6 Common Questions When Working With a Temp Agency for Staffing Needs

By Robert Half on April 28, 2014 at 7:00am

Using temporary administrative professionals isn’t anything revolutionary. Many companies rely on them during employee vacations and sick days, important projects, high workloads and other situations. However, if you haven’t turned to a staffing firm for assistance for many years or it’s a first, working with a temp agency can bring about many questions.

Here are answers to some of the most common ones people have when getting started:

1. How do I even go about finding a qualified staffing firm?
Obviously, you can do a basic Google search for staffing services in your area, but it’s even better to get referrals. Ask colleagues and others in your network for recommendations. Then, evaluate each temp agency carefully. Talk to each firm and assess their experience, administrative expertise and friendliness. Consider whether the firm provides its temporary professionals with training, because this means candidates are more likely to have up-to-date skills.

2. Are there any warning signs of a bad recruiter?
Steer clear of any staffing firms that leave you feeling confused about fees, billing arrangements and procedures. Pay attention to how they treat candidates, too. There should be no charge to applicants working with a recruiter, not even for skills testing. Also, be wary of any organization that doesn’t return your calls promptly or has limited experience in the staffing business. If your gut instinct tells you to move on, move on.

3. How can I ensure the temporary professionals placed at my company are good matches?
The right temp service should be able to make successful placements. However, you also play a key role. When you’re working with a recruiter, be sure you give a comprehensive list of the job responsibilities and essential qualifications. For instance, even if there’s a slim chance an administrative assistant will need to know Excel, say so. Also mention if it's possible the temporary assignment could transition into a full-time role. The more your contact knows, the easier it will be to place appropriate people at your company.

4. How much notice do I need to give a temp agency about my staffing needs?
Advance notice is ideal, because that gives the staffing service time to carefully evaluate candidates for your situation. However, agencies are used to last-minute requests – you might learn one morning that a key admin is going to be out – and can fill those needs, too.

5. What if a temp isn’t so great?
Sometimes a match just doesn’t work out. If this happens, call your temp service immediately so the situation can be corrected.

6. What if a temp is so great I want to hire the person?
Contact the staffing firm about the next step in the process. It’s not uncommon for clients to be so impressed by temporary administrative professionals that they want to make them part of their internal staff.

Check out the Robert Half FAQs page for responses to some other questions about working with a staffing firm.

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