Print this Post


Hiring employees is a considerable investment of time and money for any industry. As the economy is on the up-swing and the number of qualified employees is shrinking, it is time for companies to re-evaluate how they choose a staffing firm.

It is important that an agency helps a company meet their productivity goals, safety goals, attrition goals, and of course budget. This is only possible through thoroughly vetting a potential staffing partner.

Choosing a firm that specializes in providing employees specific to your industry is paramount. If your company uses different departments such as skilled trades, engineering, legal, etcetera; it is well advised that you choose separate agencies specializing in those functions.

While most staffing agencies still provide on-demand temporary employees, there are also firms which have evolved into full-service agencies, focusing not only on your company’s goals but also providing an invaluable extension of your human resources department. These agencies are typically local or operate within a specific region. Of course any agency is only as good as the office that handles your account and/or your location.

A staffing firm whose focus is to be a partner and a consultant will have questions for you as well. From the predictable questions such as: Do you have seasonal personnel needs and/or specific project needs? What is most important to you in a staffing service? To: Why is your company a great place to work? Which attributes other than skill sets make an employee a good fit for your company?

A staffing firm’s charges are based on several factors, not just the employee’s wages. A firm should take into account the anticipated cost of recruiting based on pay, location, skill level, pre-employment requirements that you have agreed upon, number of employees and additional services that you may require.

National Contracts may be optional in most cases, if you are able to present facts that a national agency is not providing your company with needed services. Provide examples, the length of time this has continued and your efforts to work with the agency. In most cases your corporate office will contact the contracted agency to rectify the situation or approve a new or additional service.   It is a universal clause in contracts from staffing agencies to uniform services that a client may elect to seek a different provider for a location if the national agency cannot provide services as agreed upon.



Eight Questions Every Hiring Manager Should Ask.



  • What is your experience in our industry?


  • What percentage of your placements is similar to other companies, even local competitors?


  • What percentage of your placements is contract to hire?


  • How much notice do you need to respond to a request for employees?


  • What exactly are your agency’s procedures for filling orders or responding to supervisors after hours?


  • What makes you different than other similar agencies?


  • What are your achievements?


The agency should have no problem answering these questions. Look for more than just “stock” answers.


  • What questions do you ask applicants during an interview?


Although it does seem unbelievable, some agencies do not formal interviews or interviews at all.

Were you satisfied with their answers, perhaps impressed?   Ask to see a completed application.


How do you determine if a candidate is the right fit for your clients? 


The answer should be based on company’s requirements. As important, the agency should take in to account what the employee is looking for in shift, position, pay, and location. Trying to fit a square peg into a round hole rarely works out well.


How would you determine if a candidate is a good fit for my company?


The answers to these questions should tell whether they have paid attention to what you have told them specifically about your company. As important, they took note of your employees, supervisors, equipment, safety signs and job function.   This shows they are already trying to get a feel for your company’s culture. As well, the agency should tell you that every new client is unique; there will be a learning process at the beginning.


What current trends and recruiting challenges have you seen in the market in the last year?


The agency should provide accurate, useful and enlightening information. Partner with a staffing agency you can trust as a strategic advisor for your company and that you can trust enough to allow them access to learning about your business and culture. An agency’s number one goal should be to partner with your company and commit to being a trusted asset, providing more than just a “number of bodies” to your company.


What factors would cause you to decline partnering with a prospective company?


No one agency can be everything to every company. These reasons may vary from pay, mark-up, expectations, safety or other factors. A reputable agency will tell a prospective client up front they are not the best choice for their company and why. Ask for an example of a time when they have had to do that.


Do you expect your rates to be higher, lower, or the same as other agencies that we may consider?


Do not make a decision based on the lowest rate. After reviewing the agencies, make a decision based on the firm you believe will bring the most value to your company. An agency that does not provide the number of employees you need when you need them, has a high attrition rate, and does not send the quality employees agreed upon can cost you up to four times as much as a specialized agency.


Jill Fridley
Hire Source Staffing


Permanent link to this article: http://cscmpaz.org/what-to-consider-when-selecting-a-staffing-agency/