A staffing agency is a business that helps its clients to fill job vacancies and assists companies in sourcing the best candidates for their needs. Basically, recruitment agencies act as intermediaries between companies and job seekers.

Their main task is to connect the most suitable candidates to positions that organizations need to fill. 

As a company that is looking to onboard new employees, a staffing agency can be incredibly helpful. 

You can save time and money on the hiring process. And, as long as you partner with the right staffing agencies, you can ensure the right candidates are selected and screened for your vacancies. 

If your company has not partnered with recruitment agencies before, it is important that you give the process careful consideration before choosing agencies.

The following guide will tell you precisely what you need to know before engaging staffing agencies.

You should understand how recruitment agencies function

Hiring the right candidates is, of course, essential. Therefore, you need to ensure that you hire the right staffing agencies. Before you first begin engaging with staffing agencies, it is important that you spend time determining what your needs are. 

You should then understand how the staffing agency that you are considering hiring functions. That will enable you to ensure you pick the right match for your company’s needs. 

When you first contact a recruitment agency, find out precisely how it works. The more probing questions you ask, the more you can determine whether the agency can fulfill your needs. 

So, ask things like:

  • How many years of experience do you have?
  • What roles have you previously fulfilled in my industry?
  • Can you tell me about recent case studies?
  • How quickly, on average, can you fill vacancies? 
  • Do you have testimonials from other clients you can share?

A reputable staffing agency will take the time to answer your questions and comprehensively understand your business requirements. 

Once you have had an initial consultation with a prospective staffing agency, you should better understand its overall working methods. You will then be able to determine whether the agency is a good fit for your company. 

You should provide recruitment agencies with as many details as possible

You not only need to find out as many details as possible from a prospective staffing agency. It is also important that you provide the agency with as many details about your company and the positions you need to fill as possible. 

In turn, the staffing agency will be in a better position to find the exact right candidates on your behalf. 

So, make sure you provide details to an agency that you want to partner with such as:

  • Your hiring budget.
  • The salary and benefits you offer to staff.
  • The precise job requirements for your specific open positions.

It is vital that you understand how recruitment agencies charge for their services

This may sound like a no-brainer, but if you have not worked with recruitment agencies before, it is definitely worth pointing out.

You need to understand how any staffing agency you are considering partnering with charges for its services. 

The majority of staffing agencies do not charge their clients until the right candidates are found.

It is important that you go with an agency that works in that way. If you do not, you could end up wasting money. 

Know what methods recruitment agencies utilize to recruit candidates

Before your initial consultation, you will want to ensure that any staffing agency you consider going with works within your industry. 

Just as important is finding out what methods an agency uses to recruit candidates for your vacancies.

After all, it is important that your vacancy reaches a large number of suitable candidates. 

The best recruitment agencies advertise roles through various channels, including on-premises job boards, online job boards, the agency’s website, and social media channels. 

Consider whether you should go with specialist recruitment agencies

If your company works in a niche industry, you might want to consider choosing a staffing agency that specializes in your specific industry.

But there are advantages and disadvantages of going with a specialist recruitment agency. 

A big plus is that a specialist agency will know your market well. It will have the experience required to find the right professionals for your vacancies. In turn, you can hire the best people, and hire them quickly. 

However, your company probably has a wide variety of roles to fulfill, such as human resources professionals, admin assistants, sales staff, cleaners, and so on.

Therefore, it could be worthwhile going with a staffing agency that can recruit for all of your vacancies, as that will enable you to save time and money. 

Though, depending on your industry and your specific requirements, you could choose to work with two or more recruitment agencies to hire people for different types of roles.

Ensure the recruitment agencies you select use systems that you can integrate with your own

One thing that many companies overlook when engaging staffing agencies, but which is actually crucial, is ensuring systems and processes are compatible. 

It is imperative that the agency you choose uses management software systems and other systems that can integrate with your own workforce management platforms

Your company and the staffing agency you select should use systems that enable you to streamline processes, automate tasks, and track performance.

You can then ensure your overall efficiency is robust and you can save time and money. 

Make sure the recruitment agencies you choose are legally compliant

You will want to avoid running into any legal issues. So, make sure that the staffing agency you choose has systems in place to ensure it is legally compliant.

For instance, you should understand how an agency protects your data and the data of job seekers. 

Often, that can be as simple as ensuring the agency you partner with uses the right software systems.

The best agencies utilize recruitment software that helps maintain data and security compliance with local and international regulators. 

