Finding and Hiring a Staffing Firm

You’ve decided it’s time to hire a staffing firm, but where do you begin? There are dozens of staffing firms available, most specializing in a select few industries. Before hiring a staffing firm, interview your candidates to help you find the perfect fit.

Like hiring an employee for your company, hiring a staffing firm requires asking the right questions and getting enough answers to make an educated decision. Here are a few questions to ask before making the commitment.

Are you an expert in my industry?

This is important for obvious reasons. Many staffing firms are dedicated to a specific industry or a small handful. Examples may include firms who specialize in accounting, administrative, technology or human resources. Hiring a staffing firm that is dedicated to your industry — or the position(s) you have available will help ensure finding the right candidate in a short amount of time.

What is your employee culture like/turnover?

While this may not seem important at first, it is. A staffing firm with a high internal turnover rate means you risk not being able to make a long-term relationship with an account manager. This is also detrimental to potential candidates. One of the greatest things about a staffing firm is that you can work with a dedicated account manager who learns what you’re looking for as far as personality, skills, experience. A long-term relationship allows you (and the candidates) to become familiar with the account manager, allowing account managers to find the perfect fit based on a wide range of criteria.

How satisfied are your employees (the candidates for YOUR company)?

Again, while this may not seem important to your company, it is. A staffing firm with high marks from its talent pool means they are doing something right. Dissatisfied employees means that somewhere along the line, the staffing firm isn’t making the right connections between talent and the hiring companies.


Once you’ve received and reviewed the answers to your questions, you are able to make an educated hire and help ensure that you are making the best choice for your company. Knowing the values the staffing firm holds while also feeling confident about the potential for a rewarding, long-lasting relationship can ease the stress of filling those sometimes difficult positions.


Why Hire a Staffing Firm?

If you’ve never used a staffing firm before and are considering it, you may be a bit lost when it comes to the details or asking yourself questions. Will it work? Is it worth my time and investment? How do I choose? How does a staffing firm work?

You’re not alone, but the answers to these — and other — questions are simple. Many staffing firms work within a specific field, such as Accounting and Finance. Depending on the position you’re looking to fill or the type of company you’re hiring for, the right staffing firm can help you find not only someone who is qualified for your open position, but someone who will fit your company’s profile.

The art of the staffing firm is to match people with careers. It sounds simple enough, but dedicated staffing firms allow both the job candidate and the hiring company to work with someone who is dedicated to making the right connection. A staffing agent gets to know the candidates and the open position, ensuring that not only will your company get a qualified person, but there is a greater possibility of finding a candidate whose personality and past experience fits with the job.

Turn Down the Pressure

The best staffing firms don’t simply have the resumes of candidates; they perform skill-matching assessments and pre-employment screenings. This opens up the possibilities for you while freeing up some of your much-needed time and energy.

Hiring a staffing firm takes some of the pressure off of you, the hiring company. This is particularly true in the case of hard-to-fill positions. In many cases, the hiring company becomes nearly desperate to fill these types of positions, often ending up with the wrong hire. A staffing firm allows you to hire a professional to seek out the right candidate through thorough candidate researching and experience in the field. Risk is also reduced because the hiring is in the hands of the firm, not you.


Hiring a staffing firm can save your company time, energy and money by allowing the firm to find the perfect candidate, essentially reducing the risk of hiring the wrong person and the adverse effects from such a hire.


Being the Best Recruiter

Recruiters have a difficult position: they’re constantly working between both clients and candidates trying to make sure both are happy and that the end result is a match made in Heaven. To do so, their position requires that they perform multiple tasks, not unlike the juggling clown at the fair. In reality, the title “recruiter” is a catch-all for numerous titles including sales professional, professional advisor, career counselor, researcher and consultant.

The Circus Act

Performing — OK, juggling — all of these different tasks is a day in the life of a great recruiter and it also provides a solid foundation for success. Being able to do all of these tasks for both clients and candidates works a certain type of magic; you’re gaining the trust of not only the candidate, but of the client. You’re working to create a long-term relationship with both and, when that happens, you’ve created yet another success story.

Communicating is Key

The recession changed the way many companies hire and, in the same token, the way many candidates search for jobs. Great recruiters understand that not every candidate or client who walks in the door is familiar with the way staffing firms work. These recruiters are able to break it down and create a level of understanding in the candidate/client while selling him on the benefits of the staffing agency. Creating the bridge of understanding helps a recruiter gain the trust of both candidates and clients, ensuring that both parties are comfortable in their decision to start working with a staffing firm to help solve their problems.

