Let’s face it, there are a lot of staffing agencies out there, and specifically their recruiters, that are giving the industry quite the bad rap in the IT world. Computer professionals are starting to consider us annoying, unhelpful, and overall not worth their time. Which is a shame, because a software developer’s dream job could be sitting in a recruiter’s inbox as we speak. This, in turn, is making it harder and harder to get you, the client, on board with just how valuable staffing agencies should be. Here at Kranect, we believe in the local, small business touch when it comes to staffing. And while IT professionals are getting used to a certain kind of treatment from their staffing agencies, we’re here to let the clients know what kind of organization they should really be working with.
1. Personal candidate attention
One of the most important things you should start expecting from staffing agencies is their attention to detail when it comes to the candidates they’re sourcing. Recruiters shouldn’t be sourcing for one job, or sourcing to meet a metric they’ve been assigned. Every candidate should be treated as if they are an asset to the agency’s company, because they are! Whether they’re happily employed in their current spot, looking for work, or don’t quite have the right right number of years experience in (insert any IT skill here), each candidate is a valuable connection. Now, as a client, you may think that this is going to result in an agency taking even longer for them to find you your perfect candidate fit. That’s not true! In fact, it’s the exact opposite, if the recruiters have been doing their due-diligence over time, then the second you submit a job that needs to be filled, someone should pop right into the recruiter’s head. Building and fostering more personal relationships with candidates makes everyone’s job easier and more pleasant. It creates more of a you-scratch-my-back-I’ll-scratch-yours relationship with the candidate that results in more quality candidates for the clients that need them. Eventually, you’ll start trusting your agency more as well. They’ll start sending you people who fit in with your culture and get along with your team just the way you’d imagined, and isn’t that why you decided to outsource finding talent in the first place? Any computer can generate resumes that match keywords, but the beauty of a staffing agency is that people have screened, questioned, prodded, and then tied up a package with a pretty bow containing your perfect employee that not only has the skills you need them to have, but can kick your butt in ping-pong and enjoys afternoon beers from the keggerator as much as you do. Not only should your staffing agency actually boast this trait, but they should be able to explain to you their step by step process about how they go about screening candidates for that ever elusive culture fit.
2. Recruiters that are also good sales people
Recruiters have one of the toughest sales jobs of all: they have to convince people to leave their jobs to entertain the possibility of a new one (well, sometimes). Changing jobs is a scary thing! It comes with a world of unknowns and it’s hardly an easy decision to make, especially when it comes with things like a longer commute or more travel time. This is why whichever staffing agency you chose has to have recruiters that are not only good at recruiting (duh), but also have a little bit of sales in them as well. You’re trusting them to find the best people in the field and bring them to your organization, and trust us from experience, a lot of the best candidates are already happily employed because of how good they are at what they do. This means you have to trust a recruiter to communicate to a potential new employee just how awesome your company is, and why they should want to come work for you.
3. Your staffing agency should be annoying
Especially when it comes to the big guys, it seems that a lack of communication is a major complaint among both clients and candidates. It’s a good thing if you have an email or two from your staffing agency almost everyday. Whether they’re asking for feedback about an interview, or they’re letting you know that maybe finding a Systems Engineer with 10 years experience for only $30 an hour isn’t going to work out, too much communication can never be a bad thing. We know as the client you’re busy and you have other things to do all day besides answer emails from your staffing agency, but it’s always nice to have a little reminder to communicate when things get hectic on your end.
4. A value-add relationship is essential
You are hiring a staffing agency to do what you cannot do. Therefore, they should have a unique and proven process for finding and screening candidates than you don’t have. Sure, they’re going to have more experience, and unlike you or your HR team, they have all day to look for people who want to work for you, which is clearly an advantage. However, they should do something different, something innovative, something you wouldn’t think of to find the perfect fit. And they should be able to articulate this to you easily. These are the kinds of things that you should know by listening to a vendor’s pitch. This is how they’re going to convince you to hire them, and if they don’t touch on these points, these are the kinds of questions you should be asking. Make sure you understand what they’re doing in order find you who you need.
5. Honesty is key
Many staffing agencies have a tendency to over-promise, especially when it comes to what they can do for you. Sometimes hiring managers are actually looking for the impossible, and if your staffing agency is any good, they’ll know what they can and cannot find. That’s not to say that they won’t try, but chances are if the agency’s recruiters have been sourcing for numerous years, they might have a better idea of what’s out there than you do. Again, this is why you’re deciding to outsource, because agencies bring knowledge to the table and access to a network that you don’t have. If an agency has a tendency to always say “yes” to you and continue not to deliver, not only are they clearly a bad agency, but they may be over-promising the kind of value they can deliver. Vendors should be candid about which roles they can fill and what is a realistic expectation for the type of candidate they can find.
We hope this gave you a better idea about what to expect from your staffing agency, because we know you deserve the best. There are some great vendors out there, so don’t get discouraged if can’t find one that is meeting all of your expectations. New hires play a key role in both the present and future state of your company, so don’t settle on quality when hiring someone to find those new employees for you.