Finding the best temp staffing agencies can be a challenge for even the most seasoned business professionals. It can take years of experience to learn which criteria to use when finding the best temp staffing agencies. Using the wrong criteria can leave you saddled with temp staff that don't meet your needs, costing you extra money and hurting your productivity. With the right criteria, you can find a true partner that will help you grow your business while increasing your productivity. The five criteria listed below can help set you on the right track to finding the best temp staffing agencies.
Businesses don't just start out with a good reputation. A good reputation is earned by providing quality service over time. Finding the best temp staffing agencies means finding the ones that have spent the time and delivered the quality necessary to build a solid reputation. It also means that they'll have a list of references and recommendations for you to rely on. When finding the best temp staffing agencies, start with recommendations from other businesses and organizations. Once you find some potential suppliers, a request for references should be the next order of business; of course you should follow up by checking those references
Finding the best temp staffing agencies involves finding a partner that cares about your business needs. You need a partner that listens attentively to your needs, and then suggests a plan to best address those needs. Knowledgeable, experienced agencies should be able to suggest a number of ways to improve services, giving you added value for your investment. If they're too busy trying to upsell you on services that don't address your needs, or dealing with other clients, then they may not be the agency for you.
Once the agency understands your needs, they need to know how to work with you to address them. The best temp staffing agencies will be experts in the collaborative process. They'll know how to work with your managers and staff to create complete solutions for all of your business needs. If they only offer pre-packaged solutions, how can they hope to meet the specific demands of your business? Your staffing issues are unique to your business--the solutions should be tailored to address those unique requirements)
The best temp staffing agencies in the world won't do you any good if you can't contact them in times of need. While it's not practical for an agency to remain open twenty-four hours a day, they can offer you ways to get help in an emergency. Whether they use an answering service, an online staffing request portal, personal contact numbers, or some combination of all of the above, you need an agency that will be there when you need them. If they can't help you outside of normal business hours, then they can't help you when problems are most likely to crop up.
One of the most subjective, and most important, criteria is the level of comfort you have working with a temp staffing agency. Do they listen to your requests and respond in a way that makes you feel confident that your needs will be met? Do you feel that you're getting value out of your staffing investment? Are you generally happy with their prices, and what you're getting for the money you're spending? This is your money, and your business--if you don't feel comfortable working with any of your service providers, you should think about moving on. At the end of the day, the best temp staffing agencies will make you feel as though your money is being well spent.
Once you’ve decided to engage the services of a temp staffing firm, it’s important to make sure you hire a reputable, qualified agency. Hiring the wrong temp staffing firm can be expensive, time consuming, and can lead to lost productivity. With the right temp staffing firm, you’ll get more for your money, increase your productivity, and get access to services beyond simple staffing. Finding the right temp staffing firm isn’t difficult, but it does require a little homework on your part. And, like any service provider you hire, it’s up to you to do your due diligence before signing any contracts.
Finding a temp staffing agency can begin with a simple web search. Like any business, a reputable temp staffing firm should have a complete website, with detailed contact information and some type of “about us” page. If they don’t make it easy to learn about their business, you should probably steer clear. The website should give you a basic overview of the services they provide and, in the best cases, access to case studies and white papers outlining their successes.
Once you have a few reputable companies in mind, you can start reading online reviews about their services. It’s important to remember that people are far more likely to criticize than compliment, especially on anonymous message and review boards. Take what you read with a grain of salt, but be aware of patterns of behaviour that could serve as warning signs.
After your internet searches, you should have a short list of potential candidates. Contact fellow business associates and ask about the names on your list. It’s possible that they’ve never heard of any of them—which isn’t necessarily a bad sign. While you’re at it, ask your contacts who they’ve used and who they would recommend. Since business needs vary widely, you may not have the same success with the companies they recommend, but you’re still trying to cast a pretty wide net.
Contact professional organizations related to the staffing industry, along with relevant government agencies. They should be able to tell you if the firms you’re looking at are members in good standing, and if they have any history of complaints or compliance issues. Any temp staffing firm with problems can be removed from your list. When you’ve finished your in-depth research, you should have a short list of reputable, recommended agencies.
Put Them to the Test
It’s important to make sure that a temp staffing firm can fill your particular needs. The best way to find out if they can is by meeting with them and having them draw up a tentative service agreement. To make sure you get the most out of the agreement, you need to provide them with as much detail as possible about your business and the positions you’ll be filling. The more they know about your business and your staffing needs, the better they can customize the services they offer you.
If you’re still not able to narrow your list down to a single temp staffing firm, don’t be afraid to try more than one to see which is the best fit. Ask the agencies you’re interested in if they’re willing to do a short-term “trial run” to avoid long-term commitments. Using more than one agency can be costly, and may affect the services they can offer, but it’s better than committing to the wrong agency. After the trial run, you should be able to tell which temp staffing firm best fills your needs, and best fits in with your overall business environment.
Over the years, a lot of negative stereotypes have been attached to temporary staffing. Though never accurate, these myths have lingered for years. Unfortunately, these myths about temporary staffing are often repeated by popular media, and accepted as truth by those who have no experience with the staffing industry. While untrue, these myths can still dissuade employers from taking advantage of the many benefits that temporary staffing can offer. Listed below are three of the more common myths about temporary staffing. By identifying and dispelling these myths, you can start to see what a benefit temporary staffing can be for your business.
1. Temporary Staffing is only for Low-Level Positions
Temp workers have long been portrayed as lowly office and warehouse workers. In popular media, they are typically undertrained, overworked, and unqualified for higher positions. This stereotype has been echoed in movies, television programs, and even commercials. This stereotype is so pervasive that some workers are reluctant to put temporary staffing jobs on their resume, for fear of being associated with these media-created images.
