Whether you’re putting together a new start-up or running a small business, there are a million things to do besides trying to find the right person to fill an open position. Even if you have an HR person, he or she is most likely responsible for handling payroll and benefits, in addition to hiring. When a job opening occurs, that HR person may need several days to go through dozens (or hundreds) of resumes before choosing a handful of potentially qualified candidates to pre-screen and interview.
Is it worth turning to a professional staffing agency to pick up the slack, so you can stay focused on your key business objectives?
Among the reasons to consider using the resources of a staffing agency:
- Your business faces a special, time-sensitive project requiring more employees than you currently have in place.
- Due to the nature of your business, you need additional staff for certain busy days each month.
- A key employee quits unexpectedly, leaving a critical gap in your resources which must be addressed right away.
Here’s how an expert staffing agency can help:
Pre-employment qualifications. Think of the time and effort required to advertise for a position, review resumes, interview applicants, conduct skill assessments and handle all the other pre-employment procedures needed to find the right person. A qualified staffing agency can take care of all of this.
Pre-screening. A staffing agency also handles time-consuming drug tests and background checks.
Widespread coverage. If you’re in need of a specialized employee and there are slim pickings in your immediate region, a staffing agency can recruit experienced individuals elsewhere in the state or the country—someone your own limited HR person doesn’t have access to.
Flexible staffing. If your business is just starting out, you may not have a clear idea of what your employee needs are going to be. With a staffing agency, you can build a temporary team that helps you get a sense of what type of employees (and how many) you’ll need to move forward. Some of the temporary workers may well turn out to be outstanding candidates for permanent employment.
Whatever the situation, the staffing agency option means you can delegate the burdensome hiring process. At the same time, there are other considerations to keep in mind:
The cost factor. The better the staffing agency, the more expensive their services will be. If what they charge exceeds your budget, this may not be the best option for you.
The need for training. A new employee, however qualified in general, will have little understanding of the particular rules and policies your business follows. Time is still required to bring that person up to speed, in order to meet safety and other regulations.
Not the right fit. A temporary employee may have the skills and experience you’re looking for, but not necessarily the “right” personality for the job. Even the best staffing agency can’t guarantee a perfect fit.
Legal ramifications. Temporary staff must understand that they are exactly that—temporary. There’s no guarantee of full-time, permanent employment and access to the same benefits as regular employees. (It’s still your responsibility to see they’re treated the same as other staff.)
Safety concerns. The staffing agency isn’t necessarily responsible for providing specific safety training for a position where safety is a concern. The employer must ensure that this person gets the training needed, or face potentially serious legal consequences.
Used wisely, a staffing agency can handle the recruitment and selection process so you can remain fully committed to serving customers and building your business.