It's important to note the distinction between working with a general employment agency and a specialized administrative staffing firm to secure new talent. The goal of a specialized staffing firm is about more than just staffing job openings for clients; it's to collaborate with them and serve as an adviser for their hiring needs.
"What sets a specialized staffing firm apart from a traditional agency is that we take a more comprehensive approach to finding the right candidates," says metro market manager Damian Garcia. "For us, assessing a client's needs means digging deeper to find out what hard and soft skills are important for the position. We work with clients to help them find administrative assistants whose qualifications meet the needs of the position in its entirety."
To get the most benefit from working with an administrative staffing firm, it's important to know how to effectively collaborate with a recruiter. Here are more tips for employers from some of other OfficeTeam staffing professionals:
Invest in the process
Luke Stratmann, Robert Half branch manager: "Sometimes, an employer will reach out to me with an urgent need, and all they can provide is a nuts-and-bolts job description. If I ask them to help me understand the nature and scope of the position and/or conduct a field visit to observe the dynamics of the office, their initial reaction is that there's no time for that."
"What they may not understand is I've already done most of the time-consuming recruitment work before they've contacted me. If they're willing to invest in the process, not only will I be able to staff the position more quickly, but the candidate I find for them will be a better match for their needs.
"Once a client sees that I can deliver on this, they understand that my goal is to establish a long-term relationship with them, where they see us as a value-add and not just a quick solution for an urgent hiring need. There's a big difference there."
Know that the candidates your staffing firm finds for you are a cut above the rest
Laura Ayers, Robert Half assistant vice president: "We have a broad database of cream-of-the-crop administrative assistants who've already been interviewed and rigorously evaluated using our CustomMatch process. When a client contacts us with a need, we use proprietary technology to quickly identify our candidates who match what the employer is looking for in a matter of minutes."
"Many times, we've placed these same candidates with other employers, so we know their work styles and personalities. Add to that the fact that we personally guarantee every candidate and will replace someone at no charge to the hiring manager if he or she contacts us within the first eight hours. There's no reason to doubt that the candidate we've found will not only meet but exceed expectations."
Continue to use your staffing firm contact as a consultant
Ian Gainor, branch manager: "My involvement with a client doesn't stop with finding a candidate for them. I'm also here to provide information on how to retain their best employees and answer any staff management questions they may have."
"We have many resources such as the annual Salary Guide and Salary Calculator, which have information about the latest compensation and hiring trends in the administrative profession. We also have tools to help managers assess their employees' work style so they can determine the best approach for managing them.
"Clients can reach out to me to provide further skills assessments when they're thinking of converting a temporary worker to full time. Likewise, if they want to promote a receptionist to an administrative assistant position, I can provide free training for the employee to sharpen his or her skill set. Whatever the client's needs are, I'm here for them."
Cyndi Karapogosian, senior regional vice president: "The benefit for clients who work with a specialized staffing firm is threefold."
"One, it saves them the cost of having to run a job posting for several weeks and keeps them from having to use internal resources to evaluate candidates.
"Two, it reduces the risk of making a bad hire because we have the time and resources to evaluate candidates more thoroughly than clients can on their own.
"And three, since we can find clients a highly skilled candidate in a matter of days or hours instead of weeks, there's no loss in productivity.
"For these reasons, our clients, most of which had never worked with a specialized staffing firm before contacting OfficeTeam, rely on us to help build their administrative staff."