Why Employment Agencies Can Be Your Best Bet for Staffing Hard-to-Fill Positions

A spiral notebook is open with the words "Solution: Find a recruitment agency!" circled on a page

Sometimes, it's hard to find the perfect candidate for an open position. Actually, let's be honest: If it were ever easy, you wouldn't be reading this right now. Today's high demand for skilled talent is nothing short of frustrating for employers. After all, you created a killer job posting, and you're offering a competitive salary. So why aren't you receiving resumes from the best candidates?

When you can't find top talent on your own, it may be time to seek the help of employment agencies. In fact, even when you think your company can go it alone, there are still good reasons to team with staffing firms. Here are some:

You save time

Research from Robert Half shows that it takes CFOs four to five weeks to fill finance positions. Working with employment agencies can speed up the process by saving your company time and effort involved in posting a position, sifting through resumes, scheduling interviews, speaking with candidates – you know, all the time-consuming recruiting tasks that can easily eat up much of your week (or month!).

If it's tax season, or if you've just acquired new business, you're probably too busy to recruit candidates. But every day you delay the process, the vacant position can stress already over-worked employees, lowering morale and productivity. When you engage a staffing firm, you can help your company better focus its energy on other areas while the agency handles the hiring process.

You save money

Recruiting doesn't just take time, it takes money: Circulating job postings, evaluating applicants and conducting background checks can put a hole in your budget. And if you make a hiring mistake, expenses can really skyrocket. Forty-one percent of hiring managers and HR professionals polled in a Robert Half survey said that a bad hire had cost their company thousands of dollars. Using employment agencies helps minimize such risks. What's more, paying staffing firms an agreed-upon amount takes away the financial uncertainty, guesswork and headaches you'd potentially face related to recruitment expenses were you to handle the process in-house. Plus, the best agencies offer financial guarantees that speak to the quality of the candidates they place.

You gain access to specialized candidates

Many recruitment firms offer a pool of candidates who have the necessary skills to fill a job. Say you're looking for a compliance officer with prior experience working at a regulatory agency. Sure, you can try to find one yourself, but specialized employment agencies will likely already have access to candidates who'll fit the bill. And if they don't, they'll know where to look. At the same time, many agencies offer their candidates all sorts of training to keep their skills current, from compliance courses to continuing professional education (CPE) credits for CPAs.

Furthermore, when evaluating prospective employment agencies, look for ones that have partnered with professional financial associations to provide industry research and resources to clients and candidates. Such groups might include:

Finally, perhaps the most important benefit to working with employment agencies is knowing that you're not in this alone. It's important to continually communicate with a recruitment firm to ensure it's meeting your needs. For instance, if a new hire ends up not being a good fit, let the agency know so it can send a replacement or take steps to make things right. After all, each party has the same goal – to fill positions with the best talent.