4 Ways to Improve Your Staffing Partnership

If you haven’t worked in staffing, it’s hard to put your finger on all the things a recruiting or temp agency does. I’ve been at it for a dozen years and it still amazes me the things that come up.

There’s no doubt that hiring in a low unemployment rate economy is tough. Finding talented workers who want to work, and work for your organization, is tough. Add to that complexity that the employee you want is the same employee everyone else wants and the difficulty increases exponentially.

Let’s read about a few things a host company can do to create a better set of outcomes when working with a temp agency or perm hire organization.

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1. Determine your must haves vs. your nice to haves. If you’re the middle person, get your hiring manager on the hook for this. The conversation might sound something like, “If I find you the candidate who has XYZ as you stated, you’ll hire them, right?” And then, after you find that candidate, the hiring manager starts to get uber selective. They didn’t like this one aspect, or wanted more of that aspect in their answer, how they said it, the funny tilt to the candidates head when they answered. The “musts” should include both the technical and soft skills the manager is seeking — otherwise, you’re fishing without a hook.

2. How will this person be managed? A great manager makes all the difference in the world. Sometimes we have “good” vs. “great” and the difference comes in various forms. The best case example here is where you’re able to articulate the type of manager the person will work under, i.e. micro-manager, hands-off, likes independent thinkers, doesn’t like to be questioned about lots of stuff, etc. The traits of the manager can help determine the personality type of the candidates who are presented. Why does this matter? Finding the person who has all the skills in the world won’t matter, if they don’t produce — both in technical terms, and in soft skill terms — the way the manager has in mind. Some can handle a diverse skill set, but frankly, some can’t. Help your agency save you time. You’re not going to scare them off by telling them your manager’s style; it’s only going to help them better understand who fits and who doesn’t. Sometimes the soft-skill piece will outweigh the technical piece. Just be prepared for it.

3. Be open-minded about what you don’t see on paper. Staffing agencies are versatile. We interview hundreds of candidates with all sorts of skills, experience and personalities. A lot of times, candidates come to us because they’re in the wrong boat. They have all the savvy in the world, but have had the wrong jobs (and thus their on-paper experience doesn’t tell you what they’re truly capable of). The right candidate may have come in a few weeks ago, or might come in tomorrow, but we’re seeking the best match for the full picture.

4. Find the right aptitude/personality vs. something you can train. You can’t teach things like attitude, dependability, multi-tasking ability and how one communicates. They either have it, or they don’t. How to use Microsoft Word, how to log something in your spreadsheet or directory, can be taught. Yes, experience in a certain environment is important, but the mindset to exceed that expectation is more difficult to find. If you find that and have to train that right person, scoop them up. You may have more up-front time invested, but at the end of the day, that person will outperform your expectations.

Temp agencies or third party recruiters as you might think of us, don’t make widgets, we don’t sell trinkets, we don’t distribute whatchamacallits, or provide answers for stuff like that. We get down to earth and talk to people. Our goal is to match you up with a solid job seeker who also likes the sound of your company and position. What we don’t want is to make a wrong fit. There are definitely “stretch” candidates who we’ll submit. Not because we’re trying to dump a candidate somewhere, but because we think they fit somewhere, and they just need a good launching pad to demonstrate how they’ll fit. It’s still okay to say no, but what we want you to see is what you don’t see. Staffing is hard; the more down to earth information the vendor has the better job they can do for you. Feel free to share. We’ll all welcome the chance to know your company that much better, and your results will improve because of it.

MORE: It’s not what you know: How recruiters can embrace the new relationship economy

Tom Schin

Tom Schin
Tom Schin is Accustaff’s client relations executive. He can be reached at tschin (at) accustaff (dot) com.

Tom Schin

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