Before You Work with a Staffing Firm, Make Sure You Ask These Questions
Over 90% of Fortune 500 companies outsource their staffing efforts. When looking for a staffing firm, it is important that they know what you are looking for and they have the resources to find the right candidate. To determine if the staffing firm has the ability to help you achieve your goals, ask these questions.
Questions to Ask Your Point of Contact
Typically, you will have a point-of-contact, or two, at a staffing firm. These are the individuals who will communicate progress with you and identify your needs. Because of this, it is important to ask them a few questions about the internal structure of the agency. Here are a few questions you should ask them.
- Who are you speaking with when you answer questions about your needs and how you use an agency? Get an idea of who you are in contact with and what their role is at the firm. Is that the mediator or the person doing the work?
- Ask how long they have been with the company. Depending on what you are looking for, you may want to hire a more experienced agency or request a more experienced recruiter.
What’s the internal tenure? Are newer recruiters assigned to specific accounts?
- Is there a designated recruiter? Speaking of recruiters, ask if there is a single recruiter assigned to your account. Sometimes agencies spread their recruiters out and you may have more than one handling your account.
- What similar companies are you staffing for now that are successful? Ask for examples of success in similar industries as yours or similar situations. Make sure they have the experience you need to fill the position.
Things to Ask About Their Process
Once you know more about how the staffing firm itself works, get to know their process. You want to know as much as you possibly can. So, consider including these questions when interviewing a new staffing firm.
- Ask about the fees and payment structure. Some firms will charge separate fees for background checks, skill testing, and additional services. Others will include it in the fee. It is important to choose a staffing firm that has a fee schedule that is clear to you.
- Inquire about their numbers. Success rates are all in the numbers. Specifically, ask them how long it takes to fill a position. On average, it takes about 68 days, but any seasoned staffing agency will have those numbers readily available to clients.
- Does the firm support confidential job searches? For some companies, a confidential search is necessary. If you are letting go of someone in the future and looking for their replacement, for instance, you may want to inquire about the confidentiality of the search.
- What industry or industries does the staffing firm specialize in? You want a firm that specializes in finding candidates in your sector. If your business is in manufacturing, for example, you would not want to hire an agency that focuses on the food industry.
- How does the company handle the screening process? Hiring a staffing firm that handles background checks and initial interviews can save you a lot of time.
- What is the full range of staffing resources they offer? Some companies only help place contract workers, while others include individuals looking for contract-to-hire and permanent positions.
- How does the agency handle bad hires? No matter how hard you try, a bad hire occasionally happens. Ask the firm about whether or not they issue a refund in the event the candidate doesn’t work out.
- Is the company’s talent pool large enough to suit your needs? It is a good idea to partner with an agency that has a large pool of talent to select from because it makes it more likely you’ll find a candidate that fits your needs and budget.
- Are they familiar with your business? Ask open-ended questions about your industry or the position you are trying to fill. Someone who truly understands your business will be able to better help you fill the position.
Lastly, ask why you should choose their staffing company over others. What are they offering that other similar places are not? This can be the selling point for many companies. If your business is considering hiring a staffing firm, contact us with these questions to see if we can help fill your contract-to-permanent positions.