Atterro Workforce Solutions

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Find the Best Staffing Agency for You: Questions to Ask When Interviewing Agencies

Do you know how to select the staffing agency that will be the right fit for your requirements? We’ve got some pointers for you. Get started by addressing the questions listed here that you find most relevant to your specific situation. By doing your homework, you’ll be able to find the staffing agency best suited for you.

Begin by asking yourself these three questions:

  1. Do I need permanent job placement, long-term assignment employees, short-term project employees, or perhaps a combination? Make sure the staffing agency’s service offerings are in line with your needs. Do they offer temporary staffing, temp-to-hire, and direct hire?
  2. Am I looking for a staffing agency that specializes in our industry? The more specialized the position you’re looking to fill, the more important it is to hire a specialized staffing agency. Specialized agencies usually have a larger pool of available candidates to choose from and can better evaluate candidates’ skills.
  3. Is being able to submit interview questions and participate in the selection process important to me? A good agency will want your input so that they can fully understand your needs and your corporate culture. If your goal is a direct hire position, ask them how you will be able to connect in the selection process.

Then prepare questions to ask prospective staffing agencies. Copy and paste these questions into a separate document, then highlight those that most resonate with your company’s current needs. Save the other questions – you may find you want to use them in future hiring needs.

  1. What is your onboarding process? For example, some staffing agencies have their employees complete initial skills tests. Others provide face-to-face skills training or educate their employees on business protocol through webinars. Either way, a reputable agency wants as much detail as possible about your business and the position you want to fill.
  2. Do you offer your contract employees a good pay rate and a benefits package? The better the compensation and benefits plan, the higher quality talent the agency will attract. If you’re looking for contract workers, make sure the agency carries general liability insurance and workers’ compensation insurance, and that their new hire process protects you by providing all training mandated by the Department of Labor.
  3. Do you perform background checks? What kinds of references do they use? How rigorous is their screening process, and how do they handle any problems that may surface later? Such services can help verify the quality of employee you will have.
  4. What is your turnover rate? A staffing agency’s performance is inherently linked to the tenure of their sales professionals and recruiters. Top-notch recruiters have been around long enough to develop solid expertise about your industry, along with establishing relationships with qualified candidates. The more a recruiter works with you, the more they understand your company and can find the right employees for you.
  5. Who will be my main point of contact? You want to feel sure that your contact will follow up with you after an employee is placed. Some staffing agencies hand off accounts from the sales teams to others, and you lose consistency in the transition.
  6. What qualifications do your recruiters have? Ask for a list of businesses in your industry for which the agency has filled positions. Does the agency keep up with business trends by attending industry events in your field? If a recruiter who’s trying to staff your accounting department doesn’t have any training in the area of accounting, they won’t be as successful finding and screening candidates for you.
  7. What is your recruiting process? Be sure the staffing agency sources active and passive candidates via multiple channels: online searches, social media, blog posts, advertising, employee referral programs, job fairs, job postings and more. The agency should have a comprehensive database of candidates to help you find the right person for the position.
  8. Can you provide references? Before you make your final decision, ask the staffing agency for references (preferably from within your industry). Call them – their opinions and perceptions might help you decide, especially if you have doubts or feel uncertain.
  9. Can you provide metrics on employee and client satisfaction? Take a look at their client scores to find numbers on how people who’ve used their services rate them.
  10. What is your fee structure? Get a firm understanding of what is included in the agency’s hourly bill rate for contract employees and in their placement fee for direct hires. You want to make an informed decision on value, not price. The cost of a bad hire outweighs the cost of doing business with a staffing agency that will provide the right candidate the first time.

Ultimately, it’s important that to choose an agency that demonstrates a high level of professionalism. You should have a good feel for their capability. They will be recruiting, hiring, and training the people who will work for you, and so they should be attentive and inquisitive at the get-go when dealing with you.