Long-Lasting Relationships

Amazing recruiters also know how to build and maintain relationships with both clients and candidates. They know the importance of returning calls and emails in a timely manner, a top concern/complaint of both candidates and clients. After all, being a recruiter involves selling your services to both ends of the spectrum. Long-lasting relationships are part of any great business as they lead to a continued and loyal customer base while also garnering the support of new clients.


Becoming a great recruiter relies on your ability to juggle the many tasks involved and it’s not always simple. However, the difference between great recruiters and mediocre ones is their ability to maintain a level of genuinity and professionalism that creates the long-lasting relationships vital to success.

Creating the Perfect Job Posting

When you have a position that needs filled, one of the first steps is creating a job posting to place on your company’s website and on various job boards. After all, attracting qualified job seekers is your goal and qualified job seekers are scouring Internet postings looking for that perfect fit.

The job posting content may not seem like a big deal; you just need to put the basic information down, right? Yes and no. While it’s true that many qualified people are willing to take nearly any job right now because of the high unemployment rate, many are looking for a position that will help boost their careers. As such, the job posting itself needs to attract these types of job seekers.

Reach Out to Your Target

You won’t get too far if you’re not reaching out to your target demographic of job seekers. Being specific with the skills set and the job title is particularly important, especially if the position you’re looking to fill is more specific than the generic job title. For example, “Account Manager” can apply to numerous different types of positions. If it’s sales-based, write “Sales Account Manager” instead. If you’re looking for an expert to help with online marketing, don’t simply say “Marketing,” say “Online Marketing Manager” or something similar. Being specific in the position’s title can help attract job seekers with the right qualifications and skills.

Have Fun and Be Specific, but Don’t Go Overboard

The job description should be an easy read for job seekers, but it shouldn’t be filled with fluff or jargon that won’t come up in searches. Use the most common job titles and descriptions so that your posting comes up in seekers’ posts. It’s OK to use some jargon and have fun in the body of the description, as long as the more common search terms are also used. For example, if you’re hiring a social media manager, say so instead of saying something along the lines of “Social Media Ninja.”

In addition, keep your posts dedicated to the job and company. Detail the job description thoroughly (always be as truthful as possible in the job posting) and offer information relevant to the job posting. Be  honest about the responsibilities of the position as well, making sure you don’t exaggerate or skimp on the details.


The job posting should grab the attention of qualified seekers while also coming up in search results. The right candidates are out there — you just have to know how to attract them.

Offering the Right Salary and Benefits — The Employer’s Version of Keeping Up With the Joneses

It’s no secret that today’s job market is tough. What’s less well known, though, is that it can be just as tough on you, the employer looking to fill a spot. Sure, you’re getting dozens, hundreds or thousands of resumes flowing into your email for the few — or one — positions you have available, but this means it takes more work trying to find the perfect candidate. You also have to make sure that you’re offering the right salary and benefits package to help retain the ideal candidate. No matter what the job market looks like, an employee who doesn’t feel appreciated will look elsewhere for work and, if he’s as good as you think he is, he’ll find what he’s after.

Salary and benefits are a major concern for people in the job market today. They need enough of a salary to support their living conditions, including benefits packages, perks and other features.

Salary is bound to come up during the interview; typically, you’re the first to bring it up. While you and your company have decided on what salary to offer the new candidate, you’re doing yourself a disservice if you don’t research what the market rate is and what similar companies are offering as far as benefits and perks.

Slow down and do some research! Market rates for individual positions vary, sometimes from region to region. The national median salary is a good place to start. Another place to look is your favorite search engine. Type in the title you’re hiring for followed by “market rate salary” and see what comes up.

Another place to look is at your competitors. Searching for your company’s industry or the specific job title in well-known job boards will return results that allow you to see what other companies are offering in their job postings.

Some of the benefits that can make your offer more enticing include, but aren’t limited to:

  • Flex time
  • Paid time off
  • Generous vacation time
  • Wellness perks

○      gym memberships

○      wellness contests with prizes

  • Telecommuting options for positions where this makes sense
  • Cell phone and Internet reimbursement for employees who consistently use these services and pay for them
  • Per diem pay
  • Upgraded travel accommodations

In today’s job market, it makes sense to know what everyone else is offering to make sure that when you find the best employee you can keep her.