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Tips on Choosing a Staffing Firm

No matter what business you’re in, success is only possible if you have the right people in the right jobs. America’s staffing companies can help you find the optimum workforce solution, giving you access to talented employees when you need them. Here are some tips for choosing a staffing firm that fits your needs and can become a partner in your success.

Determine the Type of Staffing Help and Staffing Company You Need

First, determine if you need staffing employees for a short- or long-term assignment, permanent job placement, or some combination. Then narrow your list of staffing firms to those that specialize in your industry, type of operation, or the types of employees you need. If it’s a permanent position—or likely to become one—find out if you can submit interview questions and participate in the selection process.

  • Staffing firms can be small operations or large multinational firms.Visit websites to narrow your search. Make sure the firms you’re considering are ASA members, then call the ones on your short list.

    • Check out several companies and ask for references.
    • Ask about fees.
    • Ask about turnover rate among account executives, office staff, and staffing employees.
    • Make sure the firm will visit your location to get a feel for your corporate culture, meet supervisors face-to-face, and learn details about the jobs that need filling.
    • If you’re staffing a major project or function, the prospective firm should do a thorough review and prepare a detailed presentation.
  • Your telephone or email contact gives you your first clues about the business style of the companies you are considering. Remember, first and foremost, staffing firms are employers. Their management practices greatly affect the quality of the employees who come into your offices, whether on a temporary or permanent basis. The staffing firm is going to be recruiting, hiring, and training staff that is going to be working for you—so make sure you are dealing with a professional, capable organization.

  • Get details. See ads. To what extent are its techniques passive or active? What kind of a database does it maintain? For temporary and contract positions, consider whether the firm’s compensation and benefits are competitive to attract the type of employees you need. A more complete benefits package often attracts a better-quality worker.

  • Many staffing companies give their employees initial skills tests. Some provide specific skills training, such as software tutorials, and educate employees on business etiquette. These practices help determine the quality of worker you will receive. In addition to skills testing, find out if the staffing firm conducts background checks and drug tests.

  • The company should have an extensive database of available workers to help you get the right person for the job in a timely manner. If you need several assignments filled, ask the company to help you determine the number of employees you should bring on board. Also, find out how to reach the company after regular business hours in case of an emergency.

  • The critical element in your relationship with a staffing firm is the quality of temporary employees and job candidates you receive. A reputable and capable staffing company—one that’s an ASA member— can be an important management tool for your business. A little investigation and observation beforehand can save time and money and result in a long-lasting business relationship.

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