Partnering with Your Vendors — You’re in this Together

155606531Are you just starting a business or do you have a well-established organization? Either way, employees are one of your most valuable assets and hold the key to your success. Employees help drive the business, keep operations flowing, and set the tone for the corporate culture. There are times, however, when finding strategic staff, with the right skills and experience, at the right time, is a difficult job. During those times, a staffing agency can help your business improve productivity, increase flexibility and decrease costs.

Here are six things you should consider when working with a staffing agency:

1. Culture. Make sure your staffing partner has a strong understanding of your culture, including needs, pain points, and work processes. A good staffing firm understands the importance of culture and takes the time to get to know you before placing the first individual. This is critical for a solid foundation.

2. Relationship. Maintaining a close relationship with your staffing partner leads to smoother integration and faster responsiveness. This includes keeping your staffing firm updated on changes within the organization, upcoming budget constraints, and anticipated future needs.

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3. Communication. Open, two-way communication is critical to the success of the partnership. This is important as uncomfortable conversations arise, such as a placement that is not working as intended. Likewise, honest communication creates a positive atmosphere for the staffing firm to better understand your company and provide the best staffing options.

4. Growth. As your business grows, consult with your staffing agency. They’ve worked with other businesses like yours and can help you plan for the anticipated changes that growth brings. Use them as a sounding board for department or group organization ideas. As you grow, remember that professional staffers give you the flexibility to ramp up faster and to “try before you hire” if growth could eventually lead to a transition to permanent employment.

5. Finances. Your staffing vendor should also be a partner in terms of the financial impact of staffing options. No matter your company’s goals, the staffing agency should be able to help. Included in this process should be solid assistance of PO estimating, tracking of actual spending vs. PO/budget, and highlighting projects that are running over budget expectations. They should also provide any reporting metrics you require.

6. Point of Contact. Most important, a first-line “go-to” relationship should be developed with one individual at your staffing supplier. This is someone who you have a strong relationship with, who understands your company culture and needs, is in open and consistent communication with you, and is familiar with the growth cycle, as well as the financial budget. This person can then more fully communicate your needs to their team; therefore, giving you the best service possible.

Remember that you are in this together and that a solid foundation and working relationship is essential to success. When the six keys are implemented and sustained, your company can achieve its goals, and the staffing agency will fulfill its purpose.

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John Kennedy
John Kennedy is general manager of SprocketPRO, a professional services staffing agency.

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