Staying Fully Staffed Part IV: Staffing Agencies

Quit relying solely on passive recruiting, such as job boards; put staffing agencies to work. If you’ve not engaged the services of a staff agency you are seriously behind your competition. As Business News Daily points out, staffing agencies offer fast hiring, labor flexibility, and reduced risk for employers. These companies have the resources and systems in place to find you appropriate candidates to interview. You can either pay a flat fee, or better, pay a premium on their hourly wage for a certain period of time (usually measured in months). An agency should screen these applicants for specific skills, amount of experience, training, background checks, initial drug screens, references, reliability, etc.

By using “temps”, or workers hired through the staffing agency, you can see how they perform before you hire them. If you like them, complete the contract with the agency and hire them full time. If they don’t work out, have them replaced. Don’t be surprised if they agency recruiters make suggestions to you regarding hiring criteria or potential personnel who may not have all the required boxes checked on their resume. Good companies know what types of workers will do well in certain roles and work environments. Listen to their advice. A good recruiter will also let you know up front if your pay scale is competitive or not.

Use more than one agency if necessary, but only add agencies one at a time if the prior one is not providing adequate results. The last thing you need to do is start out with 3 agencies a few positions and have too many candidates presented to you. The staffing agencies lose money if their work is not resulting in your company using them enough. Start with one agency and see how they do. If they are not up to the task, seek out another one. Also keep in mind that some agencies specialize in certain types of industries, so find out which one service your industry.

Go out and find people. Have you considered a job fair? A one day job fair, well publicized in advance at an easily identifiable location, can bring many qualified applicants. Advertise via all venues: newspapers, social media (if you have a robust social media presence), signage, unemployment offices, even TV, billboards, and radio if you have the time and budget.

If you are sufficiently computer savvy, check out online discussion forums for specific types of workers. These are web locations where industry-specific workers meet to chat and discuss work conditions, pay training opportunities, and everything else related to their work. Dropping an ad on the right location can be a very effective use of time and resources. As points out, recruiting at these locations means you may have less competition for prospects.

Finally, if you haven’t already done so, check out your local employment offices and job training programs. Sometimes a not-for-profit organization fills this niche. Near SMC’s location Goodwill Industries performs an admirable job doing this. Sometimes these programs are a collaborative effort involving local colleges, industries, churches, government agencies, and charitable foundations, such as the Markle Foundation. Look in your area to see what is going on, you might be pleasantly surprised.

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