you want to hire. That’s okay, but don’t forget that the agency is there to provide you with specialized skills, guidance, and resources that you might otherwise not have.
Take the time to talk to the agency so you can understand the resources they use and the extent of their capabilities. Understanding exactly what tools an agency has and what influence they can leverage in your advantage is a necessity if you want to get the most value for your money.
But Maintain Your Own Voice
The one thing to remember is that the staffing agency you’re working with isn’t hiring anyone. Their only goal is to draw in prospective hires and then narrow those prospective hires down to only the most promising choices.
In other words, don’t let your staffing agency figure out who’s going to fit in at your company. Be clear with your direction to them so they can sort through prospective applicants more readily. The better you communicate, the more effectively they’ll be able to put their resources to work for you.
Plan For the Long-Term
A staffing agency can help you fill in positions when you need replacements at the last minute, but that’s not the most effective way to leverage their resources. Staffing agencies take a commission for everyone they bring in, but they also take on a lot of the liabilities that come from hiring new staff.
If you really want the best return on your investment with a staffing agency, think big. Having a plan in place for your long-term hiring and making a staffing agency a critical part of that initiative will pay you dividends in the future.
The relationship between a staffing agency and a business is the same as any business decision. You want to come to the negotiating table capable of getting as much as possible while having to give as little as possible. Be smart, take your time to do your research, and get to know the agency you want to work with. Taking the time to establish a rock solid hiring plan is a no-brainer when it comes to who’s working for you.