How to Make the Most of a Staffing Agency Partnership

How to Make the Most of a Staffing Agency Partnership

Working with employment agencies is a wise business decision, as it can help companies manage a rapidly changing business environment and uncertain economic future. As experienced professionals in their field, recruiters can shorten your time-to-hire, reduce the time you spend screening resumes and conducting preliminary interviews, and give you access to passive candidates that you might not otherwise know about.

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Things to consider when selecting a staffing partner:


Find out how long the temporary staffing agency, executive search firm, and/or the particular recruiter you are working with have been in business. Look for stability and longevity. Also, consider the turnover of the recruiters at the firm itself: consistency is key to building a long-term relationship with your recruiting firm, and the recruiting team is a big part of that.

Related Reading: 5 Strategies To Accelerate The Recruitment Process


What are their areas of specialty? Does the firm have experience placing candidates in the functional areas that you view as the most challenging? Do they have experience working with similar organizations and/or on similar programs and projects?

Focus on firms that know recruiting and understand your industry. Be sure that they have placed the calibers of candidates that you need. If you are looking for C-Level executives and they have hired only entry-level professionals, they may not be the best fit for you. Also ensure that they have the expertise needed to evaluate candidates for the function. For example, a technical recruiter needs to be able to accurately gauge the experience and fit of technical candidates.


Do they know the right people? You need a firm with connections. Will you expect them to recruit locally, regionally or nationally? Are they up to the task? What other companies do they work with? Do they have enough bandwidth to take your business on or will you be competing for attention or top candidates?


How does the firm advertise, recruit and screen candidates? You're paying for their expertise. Be sure that they are at least as thorough as you would be. You should be confident that every candidate they bring you fit all of your job requirements and will be a good cultural fit for your company.


What sort of success have they had finding and placing candidates like those you are looking for? How long did it take to fill the position? Is the candidate still employed? What is their typical rate of success filling jobs like yours?

To evaluate a recruiting firm’s experience, you can always ask for testimonials from past clients, for referrals from current clients; or you can review case studies to get an in-depth understanding of the agency’s recruiting methodology.

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Contingency or retainer

Decide whether you prefer the flexibility of a company that works on contingency, or whether you’d prefer the concierge level of service that comes with a recruiter that works on retainer. On contingency, you can send a single posting to multiple recruiters: on retainer, you pay up front but in return, get the full attention of a single recruiter.

Flexible solutions

Some agencies specialize in permanent placements, others in temporary staffing. Make sure that the agency you’re considering has expertise in the kinds of solutions that will be most useful at your company. There are specialty services, too, that may be of interest to companies that are looking for flexible workforce solutions. For example, payroll services allow a client to bring furloughed or laid-off employees back to work without increasing headcount or taking on a long-term commitment.

Related Reading: How to Stay Flexible and Agile While Bringing Furloughed Employees Back to Work

Get the most out of your recruiting partnership by:

Setting clear expectations

Eliminate any misunderstanding by creating detailed job descriptions and working hand-in-hand with your account manager and/or recruiter throughout the process. The better you can clarify your expectations, and create a picture of your ideal candidate, the better the staffing firm can source and screen candidates.

Agreeing on a reasonable time frame

While a staffing agency can cut both cost to hire and time to hire, it is important that all parties have the same expectations on how long it will take to fill an open position. The time frame should be flexible enough to accommodate different functions, at different levels of the organization. For example, it will take longer to fill an executive-level job than an entry-level job; and some technology skills are in such high demand that it extends the recruitment process significantly.

Participating in the process

While a quality staffing agency will relieve you of a large part of the administrative burden of recruiting, it is still critical that you remain involved in the process. The level of involvement will vary depending on the job itself, and on your preferences – but being available to the agency will help to improve collaboration, communication and results.

Sparks Group is a full-service staffing and recruiting firm that prides itself on building long-term relationships with candidates and clients, to truly understand the core values of your business. Sparks Group has 50 years of experience as a staffing industry leader, providing temporary and permanent employment across a number of industries and a variety of sectors. We specialize in rapidly placing quality talent by cultivating relationships with diverse industries and companies.

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Written by Sparks Group Team

Sparks Group Team

View all posts by: Sparks Group Team

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