The Best Advice When You Work With a Staffing Agency to Hire

A female candidate sits at a table at a recruiting agency

Recruiting firm, staffing agency, temporary placement firm – whatever term you use, these resources can make your hiring process more efficient and result in better hires. And even though a staffing specialist does most of the work for you, your role as a client shouldn't be a completely passive one. The next time you work with an agency, follow this advice for the best results.

Pick the right agency. First things first: Not just any staffing firm will do. Choose to work with an agency that is an expert in the administrative field. A specialized agency will be better able to understand your hiring needs, leading to better, faster results. Plus, specialized staffing agencies have deep networks, including relationships with highly skilled professionals, who, although not actively seeking a new job, may be willing to make a move should the right opportunity come along.

Take the time to talk it through. Unfortunately, simply sending the recruiter the job description usually won't cut it. If hiring the right candidate were as easy as posting an ad yourself, you wouldn't need to work with an agency at all. Often, spending some time to discuss the finer points of the opening with your staffing resource will pay dividends. Be sure your recruiter understands what skills are essential to the role (and which ones are merely nice-to-have), what soft skills the ideal candidate should possess and what your corporate culture is like. Knowing this type of information will help him or her make a better match.

Provide feedback. A recruiter's goal isn't to keep sending candidates your way in hopes one works out. He or she wants to find the right person the first time. If a candidate your contact recommends misses the mark, explain exactly why that was the case. Was it a lack of industry-specific experience? Not enough knowledge of the latest technology? The agency will use this information to identify a better candidate.

Don't delay the process. When you work with an agency, its speed in finding a great candidate for your firm is partly dependent on how quickly your organization is able to move. Sitting on a candidate presented to you by your recruiter only hurts you. If you wait too long, there's a chance the person may have accepted another job and moved on – maybe even to one of your competitors.

When you work with an agency, maintaining an open and honest relationship is key. That means continually communicating with your recruiter to ensure that your needs are being met. After all, you and your staffing agency have the same goal: To find the ideal candidate as quickly as possible.