What You Need to Know Before Working with a Job Staffing Agency

For owners and managers in many smaller companies, finding the right talent can be an exceedingly taxing experience. The process of drafting job descriptions and postings, reviewing applications, interviewing prospective employees and negotiating salaries take time that the owner or manager might otherwise spend running the business, which obviously presents potential threats to an organization's productivity.

In order to succeed, it's crucial to ensure that the business is equipped with a strong team. In order to achieve this, employers have chosen to partner with staffing agencies. These eliminate much of the time and effort dedicated to prospecting for employees by cultivating their own talent pools and providing them for open positions.

In the market to partner with a staffing agency? First, familiarize yourself with the facts.

What a Staffing Agency Offers

More and more, people are choosing to work part-time, freelance, in temporary capacities, and employers are increasingly willing to engage these workers.

There are many benefits to using the right job
staffing company to fill in those workforce gaps. Among these are-

Speed and accuracy in hiring
With improvements in the job market, candidates are at a greater advantage, which leads to a longer, more tedious hiring process. A solid staffing partner can save time and money by streamlining that process pres-creening and qualifying candidates to ensure that only the most eligible candidates make the cut for an interview.

More flexibility
With companies trying to be more productive and only hiring full-time workers when absolutely needed, temp staffing offers the opportunity for organizations to fill gaps without engaging new, full-time employees and incurring all of the obligations that go along with them, like insurance and paid benefits.

Reduced risk
Improvements in the job market aren't the only thing that makes business owners and managers reluctant to take on new full-time workers. There are quite a few legal obligations that go along with employing full-time and part-time workers, such as covering taxes, providing insurance benefits, and keeping in line with labor laws. There are also financial and operational risks at hand, such as when an employee leaves unexpectedly or has to be terminated. However, when an employer signs on with a job staffing partner, the agency takes on many of these risks.

How it Works

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There are three major job types of staffing that agencies address-

  1. Temporary A hire with a set start and end date
  2. Temp-to-hire - A temporary hire that the employer uses to determine if the temporary worker is a good long-term fit for the company
  3. Direct hire - Hire for a permanent position, where the staffing agency is acting solely as a recruiter
For the staffing agency, the recruitment process is dependent on what the employer is in need of at a given time. If the agency doesn't have a current employee who fits an open role, it will post the position on one or more job boards and other venues frequented by job seekers. The process then follows that of first-party employers, with interviews, background checks, and other prerequisites.

Once the agency finds the right candidate, he/she is hired as an employee of the agency rather than the employer (except in the case of direct hires as indicated above). The worker's paycheck and any benefits are handled directly through the staffing partner, with the length of employment being determined by the needs of the client (the employer).

Getting Started

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For the business owner or manager who's ready to take on a staffing partner, there are four key areas to address-

Go with the right company
Certain agencies work with a wide range of businesses and industries, while others tend to specialize in specific markets (e.g., retail workers, skilled workers or executives). In any case, those in charge of hiring should look for a reputable, established firm with a good track record, all of which can be verified on review websites around the web.

Clarify your needs
A good staffing company will want to help find the best workers. In order to do that, requirements and non-negotiables must be clearly and meticulously communicated from the start. Your staffing partner should know as much about your company, the available position, and the type of employee you're seeking as possible. The agency should also be advised of your business policies and practices (including dress code, hours, time off, etc.) so that they are at least somewhat familiar with your corporate culture and what kind of workers are likely to thrive in your organization.

Address the legal aspects
Technically, the relationship between the employer and staffing partner is a contractual one, so all of the related responsibilities and indemnifications must be made clear in said contract. Here, all of the employment-related legal details (such as worker classification, benefits and payroll taxes) will be set out. In the case of temporary and temp-to-hire roles, the staffing firm will be the records-keeper for purposes of taxation, so the agency should be able to ensure that the workers they're providing are not independent contractors.

Maintain a good working relationship
Whether your search for the right staffing partner is quick and easy or takes some trial-and-error, once one is found that provides great service and great workers, it is important to cultivate and maintain a good working relationship. Ongoing discourse with the agency (briefings on how new workers are doing, new developments in your organization, and so forth) will go a long way toward making future talent searches easier for your organization and your staffing partner.

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