What to Expect from a Staffing Agency

Several times a month we meet with companies of all sizes and types that for the first time are considering engaging with a staffing agency to fill their open positions. Sometimes the employer has one full-time opening; sometimes they need 10, 20, or 200 temps that may lead to full-time employment.

If you’re an employer looking to work with a professional hiring partner, you should know your role in the relationship as well as what you can expect from your partner. What follows are suggestions designed to help you choose the best staffing company for your company’s needs.

Plan ahead. Do your openings require special skills? Safety training? Are you anticipating hiring large numbers of people? A well-run agency will continually maintain a database of applicants – former employees as well as new candidates – and should be able to begin delivering employees in 1-3 days. But if you need a team of people to handle a purchase order backlog or anticipated growth, optimally you should give your agency one month to fulfill your order.

Prepare. Is your facility ready for additional employees? Do you have the tools and equipment they will need to do their job? A training schedule? It’s also important to announce your hiring plans to existing employees and do whatever it takes to ensure they will welcome new team members.

Ask questions. Back in 1974, Sy Syms, founder of the off-price retail clothing store chain SYMS and, later, Filene’s Basement, debuted the company slogan, “An educated consumer is our best customer.” This saying applies to buyers of business services, too.

Every staffing agency sets its own standards for screening, interviewing and hiring employees. For instance, at ClearStaff we are known for interviewing well beyond the basics. We routinely ask candidates about their preferences – from the type of work (e.g., manufacturing or distribution/warehouse) and environment (lighting, noise level, temperature, etc.) to shift times. We also administer tests to measure a candidate’s aptitude for specific positions. And whenever possible, we also show candidates photos and videos of workplaces to provide a visual of the job opportunities; this eliminates the possibility of disappointment when the employee begins work.

Set appropriate pay scales. To be successful with a hiring program, every employer needs to consider the job market in their area. If candidates have the opportunity to earn $12/hour from Company A vs. $11/hour from Company B, provided all else is equal, they will of course choose to work for Company A. Our best “research” in the field occurs when we see a candidate’s reaction when we present an offer for $11/hr.

You may be thinking, “We can’t afford to pay $12/hr. We’re competing with companies that outsource production to other countries.” An experienced, business-savvy staffing professional fully understands this challenge, and can serve as an adviser in helping you create enticing employment opportunities.

As a 20-year veteran of the Chicagoland staffing market, ClearStaff knows what it takes to deliver direct, temp or temp-to-hire employees to employers. We welcome the opportunity to have a conversation about how we differ from other agencies in the marketplace. Please contact us if you’d like additional information about our services.