Your business is important. You have spent countless hours and invested a sizable sum getting it to where it is now. The biggest resource you have is your staff. A staffing agency can be a lifesaver in helping you keep up with staffing your business with top talent but they aren’t miracle workers or mind readers. There are some things that you can do to help the staffing agency you hire do the best job possible.
1. Look For Specialist Knowledge
The first thing you should look for is an agency that has a history of providing talent in your particular industry. Take time to interview the people who will be interviewing and sending out talent. If they don’t have knowledge of what you do, they aren’t going to provide you with the best candidates. There are many subtleties within each industry that can’t be easily explained to someone not familiar with that business. If the recruiter can’t understand your business, they can’t be sure their candidates truly understand it.
2. Be Transparent About Your Needs
Not only should you be as detailed as possible about the skills you are looking for in an employee but you should also be as direct as possible about the kind of person you are looking for. Every business has its own culture. The way in which employees interact with each other can have a positive or negative effect on production. If you are looking for someone who is more laid back and able to work in a family-style environment, say so. If you prefer employees who come in and do what they are assigned, with no socializing during work hours, make that clear also. Skills are important for success but so is fitting into the work environment as quickly as possible.
3. Maximize Your Communication
Don’t simply initiate an employee search and then sit back and wait for the candidates to show up. Keep in touch with your recruiter to let them know of any changes or special timelines you are looking at. Find out what progress has been made and how well they think they can meet your needs in the time frame you are aiming for. Stay available to them and make sure they do the same with you.
4. Be Realistic About the Job Market
Let’s face it, everyone wants employees that are the best of the best. Unfortunately, not everyone can afford to pay these employees market rates. Find out what the job market in your area is paying the kind of employee you are seeking and ask yourself if you can pay the going rate or above. If not, you may have to lower your expectations a bit.
5. Understand Your Options
Find out about all the services an agency has to offer. You may go in planning to hire temporary talent for a special project and find out that they can fill a permanent position you have open. This may also work out the other way. You need to hire a full-time person that has knowledge that will benefit the company all around but also has the special skill set needed for that special project. You may find that someone who would be perfect for the special project is actually only available short-term and that you can save money by going that route. Don’t assume anything. Ask.
6. Have Them Visit Your Office
One of the best ways for an agency to get a feel for your business and the environment a candidate will be working in is to have them come in and see for themselves. Try to work with the recruiter to make this a possibility. If a visit is completely out of the question, be as detailed as possible about the environment of your business.
7. It’s Not me, It’s You
Sometimes things don’t work out with the new employee. The first thing you need to do is figure out where the problem is. Did you not describe your needs well enough or did the agency not listen? Is it possible the employee misrepresented himself somehow during the hiring process and isn’t anything like you or the agency expected? Once you determine where the problem is, speak up. Sit down with the agency and see if you can find a way that the next match will be a better fit. If the problem is that the agency isn’t taking the time to listen, don’t be afraid to look elsewhere.
8. Use Their Resources
Some agencies offer special services to their clients. If these services or resources can be beneficial to you and your business, don’t hesitate to use them. The more resources you have at your disposal, the greater the chance your new employee will be what you need.
9. Develop a Timeline
Determine a set timeline from the beginning. Don’t limit it to when you are hoping to have the position filled. Include regularly scheduled times for you and the recruiter to touch base for updates and progress reports. Make sure the timing is often enough to keep things running smoothly but not so frequently you spend more time checking in then they have to recruit candidates. Setting up a schedule in advance allows both you and them to set aside the needed time without being interrupted or having to keep missing each other.
10. Keep in Touch
Even after an employee has been hired, keep in touch with the staffing agency. By giving them periodic progress reports or updating your requirements as your company grows and changes, you make it possible for them to keep providing you with exactly what you need in the way of employees. It also gives both sides the opportunity to learn from the experience, making each future interaction more fine-tuned and productive.
Summing It Up
The right staffing agency can be the best resource you have when it comes to finding qualified talent that will keep your business on the road to success. As in any relationship, however, it takes cooperation and communication on both sides to make the partnership work. By following the above tips, you greatly increase your chances that this will become a long-term relationship that benefits everyone involved.