Employers: Tips for choosing the right staffing agency

Consider these questions as you decide between staffing vendors.

To be successful in business, you need to work with people who understand your company's vision. Consider these questions as you decide between staffing vendors:

Has the agency worked with similar clients before?

Evaluating a staffing agency has many similarities to appraising potential hires. For instance, if you were hiring for a webmaster position, you would expect the candidate to have experience in a directly related field. The same rule applies here. As you compare agencies, look for organizations that have provided talent for businesses similar to your own.

In the process of carrying out their responsibilities, recruiters learn a lot about the industries they hire for, which means they develop a level of industry expertise. Experienced recruiters often have a robust network of prospects which they have developed and continue to grow. By working with an agency with experience in your industry, there's less groundwork to do before you can start fielding applicants.

Does your corporate culture match the agency's?

Corporate culture may seem like a buzzword that gets thrown around a lot, but it's a complex subject that impacts your organization's hiring strategy. For instance, corporate culture influences how leaders recognize and reward performance, according to Chris Barbin, Forbes Technology Council member and CEO of Appirio.

"Companies are right to scrutinize and continuously review their entire supply chain, particularly staffing partners," says Charlie Cain, Managing Director of Beacon Hill's Associates Division. "Our clients want to know who they are doing business with at all times. All vendors should be supportive of their mission and aligned with their core values. High quality staffing agencies distinguish themselves by treating their internal employees and contractors at the same high standards of their clients."

If your culture takes a wildly different approach to talent recognition compared to your staffing vendor, problems could arise down the road. As you decide between agencies, ask questions about their talent management policies and learn as much as you can about how the vendor fosters relationships with job seekers.

Corporate culture alignment ensures a consistent approach to talent acquisition.

Does the applicant network match your talent needs?

Though the internet allows recruiters to connect with applicants across the country, each agency still has a distinct network of prospects. Depending on the size of the staffing organization, its network may extend across several diverse pools of talent. However, hiring managers should still take the time to evaluate an agency's network before deciding to work with the organization.

This step is especially important for reaching prospective employees who possess specialized skills. A staffing firm may have many candidates but few with the skills you need. As you choose between agencies, ask about the vendor's proactive approach to finding talent. Does it already have connections to the people you need? Or will it have to start a fresh search?

Does the staffing agency foster good relationships with candidates?

How the job seeker feels about the staffing agency has a direct impact on how they view your company. If prospects have a great experience with their recruiters, they may look more favorably upon your organization.

The opposite may also hold true. Remember, your hiring practices contribute to your employer brand. When you choose to work with vendors that treat applicants with respect, it generates positive associations with your corporate brand. "The candidate experience is an overlooked and undervalued piece of the puzzle," says Mike Boyles, Division Manager of Beacon Hill's National Security Division. "One empathetic recruiter who takes the time to truly understand a candidate's needs and how they can best be paired with an employer can make a world of difference."

Check out reviews of staffing agencies to learn what candidates are saying about them. If you see glowing reviews, it's a good indicator that potential hires feel supported by their recruiters.

Can the agency provide for your long-term staffing needs?

As your business changes and grows, so will your staffing requirements. Today, you may need a handful of entry-level workers. Tomorrow, you could be hiring for the C-suite. A staffing agency with comprehensive services will be able to meet your talent needs as they evolve.

As you approach a conversation with a potential staffing agency, make sure it understands your company's long-term goals. With a vision of growth in place at the beginning of the relationship, you'll see more opportunities for successful hires at every stage of the partnership. "The best organizations focus on long-term planning and fostering relationships for continued success," says Mr. Boyles. "I have always been a firm believer in the importance of quality versus quantity and demonstrating a true partnership between groups. This allows complete trust and accountability on both sides."

To learn more about how a staffing agency can meet your talent needs, contact the experts at Beacon Hill Staffing Group today.

This content is brought to you by the Marketing Team at Beacon Hill Staffing Group.

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