4 Signs Your Technical Staffing Agency Isn't Working Out

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A technical staffing agency can save you time and money by helping you connect with the skilled IT talent you need to support your organization's technology initiatives. Not exactly sure how staffing agencies, recruiters, employment agencies and staffing firms differ? There are subtle differences, but most people consider the terms virtually synonymous. What they have in common is that they all find job candidates for client firms for a fee.

How can you be sure that the technical staffing agency you're working with is providing real value? Here are four signs there might be a problem:

1. It sends you candidates who are not the right technical fit. This one's obvious, but it needs to be emphasized. You want a staffing specialist who can look beyond the resume and determine how a candidate has applied his or her technical skills in the real world to benefit firms just like yours. If your technical staffing agency is in the habit of sending you people who lack the technical know-how you require, you should look for a new staffing resource.

2. It sends you candidates who are not the right fit for your corporate culture. Fitting in with the company culture can be just as important as having the right technical chops. Hiring a person with well-developed interpersonal skills (such as tact and diplomacy) and soft skills (such as critical thinking, leadership and communication abilities) is key to ensuring productive collaboration with others. If a new hire doesn't mesh well with your team, chances are he or she won't work out. An ideal technical staffing agency will build a relationship with you to truly understand the types of professionals who are most likely to succeed with your organization.

3. It doesn't understand the technology industry. You want to work with a staffing firm that understands technology as well as you do. Why? One reason is because a technical staffing agency that's up-to-date on the latest industry trends has a better understanding of the employment market, including which skill sets are most difficult to find and how to woo in-demand professionals. Such a firm can also serve as a strategic adviser to your organization, helping you not only staff open positions, but also determine exactly how many people you'll need, with what skills and for how long.

4. Its customer service is not up to par. Instead of making your job easier, is your technical staffing agency making it more difficult? You need an agency that is responsive to your needs and is there when you need it. When you call with questions, is the firm quick to get back to you? Do they keep you in the loop about search progress and results? These are all key traits you want in a technical staffing agency.

Relying on a firm that doesn't provide the right level of support is bad for business. It can undermine your ability to complete IT projects on time and leave you unsure of whether work will be satisfactorily completed. A revolving door for interim IT talent can also be disruptive to your core staff's productivity and morale. It's important to find a staffing agency that is a good fit for your organization -- it could make all the difference in your recruiting process.