The Consultative Staffing Firm vs. The New Age of Resume Review Services

ThinkstockPhotos-179212730Are you struggling to hire through the recruiting firms you use? Though these organizations claim to be professional staffing organizations, many of them operate as “resume review services.” It is important to evaluate the level of service received to determine whether the firm you’re using is the proper fit for your needs.

Each passing month it becomes more apparent that many recruitment firms have simply become conduits for clients looking to receive resumes. An industry once lauded as sophisticated in an approach to staffing and recruiting has been commoditized. From the inception of email and the Internet in the early 90’s to the complex technological landscape that makes up today’s workplace, our industry has minimized the personal aspect of staffing and replaced them with a digital media “soft copy” approach. While technology and social media provides a great platform to reach many people quickly, it will never take the place of a solid interview. The notion of selling “people, not paper” is one that has lost some of its holding power in the current market, much to the detriment of the recruiting process.

With all of this in mind, when evaluating a staffing firm to partner with, it is important think about the following:

  1. The staffing firms you use may tell you they conduct internal face-to-face interviews, but do they? The number of face-to-face interviews conducted by recruiting firms has decreased significantly. Does this model really justify charging a markup or fee?Establish an honest dialogue from the onset of the relationship with your staffing firm, being very clear in your expectations. Ensure you are getting value from the partner through confirming they conduct thorough in-person interviews with each of their candidates.
  2. Does the recruitment firm you use have a national reach, or are they based in one local market? Alternatively, if they do have a national presence, are they able to keep up with local market trends? Do they have a true network of candidates or do they simply have access to job boards?Partnering with a national firm provides an opportunity for increased resources and broader reach; however it is important that the firm has a pulse on your local market.
  1. How are the recruiters you work with trained? Do they understand the technology you use and how it works?Staffing firms are often hired due to the complexity of the roles that need to be filled. While internal HR often lacks the knowledge necessary to hire for these sophisticated requests, the staffing firm you work with should be well-versed in the industry. If you find that you are being sent a large number of candidates whose skill sets do not match with your requirements, the issue might be a lack of industry-knowledge on the part of the recruiter.
  1. Does your staffing firm provide a better experience to candidates and clients, like customer service post placement or health benefits? Do the staffing firms you work with continue to cultivate candidates after they’re placed on contract, or do they go radio-silent?
  2. Recruitment is not a transactional process; it’s personal. If you are dealing in paper and not people, you are likely working with a resume review service as opposed to a quality professional staffing firm. If you’ve made the right choice, you will know that your recruiter is available when you need them, long after the candidate is placed at your organization.
  1. What is your current staffing firm’s process to manage contractors and provide quality assurance? Is your contact able to answer your questions?A good recruiter will be honest and open regarding quality assurance post-placement. If your contact runs to their manager to figure out the answers to those sorts of questions, the disconnect could negatively impact your company.
  1. Does your account representative just take the job requirement via email and attempt to place candidates without asking the tough questions regarding culture or why the position is open? Do they take the time to understand what it really is you want outside of what the job requirement states?

As mentioned previously, one of the reasons organizations hire staffing firms has to do with the complex nature of the roles that need to be filled. It is crucial for recruiters to dig deeper and develop a complete understanding of not only the job requirements but also the soft skills required in a candidate.

These are just a few items to consider when evaluating a staffing firm. Whether you are already working with a staffing firm or are considering bringing one on, it is important to assess the company’s approach to ensure that you will receive the personalized service necessary to accomplish your business goals.

Chris Vennitti

Chris Vennitti
Chris Venniti is vice president of HireStrategy.

Chris Vennitti

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