The truth about temporary staff is that they occupy nearly every position in every industry. There are many temps who perform warehouse or clerical work. There are also many temps who work as programmers, HR personnel, managers, and even executives. Temps come from all walks of life, with a wide array of skills and experiences. Whatever position you’re trying to fill, you can be certain that there is a qualified temp out there to fill it.
2. Temporary Staffing is only for Short-Term Positions
There’s another long-held myth that temp staffing is only used to fill in for absent employees for a day or two. They are used to provide coverage for sick employees, employees who are on vacation, or employees who are otherwise absent. They aren’t used to bolster an existing workforce, or to provide long-term help during periods of high demand, or on large projects.
Temporary staffing has become an invaluable asset to businesses that need long-term help, without the hassle of hiring extra employees. Temps are used to provide extra help during large projects, providing professional assistance to the project itself, or just easing the burden on the permanent staff so they can focus on the project. Temps are also used by a wide variety of industries to provide assistance during peak seasons. Whatever the application, temps are frequently engaged for weeks and months at a time.
3. Temporary Staffing is More Expensive than Direct Hiring
Many businesses assume that, because of the convenience, temporary staffing must be more expensive than direct hiring. When they compare the upfront cost of hiring a temp agency with the upfront cost of paying a new employee, they believe that they can save money. However, comparing those costs is like comparing apples to oranges—only much more expensive in the long run.
Hiring a new employee carries a wide array of hidden costs. When you factor in advertising, applicant searches, interviews, background checks, reference checks, paperwork, training, and onboarding, there’s a lot of expense to hiring a new employee. And, if they aren’t what you’re looking for, you get to do it all over again. With a temporary staffing agency, all of the expense has already been absorbed, and the results are much more reliable. You get a temp who is ready to hit the ground running, maximizing your investment from day one. In the event of a problem, another temp can be sent with no additional hiring costs. When you add in all of the additional services that temporary staffing agencies offer, this may be the most inaccurate and expensive myth.
When you hire temp staff, you’re expecting more than just warm bodies. You want quality temp workers who bring expertise and experience to the table. Finding quality temp workers isn’t always easy. You can try finding them on your own, assuming all of the costs and risks for yourself. You could also pick a random temp agency out of the phone book, and hope that they send you quality temp workers. Of course, neither of these methods is very promising; and they both carry significant risks. There are more effective ways to find quality temp workers without all of the hassle and risk. While not all-inclusive, the three keys listed below should get you off to a good start.
Partnering With the Right Agency
Don’t try to go it alone. A reputable temp agency has years of experience in all aspects of temporary employment. They know how to recruit and train the best candidates quickly and efficiently. Their streamlined process allows them to move candidates efficiently through all parts of the hiring process—from recruitment and interviews, to background checks and skills testing. In the time it takes you to interview a handful of candidates, they’ve probably gone through hundreds.
Using a reputable temp staffing agency allows you to tap into their pool of pre-screened candidates. You may still have to do interviews, but the majority of the legwork will already be done for you. Instead of trying to find quality temp workers from scratch, you’ll be choosing your favorites from a pool filled with quality temp workers.
It’s never too early to start planning for your temp staffing needs. Finding the highest quality temp workers can take time, especially for high-demand fields or during seasonal upticks. Give your temp staffing agency as much advance notice as possible, so they can start developing a pool of candidates for your particular needs. Some fields are in much higher demand than others—trying to find quality temp workers on short notice could limit your options.
Put in the effort to build a professional relationship with your temp staffing agency. Aside from all the other benefits you’ll gain, you’ll get access to better quality temp workers. As the agency learns the ins and outs of your work environment, they’ll be better positioned to identify candidates who are especially suited to your business. Over time, they can build a pool of temps that better reflect the education, training, and attitude you’re looking for. This relationship will make their job easier, and provide you with better services.
It would be difficult to overstate the importance of working with a reliable temp staffing agency. The success of your business largely depends on the ability of your vendors and service providers to meet their obligations to you. If the people you depend on let you down, there’s a good chance that you’ll fail to meet your obligations to others. That can end up costing you clients, damaging your reputation, and even getting you into legal trouble. Like other providers, a reliable temp staffing agency should always be able to meet or exceed their obligations.
When is a Temp not a Temp?
When they don’t show up at all. You need your temp workers to arrive on time, and ready to start work. Late or absent temps can disrupt an entire workday, throwing your production schedule off for weeks. A reliable temp staffing agency will employ high-quality, dependable temps. These temps will understand the importance of being punctual and prepared. If they don’t, then it’s possible that you’re not working with a reliable temp staffing agency.
Once the temp arrives at your business, you should be able to count on them to perform their duties safely. A reliable temp staffing agency takes responsibility for the health and safety training of their employees. Aside from specialized training that your business may require, the temp should have a basic understanding of workplace safety. If they don’t, then they’re a risk to themselves, your employees and equipment, and your business.
Piles of Paperwork
Like everything in business, temps come with their own mountain of paperwork. Everything from ESA acknowledgement forms to health and safety compliance sheets are necessary before the temp starts work. The vast majority of this paperwork is to be handled by the agency. A reliable temp staffing agency will have all of the necessary paperwork prepared beforehand. They’ll also provide you with copies of all relevant documentation, so you can rest assured that the requirements have been met.
A reliable temp staffing agency should give you no reasons for concern. Their temps should arrive on time and prepared, with all of their proper documentation. The agency should be up front about their policies, and provide you with copies of all relevant records. They should provide you with a clear, easy to understand service agreement that outlines the responsibilities of all involved parties. In short, they should give you everything you need to put your mind at rest and let you focus on your core business issues.