How a Good Staffing Agency Can be a Partner and Not Just a Vendor
By Outside-In® Team Member Zach Werde
If you don’t understand the title of my blog, then I’m going to go out on a limb and say that your staffing partners really aren’t partners at all. They are vendors. I think there’s no way to elaborate better than to break down an example of each below.
My Staffing Partner is Really a Vendor
In this scenario, your relationship with your staffing agency is all about transactions. When you have a job order, you push it out to your vendor(s). They spend some time and work on your need and send you any qualified candidates they can find. If you fill the role with one of their candidates, they send you a really large bill in return. You may find that their priority is more on quantity and less on quality. Their leading theory is that if they blast you with a lot of profiles, you’ll want to interview at least one of them.
You may spend a lot of time looking at resumes that aren’t qualified and interviewing candidates who aren’t up to par. While you are going through the hiring process, a vendor certainly will not be able to consult with you. They will not give you competitive intelligence on how other companies are hiring and where they have seen success. They will not have the experience or the courage to tell you when there is a major flaw with your hiring process, or more importantly, how to fix it. They simply live in a transactional world where it is all about “closing the deal” and have tunnel vision in trying to accomplish that goal.
My Staffing Partner is Actually a Partner
What if you encountered an agency who could, from day one, have a credible conversation because they have the experience and expertise to actually consult with you? Instead of telling you what you want to hear, they can have the conversation you’d typically be having with your vendor after having worked on your position for 4 weeks on the first day. That saves you time, which saves you money. What if you were working with a partner who actually “gets it”? Instead of blasting you with ten resumes a week, they took the time identify what it is you are really looking for and sent you only the qualified candidates. This saves you time, which saves you money.
What if you you reached out to your partner because you have been struggling to fill a need, and instead of just taking a job order, they could tell you how to fill the role? They can do this because they have done it before and can share with you the best practices that they have seen work for other organizations. What if your partner cared more about the long-term relationship and less about the short-term transaction? That means doing the right thing, and not just telling you what you want to hear because they want to close the deal. Wouldn’t it be great if you could rely on your staffing agency as a partner, and know they will work with you build a customized solution to fill your positions?
There are a lot of agencies out there, and choosing the right one can seem a bit daunting. Some staffing agencies are so large that you have to play by their rules. If your need isn’t a certain bill rate, or the assignment isn’t a certain duration, or you don’t have a process that conforms to theirs, they may not even allow you the privilege of working with them. This is the trademark of someone who is worried more about the transaction then the relationship. The bottom line, if you feel that the relationship you have with your staffing agency is a bit transactional and a bit one-sided, I’m here to tell you that there is hope. There are customer-centric agencies out there who pride themselves as being a consultative partner rather than a transactional vendor.