6 Tips for Getting Big Benefits by Using a Staffing Agency

By Robert Half July 3, 2019 at 8:45am

Bringing aboard new employees is time-consuming and expensive, and these costs increase if you make a bad hire. Engaging the services of a staffing agency such as Robert Half may be just what you need to help achieve your goals. And you can increase your chances of finding a candidate who is the right match for the job and your organization — on the first try — by choosing a reputable staffing firm that specializes in the field where you’re looking for talent. 

There are benefits of using a staffing agency for companies of all sizes. Small firms, for example, can compete more effectively for top talent. These businesses often lack a human resources department or even an HR professional on staff, so they don’t have dedicated resources for finding and securing great hires.

Staffing agencies help bigger companies save time and money by letting them tap into the broad networks of job candidates the specialized recruiters cultivate. Those connections are particularly important in today’s hiring environment, where skilled talent is in high demand and hard to find.

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 ripple effects of a poor hiring decision can be especially disastrous for companies or departments where there are fewer employees to pick up the slack.

The potential to build a long-term relationship

So, what are other benefits of using a staffing agency that your business might expect? A recruiting firm not only helps you find the best candidates but also advises you on staffing strategies to support your company through inevitable ups and downs. By working with the right firm, you have the opportunity to gain a long-term partner for recruiting and hiring — one that truly understands your business. That’s true whether you’re looking for temporary or full-time employees.

Temporary or seasonal placements — Interim employees are a go-to staffing solution for many companies when they don’t need to hire full-time replacements. You might engage skilled professionals to cover for team members who are on medical leave, for example. Or you might want to provide extra support to your core team during hectic and work-heavy times of the year, like tax time or summer vacation season.

A staffing agency can also connect your business with temporary-to-full-time employees. The arrangement begins with a short-term assignment that has the potential to lead to longer-term employment. During this initial trial period, your company has a firsthand opportunity to evaluate a worker’s skills as they tackle your projects. And you also see just how well the person fits into your office culture. This approach is another way that a staffing firm can help your business avoid making a costly bad hire.

Full-time hiring — When you need to expand your full-time roster of employees quickly, a specialized staffing agency makes the recruiting process for those professionals more efficient. Staffing experts help your internal hiring team (even if that’s just you!) cover more ground, faster. They can launch a search for skilled candidates, evaluate applicants, and reduce the time and stress caused by many other aspects of hiring a new employee. They even assess organizational culture fit to help your firm find a candidate who’s a solid match with your team.

Long-term consultants — An option that Robert Half offers beyond the arrangements described above is access to skilled consultants for long-term and recurring needs. Our Salaried Professional Service is an innovative staffing solution where we place our full-time project consultants with your company. These consultants can assume vital roles on lengthy projects for as long as needed to help ensure business continuity. You can also work with the same consultant again and again for cyclical projects, like year-end reconciliations, and benefit from someone you already know and have seen on the job.

Whatever your hiring needs might be today — or in the future — apply the following strategies to reap the most benefits of using a staffing agency:

1. 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 gives them a better sense of your corporate culture, the work environment and, most importantly, the type of person who’s likely to excel with your organization.

That knowledge also helps the recruiter advise you on whether temporary, part-time or full-time employees will best suit your needs. Some staffing 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 firm allows you to address workload peaks and gain access to specialized expertise — and pay for it only as long as you need it.

2. Look for insider expertise

If you’re an accounting firm, you’ll get the most from an agency that focuses on placing accountants, bookkeepers and tax professionals. And if you work at a creative firm, you want to find designers, developers and marketers with industry experience. Often, a staffing agency’s recruiters are people who worked in positions similar to those they now place. Their industry knowledge and expertise helps them find great matches between employers and candidates. A candidate from a specialized firm often does the job more quickly and accurately than a lower-cost candidate from a general staffing firm.

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3. Streamline your hiring process

It’s possible a great potential employee may never come across your job posting. That’s less of a worry when you work with recruiters. Among the key benefits of using a staffing agency is the fact that the best firms 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 firms handle the most time-consuming aspects of the hiring process, including the initial interview, skills testing and reference checks. And because these specialists devote their workday to finding staffing solutions, they’re able to move a lot faster. If you go it alone, the job search proceeds 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. Stay in touch

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 their progress with the agency several times during their 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 for your company. 

5. Take action if things aren’t working

In many cases, recruiting agencies have already worked with a candidate on a temporary or consultative basis. That gives staffing specialists a good idea as to whether the potential employee can perform to your standards and mesh with your office culture. Despite everyone’s best efforts, sometimes a hire will not work out. In this situation, first determine whether the worker wasn’t a match or if the agency itself was a bad fit for you.

How a staffing agency responds to such problems will tell you a lot: Does it shirk responsibility? Or do they work with you to find a solution? Robert Half, for instance, offers a service guarantee. If you’re not satisfied, contact your staffing manager within the first eight hours of the assignment and we’ll send you a replacement. And you won’t be billed for the unsatisfactory hours.

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 helps you get a capable worker with a wide-ranging skill set and industry specialization. The professionals can augment their on-the-job skills for free, and that benefits everyone involved. New people in the office can infuse new ideas and perspectives. A temporary professional brought in for skills not available internally can impart a degree of specialized knowledge to full-time staff as they go about their job.

There are myriad benefits of using a staffing agency your business can experience. But the overall value of building a solid working relationship with a reputable firm is that you have access to staffing experts who not only help you find the right mix of talent to achieve your business goals but also save you time and money.

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