What is a staffing agency and what services do they offer
A staffing agency is an independent business, similar to a local business or a professional service firm, that represents a range of organizations in the hiring process; typically firms of various sizes and industries. The key difference is that staffing agencies are non-competitive in nature – the fees they charge for their services are based on one fixed price rather than on individual rates set by customers. Originating in Europe and the United States, in recent years the staffing industry has grown significantly worldwide and today is one of the fastest-growing sectors of the economy. According to research from Randstad Holding, an international staffing services firm with 38,000 offices in 56 countries, almost 4 billion workers will change employers globally over the next three years.
In a survey of the global staffing industry, Randstad estimated that the global market for staffing services will be worth US$267 billion in 2007, which represents an increase of 19% since 2003. As a result of this growth and the resulting demand for skilled professionals, the temporary employment industry has become one of the fastest-growing sectors within the economy.
The benefits of working with a staffing agency
There are a number of reasons why firms should choose to work with a staffing agency for their hiring needs, including competitive pricing, direct labor cost savings and access to specialized manpower. Staffing agencies can help companies make the best possible use of their workforce by using their systems and resources to analyze staffing needs, optimize existing staff levels and develop new resources. Staffing agencies also offer access to a large network of qualified workers, as well as experienced managers who are familiar with the employment laws in a company’s industry.
1. Competitive pricing
Many companies prefer the competitive pricing of a staffing agency over the expense and maintenance costs of having their own staff. Through staffing agency relationships, companies enjoy flexibility in project and labor needs, which can save them money in the long term. Staffing agencies offer premium talent at competitive prices, allowing clients to focus on their core business instead of recruiting and training new employees. Agencies also keep detailed information on wages, experience levels and skill sets to ensure they match qualified candidates to client needs within a specific timeframe.
2. Direct labor cost savings
How to find the best staffing agency for your needs
The best staffing agency will offer a range of services tailored to the needs of individual clients, including extended recruiting services, skills assessment testing and access to professionals who specialize in a particular industry. The staffing agency itself should also be easy to work with and responsive to any issues that may arise throughout the hiring process. Companies can find a number of firms that meet these criteria by doing an online search or asking current employees which firms they prefer to work with.
Finding a Good Staffing Agency
A staffing agency can be an invaluable resource for both small businesses and large corporations, allowing them to meet their staffing needs without having to invest time or money in finding and training new employees. Many firms work with several agencies at once to ensure that they can fill any position at a moment’s notice without making any long-term commitments. Choosing the right agency is essential to ensuring that the relationship is a successful one and that companies get the best possible candidates for their open positions.
Tips for interviewing with a staffing agency
Many companies are hesitant to hire from a staffing agency because of concerns about the integrity of the hiring process. While it is important to maintain a degree of skepticism during the initial interview, it is often possible for the client to gauge whether or not the staffing agency itself is capable of delivering results. Many firms speak highly of their relationship with their current provider, while others report having had some minor issues with service provision. The best method of determining the quality of the staffing agency’s services is to call, write or visit the site in question and ask questions about the staff and their experience, as well as how they are able to handle existing clients’ hiring needs. While it is important to be open-minded, it is also wise to be prepared for questions when speaking with a staffing agency rep.
1. How long has the staffing firm been in operation?
2. How many people have been placed and/or hired through the firm?
3. Is there a manager or supervisor with whom you can speak? If so, request this individual’s business card and take down that person’s contact information and job title before you hang up.
4. Why is the staffing agency placing you with this client? Does the staffing agency specialize in placement within your specific industry?
What to expect after you’re hired by a staffing agency
After the hiring process is complete, the client should expect a warm welcome from their new employee, who will be well versed in the ins-and-outs of their new workplace. Today’s staffing agencies are also equipped with a number of systems that help to ensure that new hires are both qualified for the job and receive appropriate training. Some agencies also provide ongoing coaching throughout the course of an employee’s career, as well as personalized service that extends to office or factory needs.
This is where I part company with the usual industry complaints against staffing agencies, which focus on the high cost of hiring a temp or even an intern from a staffing agency. I believe that dearth of workers is not the problem. Also, it’s important to remember that outsourcing of these services to staffing agencies does not necessarily mean lower costs for clients, but it does mean higher costs for all involved in the recruitment process.
In fact, staffing agencies provide a benefit that many of their clients do not take advantage of. That is, the service provided by staffing agencies are not only limited to the hiring process. Staffing agencies offer excellent and highly reliable services to corporate clients, or “clients” in this context, which may include:
Training: These companies often provide progressive training programs for new hires as well as ongoing coaching as part of their career plan. They can also ensure that your staff are trained to the highest possible standard, particularly when it comes to safety and health, so as to avoid incident adverisements.