What Clients Look For When Hiring a Staffing Agency

In the interest of understanding opportunities for improving the screening and hiring process for candidates, while keeping up with staffing industry trends, it’s important to gain insight into different perspectives. In this article, we ask, “What do clients look for when hiring a staffing agency?”

It’s essential that staffing agencies do a periodic gut check on what clients look for from their staffing agency and third-party recruiting business in order to challenge preconceived notions and better serve clients’ needs.

Here are some straight answers from the mouths of clients who have turned away many pitches when hiring a staffing agency.

Show Prospects Your Depth

Anyone can search online for candidates. To win new business, agencies must show that they will go deeper than the competition or the client to field the right candidates, whether for a temp role, a direct hire or something in between.

When he’s hiring a staffing agency, Matt Lowney, executive vice president for talent and operations at The Buntin Group, a Nashville-based advertising agency, considers the depth of their recruiting process. For instance, he wants to know how the agency is sourcing, who they’re talking to, and how they’re using contacts as a launch point for referrals.

Make Transparent How You Earn Every Penny of Your Fee

Talk to prospective clients about how you’ll surface candidates that the client could not have reached on their own. Tell a story about how you’ve done this for other customers.

Lowney said he often looks at how many of the agency’s reqs are just doing the tactical, “post and pray” approach and charging a big fee without implementing a comprehensive strategy. If new hires had no relationship with the agency, then it may be worth a big commission for a recruiter who just did simple online searches.

Take Job Orders Meticulously

It’s important for staffing agencies to look into all aspects of a client’s day-to-day operations, such as the physical requirements of the work, required computer skills, and available career paths.

Tim Whitney, Regional Director of Production and Quality at Coast Southwest, a chemicals distributor in Arlington, Texas, expressed the importance of knowing about a manual laborer’s potential to also work with computers and automated systems, for example.

Show the Difference You Can Make with Candidates

If you can bring it, show it. When hiring a staffing agency, clients want to know that they’re getting their money’s worth from the relationship.

A good agency will have a proactive relationship with candidates that causes them to engage with a given opportunity. If the agency can do what the client can’t on their own can’t, it’s well worth their money.

Supply Workers Ready to Do the Work

Clients expect work-ready temps, which requires intimate knowledge of the work to be done. To acquire that knowledge, there’s no substitute for visiting the work site.

For instance, Whitney said he expects temps to be ready to go with minimal onboarding time. This means the agency has to do its homework by learning what the company does and visiting the worksite.

Have a Deep Understanding of Every Industry You Serve

In an age when the reputation of a staffing firm can travel as quickly as a viral video, it’s unwise to bid for business that you don’t understand, or to send in workers who are not fluent in the industry.

Hiring a temp agency that has only supplied office staff doesn’t make sense if your business is manufacturing and distribution. Clients need an agency with experience that aligns with their specific needs.

Look Out for the Client’s Long-Term Interests

That applies even when supplying short-term temps. There’s a lot of value in hiring a temp agency that consistently fields temp workers with full-time potential.

Who wouldn’t want the temp to perm option and permanently hire qualified people who have already demonstrated that they can navigate the client’s workplace? While clients may differ, many of them are essentially looking to hire a full-time employee eventually.

Demonstrate the Durability of Your Agency and Its Internal Staff

No one wants to deal with a staffing firm whose own employees act like they were just sent over by a temp agency. Agencies with a continuous influx of low-paid new grads cannot win the confidence of clients seeking a long-term staffing relationship.

Says Lowney: “I ask the vendor’s people, ‘How long have you been with the company, how do you show your commitment, what keeps you there?’”

Whether Hiring a Staffing Agency or Not, Companies Want the Best Recruiting Tools—and We Can Help

Following best practices for staffing also means keeping in tune with the latest job market insights. But, to keep competitive, you need to stay one step ahead of the curve. That’s where we come in. With Monster as your recruiting resource, you can get free access to the latest recruiting tips, hiring trends, and management strategies to deliver real results.