5 Things You Must Do When Hiring a Staffing Firm

If you are going to trust a staffing firm with something as essential as recruiting, you’ve got to research many potential partners. Don’t just settle on a firm recommended by a colleague and don’t just choose the first firm you see on a list. You’ve got to put in due diligence if you want to develop a strong, successful partnership. Here are five things you must do when you are considering hiring a staffing firm.


1. Research Thoroughly

Spend some time searching online for agencies that focus on your particular industry or the service area where you need the most help. Browse their websites to get a feel for their professionalism and expertise. When you find a few that pique your interest, contact them to start a conversation about your needs.


2. Interview Potential Staffing Firms

Don’t ever hire a staffing firm without speaking to them at length. A reputable agency will want to take the time to get to understand your company and its unique needs, and they will use that information to submit a customized strategy.


Through the course of your meetings, pay attention to how the team makes you feel. Do they take the time to answer your questions thoughtfully and thoroughly? Do they give you the space to make a decision on your time? How transparent are they when it comes to their fee structure, recruiting process and track record? If you get an uneasy feeling about a particular firm, move on to the next.


3. Evaluate Successes

Any staffing firm worth its salt will be able to prove their success through documented success stories, references, awards and employee testimonials. Make sure to ask for these types of “proof” before you make a decision. Be wary of firms that don’t have a stable of satisfied clients.


4. Understand Fee Structures

There are a number of ways in which staffing agencies structure their fees. Make sure you are clear on the way in which a potential partner will bill you for their services. Typical structures include:

  • Retained: The agency will charge you an up-front fee for their services.
  • Contingency: They agency only gets paid when a position is filled.
  • Hybrid: A mix of retained and contingency; varies from firm to firm.

The fees are typically calculated based on the number of positions the firm is tasked with filling and the salaries of those positions.


5. Know What is Expected of You

Your relationship with a staffing firm is a two-way street. You will have to contribute to the process in several ways. You will need to provide the firm with enough information so that they can craft effective postings, you must be very clear about your expectations for each position, and you will be responsible for interviewing the candidates they present.


Make sure you understand what is expected of you, and get an idea of the typical timeline for filling positions like yours.  Be clear about your own expectations, as well as their expectations of you. Misaligned expectations will put you on the fast track to a failed engagement.


If you are looking for a staffing partner with a strong reputation and a team of recruiting experts who will listen to your needs and deliver on effective strategies for recruiting in HR, customer service, accounting and finance, sales, marketing and information technology, the team at CSS is ready to talk to you. We will help you meet both short-term and long-term recruiting goals, and our methods will reduce turnover and ensure a strong fit, every time. Contact us today to start the conversation.