Hiring new employees is time consuming and expensive, and these costs increase if you make a bad hire. No matter your company's size, engaging the services of a staffing agency may be just what you need to help achieve your goals. And if you choose a firm that specializes in the field where you're looking for talent, recruiting agencies can also increase your chances of getting the right employee on the first try.
Small companies often lack a human resources department or even an HR professional to provide hiring services internally. That can make it difficult to move quickly enough to compete for top talent. Although there are fees associated with using an agency, working with staffing experts to hire the right person in a short time frame can be more cost-efficient than engaging in a long, drawn-out hiring process — or making a hurried choice. The cost of a bad hire can be especially disastrous for a small company with fewer employees to take up the slack if someone doesn't work out.
Even for big companies with HR staff, a reputable staffing firm can save time and money because of the broad networks of candidates these agencies cultivate. This is particularly important in an age where the specialized talent businesses need most can be hard to find.
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Whether you're looking for a temporary, part-time or full-time employee, a top-ranked staffing agency helps you find the best candidates, advises you on staffing through the inevitable ups and downs in your business, and serves as your long-term partner for recruiting and hiring. A recruitment agency does more than file an online job posting and schedule interviews with candidates. The most valuable staffing services are proactive in seeking candidates in your area.
To get the most from working with a staffing agency, consider these six tips.
1. Look for insider expertise
If you're an accounting firm, you'll get the most out of an agency specializing in placing accountants, bookkeepers and tax professionals. If you work at a creative firm, you want to find designers, developers and creatives with industry experience. Often the agency's recruiters worked in positions similar to those they now place. Their industry knowledge and expertise helps ensure that candidates and employers are well-matched. A candidate from a specialized firm often does the job more quickly and accurately than a lower-cost candidate from a general staffing firm.
2. Be direct about your needs
Clearly communicate your company's requirements and timetable for bringing someone on board. It's also a good idea for your agency representatives to see your workplace firsthand. This experience provides them with a better sense of your company's culture, the work environment and, most importantly, the type of person likely to excel with your organization. They're also able to advise you on whether temporary, part-time or full-time employees will best suit your needs. Some agencies are uniquely qualified to provide guidance about a flexible staffing strategy. Not every job requires a full-time worker. Engaging interim professionals through a reputable staffing services firm allows you to address workload peaks and gain access to specialized expertise — and pay for it — for only as long as you need it.
3. Streamline your hiring process
It's possible a great potential employee may never come across your job posting. The best recruitment agencies have broad networks and keep the resumes of thousands of skilled local professionals on file. That's why, upon seeing your needs for a position, agencies can provide you with a candidate who's closer to the right fit than you could likely find on your own. They also save you the time of wading through resumes from unqualified applicants.
In addition to seeking out your perfect employee, recruitment agencies handle the most time-consuming aspects of the hiring process, including the initial interview, skills testing and reference checks. And because staffing specialists devote their workday to finding staffing solutions, they're able to move a lot faster. If you go it alone, the job search can proceed only as fast as your schedule allows. When you use a recruiting agency, you don't have to take valuable time away from your core responsibilities until you're presented with A-list candidates.
4. Establish follow-up
Your work with a recruitment agency shouldn't end when an employee accepts your job offer. Specialized staffing firms have a stake in the success of both parties. Keep recruiters informed of any changes in your requirements. After an employee comes on board, review that person's progress with the agency several times during his or her first weeks on the job. Maintaining communication and providing feedback allows the recruiter to better understand how to serve you and make the right hires.
5. Take action if things go sour
In many cases, recruiting agencies have worked with a candidate on a temporary or consultative basis. This gives staffing specialists a good idea whether the potential employee will be able to perform to your standards and mesh with the office culture. Despite everyone's best efforts, every now and then a hire will not work out. In this situation, first determine whether the worker wasn't a match or whether the agency itself was a bad fit for you. How the staffing agency responds to such problems will tell you a lot: Does it shirk responsibility or work with you to find a solution? Never hesitate to sever ties with unsatisfactory staffing agencies.
6. Tap agency resources
If the staffing agency provides training resources to its registered candidates, encourage your employees to make use of them. This training ensures you get a capable worker with a wide-reaching skill set and industry specialization. The professionals can augment their on-the-job skills for free, and that benefits everyone involved. New blood in the office can infuse new ideas and outlooks. An interim professional brought in for skills not available internally can impart a degree of specialized knowledge to full-time staff as he or she goes about the job.
By working with a staffing agency, you can achieve your business goals and find the ideal staff for your organization — and save time and money in the process.
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