How to Select a Temporary Staffing Agency

In today’s business environment, with employers still searching for signs of economic stability, demand for temporary staff continues to grow.  “This is a worldwide phenomenon. The temporary help industry is growing all over the world,” says Arne Kalleberg, a professor of sociology at University of North Carolina who studies the labor force.

And no longer are temporary workers limited to administrative roles. Companies are seeking temporary talent for positions ranging from marketing managers to interim CFO’s. Regardless of the position, selecting the right temporary staffing partner is a key decision for any company looking to engage talent. The right partner can provide significant flexibility and efficient access to talent.

In fact, according to the American Staffing Association: “Nine out of 10 business customers rated flexibility as an important reason to use staffing companies, saying it keeps them fully staffed during busy times.”

As a Houston temporary staffing agency, Murray Resources has put together a list of key considerations when selecting a temporary staffing agency. While each is important, they should be weighed appropriately, depending on the type of position(s), duration of the position(s), and the scale of the project(s).

How well does the staffing agency know your market/business?

Have they worked with companies like yours before? If the company has a strong track record of working with similar companies, they may be more likely to understand the nuances of your business and what it takes to make someone successful. Familiarity will often result in a more efficient staffing project.

Does the company take the time to understand your business?

Regardless of how well the agency knows your industry, will they take the time to understand your company and what makes it unique? Every company culture is different and most unsuccessful placements result from a mismatch in culture, not from a lack of skills. It’s worth seeking out a firm that will take the time to get to know your company.

How long has the temporary staffing agency been in business? Do they have a deep database of talent?

While not always the case, a newer agency is typically less likely to have the resources and staffing connections necessary to make placements quickly and efficiently. Work with a company that you feel comfortable has the requisite experience in the market in which you are seeking talent.

What is the staffing agency’s culture?

What is the company’s style and how well does it sync with your culture? As with businesses in most industries, staffing firms run the gamut from traditional and highly corporate to boutique and familial. Ideally, the connection you make with a staffing agency will result in a long-term partnership, so select a company that fits well with how you and your company prefer to operate.

How does the staffing agency operate and work with clients?

Ask the agency for references and seek information on how the staffing company is to work with, who was assigned to their project, and what they did – and didn’t – like about the process and results.

How responsive is the agency?

When you initially contacted the staffing firm, how quickly did they respond? Did your contact provide a direct line so you can reach them quickly? Temporary staffing projects are often time sensitive. Make sure you’re working with a firm that will respond to you in a timely manner.

How much turnover does the firm have?

Temporary staff recruiting is a notoriously challenging job and frequent turnover is common. While some recruiting firms have seemingly constant turnover, others tend retain their recruiters by providing an enjoyable and challenging environment. You’re better served working with a firm that has a stable workforce – otherwise repeat training, miscommunication, and lack of responsiveness can hinder even the simplest staffing project.

Will you have one point of contact?

How will your project be staffed? Will you have a designated contact whom you can call for any issues, or will multiple recruiters be handling your project? While most clients prefer one point of contact, make sure your preferences are understood from the project outset and can be met by the staffing agency.

How are candidates screened and tested?

Depending on the type of work for which they recruit, staffing companies will often assess and skills test potential employees. Tests range from general skills evaluations to specific software assessments. Make sure the staffing firm also conducts background checks and drug tests for all candidates.

How does the company recruit and retain its candidates?

Do they place ads in newspapers? Online? Rely on referrals from their database? There may not be a right or wrong answer, but you should understand whether the company’s recruitment methods sync with the type of candidate you’re seeking.

Are you looking to hire a temporary staffing agency?

Turn to Murray Resources, a leading Houston temporary staffing agency, for help in accessing Houston’s top temporary staffing talent. Contact Murray Resources online today or call 713.935.0009 to get started.