Select recruitment agencies that will enable you to retain top talent

When looking for a staffing agency to partner with, it is not only important that the agency can find the right people for your positions. It is also important that the agency can help you find employees that will stay with your company in the long run. 

Having a high level of employee retention means you can save on costs in the long run and hire people who will be invested in your company. 

So, make sure you hire a staffing agency that you can build a long-standing relationship with, rather than one that is only interested in quick commercial gains. It will then be easier to retain top talent.

Determine whether the recruitment agencies can provide you with a dedicated point of contact

One important thing that many companies overlook when looking for recruitment agencies to partner with is ensuring they have dedicated points of contact. That means your company should be able to work with one person at the staffing agency from start to finish. 

If you end up dealing with multiple people, things could get lost in translation and your recruitment strategy could fail. 

For instance, one person at the staffing agency could know what your precise recruitment requirements are. But another may use a more general approach to find candidates on your behalf. In turn, that can lead to problems, such as not getting appropriate people for your vacancies. 

Ideally, you should look for an agency with which you have one prime contact. That person should understand what your business is all about and what your precise recruitment requirements are. 

Your company should still screen candidates, even when you partner with the right recruitment agencies

Staffing agencies can help you reduce the time and money it would take to hire candidates directly and provide you with other benefits. But it is important that your company still screens candidates. 

The recommended talent that an agency puts your way might not actually suit your requirements for the positions. At the end of the day, you know your company best. 

So, you need to ensure people you hire do not only have the professional skills and traits required for the roles. You also need to make sure the people you hire are a good match for your company culture and will fit in well with your other employees. 

By partnering with the right staffing agency and communicating well with the agency, you can better ensure the agency selects the right staff in the first place. But you should still ensure your HR department screens candidates, as the buck stops with your company. 

Do not be afraid of changing recruitment agencies 

Even after you have considered all of the above points before partnering with a staffing agency, it is possible that the agency you select is not as successful in finding the right employees for your company as you would like. 

Recruitment agencies could be unsuccessful for various reasons. They could lack the necessary skills and resources or external factors could come into play. 

Agencies could also fail to negotiate convincingly with candidates, fail to modernize their hiring approach or fail in their branding and marketing techniques. 

That is why it is so essential that you take various factors into consideration, such as ensuring the agency uses the latest software and posts job ads in multiple places before you hire a staffing agency. 

But if you partner with an agency and then find out that it is not successful in catering to your needs and finding quality candidates for your company, you always have the option to change the agency you work with. 

Therefore, you should bear that in mind before signing contracts with recruitment agencies. 

You should be able to easily let your agency go if it is not fulfilling your requirements. There are sure to be other staffing agencies that can provide you with the professionalism and success rate that you are after. 

Find recruitment agencies that are easy to work with

Lastly, it should go without saying that you should find a staffing agency that is easy to work with. Yes, that means ensuring the agency ticks all of the boxes for all of the factors listed above. But it also means going with your gut feeling. 

After all, many recruitment agencies will tick all of your boxes. But the human element and how you simply feel about different agencies can be the determining factor for making your final choice with regard to which agency or agencies you choose to go with. 

The agency’s staff should be friendly and professional, and it is best to go with an agency with which you can build a good rapport. 

You can then avoid having to change the staffing agencies you use over time. Instead, you can have a dedicated agency that will work hard on your behalf to find the right candidates for your company and the precise positions for which you have vacancies. 

Summing Up

You should now be well-prepared for finding the right staffing agencies to partner with. 

Just make sure that you look at your company’s specific requirements and the exact things you need from a recruitment agency before you begin your search. 

The more preparation work you do for finding the right agency, the more you can be sure you will find the right one. 

So, before engaging with potential staffing agencies, make sure that you:

  • Understand how the staffing agency functions.
  • Provide the staffing agency with as many details about your company’s needs as possible.
  • Understand how the staffing agency charges for its services.
  • Know what methods the staffing agency utilizes to recruit candidates.
  • Consider whether you should go with a specialist staffing agency.
  • Ensure the staffing agency you select uses systems that you can integrate with your own.
  • Make sure the staffing agency you choose is legally compliant.
  • Select a staffing agency that will enable you to retain top talent.
  • Determine whether the staffing agency can provide you with a dedicated point of contact.
  • Screen candidates yourself, even when you partner with the right staffing agency.
  • Are not afraid of changing staffing agencies.
  • Find a staffing agency that is easy to work with.

It could also be beneficial to check out these best recruitment practices for businesses.