Six Steps to Selecting the Perfect Staffing Partner
Ajay Kaul, Managing Partner, AgreeYa Solutions
The workplace is always evolving which requires flexibility on the part of business leaders. Often, projects arise that require more manpower than a firm can manage, or a specialized skill set outside the scope of the company’s capabilities. When these projects are slated with a short-term project timeline, business leaders are faced with the question of how to appropriately staff the project. Do they overload the current workforce in order to control costs? Or look for an outside hire to provide subject-matter expertise.
Throughout my 25-year career as a business leader and IT entrepreneur, I have worked extensively with staffing firms to quickly recruit and hire the right employees when these situations arise. The benefits are both immediate and long-term, including:
- Access to the best talent in each industry
- Dedicated attention from a firm committed to recruiting applicants
- Freeing up of internal resources to focus on the core business
- Potential great new hires that prove themselves over time
- Continuity in employment and project timelines
As business leaders, we have much to gain from partnering with staffing experts. But, before deciding which staffing firm to choose, I have found it is crucial to first determine objectives. Do you understand the exact needs to complete the project? What characteristics and values would you like to see in a candidate, and what expertise is required? Understanding your objectives will help a staffing firm hone in on the best fit for you.
There are many staffing vendors to choose from. These are the areas I consider when selecting a firm.
Pick a firm specializing in your business. There are two types of staffing firms: general and specialized. Selecting a company that knows your industry is preferable, especially when a job requires certain skills. Industry-specific staffing firms are familiar with the particular hiring needs of that industry and receive the top talent.
Evaluate their recruitment techniques. Find out how the staffing company recruits talent. Do they use newspapers, online staffing sites, or networking and job fairs? A wide pool of applicants will ensure the best candidates are available.
Understand the candidate screening process. Applicants take skills tests during the screening process. Ask to review the tests to see if they are specific enough for the positions that need to be filled. Determine if the tests will sufficiently measure an applicant’s ability to succeed in the open position. In addition, review the types of references and background checks that are provided.
Confirm pay rate and benefits packages. Typically, the staffing company determines the placed employee’s wage and benefits. Make sure they provide reasonable compensation and benefit packages that will attract top talent.
Agree with the price. The pricing structure for staffing firms varies. Some companies charge flat placement fees while others charge percentages of employee wages, depending if employees are hired on as temporary or permanent. Ensure the cost is reasonable and accommodates all requested services.
Meet your recruiting team. There may be a single person or an entire team dedicated to your account. Establish a relationship early and learn how they measure success and what standards they abide by. Make sure they align with the way you conduct business. From the beginning, establish criteria to evaluate their services and provide feedback throughout the process.
The research that goes into selecting a quality staffing firm is critical. As an extension of your company, the right staffing firm will find applicants that merge with your values and standards, and ultimately position your company for future success.
About The Author
Ajay Kaul is managing partner at AgreeYa Solutions, a global provider of software and business services focused on deploying technology-enabled solutions that create next-generation competitive advantages for customers. He brings over 25 years of experience in sales, staffing and IT project management for clients throughout the world. As managing partner, Kaul has led AgreeYa through 15 years of success, leading the company in highly competitive and complex markets while driving significant profitable growth. Prior to founding AgreeYa, Kaul was responsible for managing engagements for Deloitte Consulting, serving private and public sector clients.